Play-off system for Champions Cup
October 24, 2013
Bruce Craig has been at the forefront of plans for the Champions Cup © Getty Images
Bath chairman Bruce Craig has revealed the final two available spots in the proposed Rugby Champions Cup will be decided by a play-off.
The structure of the club-run Champions Cup is expected to consist of 20 teams with six qualifying from the Aviva Premiership, Top 14 and RaboDirect PRO12. At present, teams from Wales, England and France have all given the tournament their backing but the Irish, Scottish and Italian sides are yet to reveal their hands.
If all the teams come on board, then the qualification will be evenly split between the three leagues with two spots on offer to those teams who finish in seventh and eighth, according to Craig. He claims the play-offs will happen in May and will give those outside of the top six something to play for.
"It is for certain there will be play-offs for one or two places in May," Craig told AFP. "The play-offs could be made up of the teams that finish seventh or eighth in their respective championships. The play-offs would be interesting matches, with something at stake, involving teams who normally by that stage of the season have nothing to play for."
© 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.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
With the World Cup only a few months away, the last thing France needed was doubts over the future of their coach, writes Huw Richards
They came to Murrayfield looking to put down a marker, but Scotland were sent home with their tails between their legs, writes Tristan Barclay
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland