European clubs to return to the meeting table
October 30, 2012
Europe's clubs will meet in Dublin on Tuesday to discuss the Heineken Cup's future © PA Photos
Europe's clubs will return to Dublin on Tuesday in a bid to break the deadlock that has hit the talks regarding the reform of the Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cups.
The English clubs have grown frustrated at what they perceive as a lack of progress towards change in European rugby following meetings in Dublin and Rome already this season. Last week the RaboDirect PRO12 teams met with the French Top 14 sides in Paris, but the French sides rejected two proposals for change. Premiership Rugby wants a solution to be found as soon as possible, preferably by the end of the year.
The English and French clubs have demanded a scaled down tournament of 20 teams with equal qualifying of six places for the English Premiership, Top 14 and RaboDirect PRO12 plus the winners of the previous season's Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cups. However, the PRO12 clubs have staunchly rejected any proposals which reduces the number of their teams that can qualify.
Currently there are 17 stakeholders involved in the discussions and all of them will be involved in the talks in Dublin. The RFU and Six Nations chairman Bill Beaumont has already offered to help end the impasse, though the Rugby Football Union is known to be sympathetic to the English club's argument.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton