Welsh regions support Champions Cup
October 22, 2013
The Cardiff Blues shocked Heineken Cup champions Toulon at the weekend © Getty Images
Wales' four regions have thrown their weight behind the breakaway European tournament, the Rugby Champions Cup.
The announcement, made on behalf of the regions by their umbrella organisation Regional Rugby Wales, comes on the eve of summit talks in Dublin aimed at thrashing out a new tournament agreement for the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup competitions next season.
Previously, European Rugby Cup Ltd - the body in charge of the Heineken Cup - had hoped to reach some compromise over the future of Europe's top tournament, despite both the English and French teams' wish to push ahead with plans to form a club-run European tournament for next season.
The Anglo-French alliance had hoped to attract teams from the RaboDirect PRO12 to the new tournament but the four unions that make up the competition - Italy, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - have previously said they will only permit their teams to join the Champions Cup if it receives ratification from the International Rugby Board.
Such an approval is yet to come from the sport's governing body, but the Welsh regions have issued their standpoint and are keen to join the club-run Champions Cup instead of hoping for some compromise over the Union-run Heineken Cup.
It remains to be seen what the Welsh Rugby Union says in response to RRW's stance, but the statement seems to leave little ambiguity over the Welsh regions' stance.
The statement reads: "Regional Rugby Wales, on behalf of the four Welsh regions, confirms its full support for the proposed new Rugby Champions Cup competitions.
"Whilst there remain elements of detail to be confirmed, it is now clear that there are a number of significant advantages to the new competitions in equality of governance, format, qualification and distribution across the individual participating clubs.
"Consequently, RRW looks forward to working with the WRU (Welsh Rugby Union) to support their efforts and positive engagement in striving to ensure our teams are involved in strong, valuable European clubs competitions in time for next season."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Download ESPN's new UK multisport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin