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European competitions
English and French meet to try for compromise
ESPN Staff
January 14, 2014
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie poses with the World Cup trophy, Twickenham, England, October 31, 2012
Ian Ritchie - day trip to Paris © Getty Images
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Key figures from the RFU and its French counterparts met in Paris on Monday to try to find a solution to the stalemate over the future of European rugby. Clubs from England and France were at the forefront of the breakaway Champions Cup which was then undermined by an U-turn from the French clubs.

The Daily Telegraph reported that RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie and chairman, Bill Beaumont had a day-long meeting with Pierre Camou, the French Rugby Federation chairman, as part of the latest attempt to salvage a pan-European tournament.

Camou has been instrumental in persuading the French clubs to remain with the existing Heineken Cup rather than be part of the new competition, and under French law unless the clubs have the backing of their national body they cannot legally participate in a competition. The FFR is know to be concerned that its influence will be weakened under the plans for the Champions Cup.

Ritchie and Beaumont are thought to have been trying to convince Camou as to the advantages of the new model of governance involving the Six Nations taking charge of the European tournaments. Camou has made clear his preference for FIRA, the administration body of European rugby, to take over governance.

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