Two Heineken Cup Proposals To Be Discussed
Heineken Cup organizers will examine two alternative models for the rugby tournament as they "seek to resolve the acrimonious arguments over the future of European club rugby’s most-prestigious tournament," according to John Westerby of the LONDON TIMES. English and French clubs, which said in June they wished to withdraw from the competition at the end of next season, favor a 20-team competition, or four fewer than the present structure. That model would feature the top six teams from the Aviva Premiership, the Top 14 and the RaboDirect PRO12, plus the winners of the previous season’s Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup. They want to "introduce a greater meritocratic element to qualification for the tournament," which does not currently exist for PRO12 clubs. The alternative models will be "discussed again at the next stakeholder meeting" in London on Dec. 12 (LONDON TIMES, 10/31).