WRU: Regions can't play in rebel tournament
THE WELSH rugby Union have declared that they will not allow its regions or clubs to take part in a breakaway European tournament.
English and French clubs have declared that they will no longer be taking part in the Heineken Cup and last Sunday they announced a rebel Rugby Champions Cup.
Premiership Rugby and Ligue Nationale de Rugby say they have no interest in resuming negotiations with European Rugby Cup, who appointed a mediator – Canadian lawyer Graeme Mew – in a bid to break the deadlock.
They invited the Celtic and Italian teams to join their breakaway competition, which will need the approval of the International Rugby Board.
The WRU has made their stance clear along with the Scottish Rugby Union and the Irish Rugby Football Union, who issued similar statements at the same time.
“The Welsh Rugby Union remains fully committed to the development of a pan-European Rugby competition,” read the statement.
“We welcome the recent comments made by the International Rugby Board chairman, who confirmed that a pan-European tournament remains the goal of the IRB.
“The Welsh Rugby Union wishes to clarify that it will not sanction any of its clubs or regions participating in future tournaments which do not have the full approval of the IRB and the WRU.
“The WRU wants an agreement to be achieved and reiterates its determination to negotiate a new format for the European Cup with all of the stakeholders.
“The WRU's focus is to work collaboratively with our colleagues across Europe, encouraging all parties to conclude our negotiations as quickly as possible.”
At the heart of the issue is television rights with the English clubs having signed a up to a bumper deal with BT Sport and the ERC committed to Sky Sports.
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