'World Cup of Clubs' becomes a reality?
August 27, 2013
Could Toulon play Super Rugby winners the Chiefs? © Getty Images
Toulon's proposed 'World Cup of Clubs' has taken a step towards becoming a reality with Mourad Boudjellal's club reportedly agreeing a date with Super Rugby winners the Chiefs for the match.
Reports in Midi Olympique claim the two clubs - the winners of the Heineken Cup and southern hemisphere tournament Super Rugby - have agreed on February 2 as the date for the cross-hemisphere match. It would come in the midst of the Six Nations, with England taking on France on February 1, and before the start of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
The weekend does not have any Top 14 action planned while the Chiefs will be in pre-season. The newspaper claims the match is likely to place either in Nice's Allianz Arena or in Monaco's Stade Louis II stadium. Midi Olympique also adds that "several TV channels have already shown interest to broadcast the game".
It remains to be seen whether the body in charge of European Rugby - European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) - will sanction the match. Rumours of the game broke on July 24 and when questioned about the possible match-up, ERC president Jean-Pierre Lux labelled it an "impossible project".
Lux added Boudjellal did not "have the latitude to organise such a game" and that "under the terms of the European Rugby Cup participation agreement that they signed before the competition, the clubs do not have the right to play such a game as European champions especially against the winners of the Super 15, it is stated in the agreement".
The Chiefs confirmed on Twitter that the clubs were negotiating, with acting chief executive Sean Austin telling Sportal the club had definite interest in the proposal and was exploring the option. He said, however, that nothing had been agreed. Chiefs coach Dave Rennie was out of contact in North America, where he is believed to be visiting National Football League clubs.
In related news, Midi Olympique claim Toulouse and Racing Metro are in discussions regarding a possible friendly match in Hong Kong on November 9. There is no Top 14 action between November 2 and 23 and it could be an attractive proposition to the clubs as they seek to expand their merchandising opportunities.
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