Cockerill calls for Heineken Cup change
September 23, 2012
Richard Cockerill has hit out at the format of the Heineken Cup © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has joined the ranks calling for the format of the Heineken Cup to change.
The future of the tournament is shrouded in uncertainty with the current format of the Heineken Cup finishing in 2014. European Rugby Cup ltd is currently in discussions with the six Unions regarding what will happen in the 2014-15 season with Premiership Rugby and the Top 14 sides both arguing that the qualification process is weighted in favour of the RaboDirect PRO12 clubs.
Premiership Rugby has reportedly suggested a change to the format that will see the top six sides from the English league, the Top 14 and the PRO12 qualifying alongside the winners of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup. And the assertion that the PRO12 has had it too easy in the past is backed up by Cockerill.
"English and French clubs spend their whole season fighting to be in the top four or top six to qualify for Europe," Cockerill told the Rugby Paper. "The Celtic nations, for instance, rest their internationals for the first two, three or four rounds of the domestic competition because they are getting them ready for the first two rounds of Europe and the autumn Tests.
"The English and French national sides don't have that luxury do they? How can the 11th-placed side in the Celtic League qualify for Europe? It's not quite right in my opinion."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
When the Lions toured South Africa in 1974, some thought rugby could break down barriers. But John Taylor refused to make the trip altogether
"I think in a couple of seasons London Irish can be a genuine force and contenders for the Premiership." Tom Hamilton talks to Brian Smith
"I hate this talk of survival, we are going there to compete." Tom Hamilton talks to London Welsh's Justin Burnell and Matt Corker
The latest Week in Pictures takes in Madagascar, Nick Cummins and all the latest photographs from Super Rugby