WRU welcome euro re-vamp talks
June 14, 2012
Leinster have won three of the last four Heineken Cups © Getty Images
Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis has welcomed discussions concerning the future structure of the Heineken Cup.
Premiership Rugby served the European Rugby Cup (ERC) with a notice on Monday calling for the structure of the competition to be reviewed amid suggestions that they have misgivings over the tournament's organisation. French clubs are said to feel similarly and the ERC board will meet in September to discuss the future of the prestigious tournament.
"It is a competition, after the Six Nations, [which] is probably the envy of the rugby world," Lewis told the BBC. "It's been some five years since we last debated the structure of the competition, so I think the time is right for us all to get round the table to look to the next five years. What I would emphasise is that we have got time on our side to look at this.
"I hope everyone comes to the table looking at the bigger picture and the bigger picture is something that is very precious indeed."
With Irish sides dominating the tournament in the past few years with five tournament wins in seven, Lewis has called on the different parties to keep the future of the tournament at the forefront of their discussions.
"As a director of the competition I'd emphasise we have got to act at all times in the best interests of the competition. That said, with my Welsh hat on, I'd certainly emphasis that Wales has contributed significantly to the competition and particularly to northern hemisphere. We are the Grand Slam champions after all.
"Celtic rugby has contributed considerably to the competition. That said we shouldn't be afraid of debate; we shouldn't be afraid of sitting round the table and deciding what's best for the competition as a whole.
"At present we have not received any formal views from any of the countries involved so no one has formally put forward a position. I hope everyone who comes around the table comes to it with the right degree of responsibility, because we have to act in the best interests of the whole competition not for our respective selfish needs."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game