ERC Dismayed with Walk-Out Threat

By Community | August 24, 2012

European Club Rugby (ECR) has said the threat to quit European rugby by English and French clubs has left them “dismayed and frustrated.”

Clubs want structural changes to be made to the Heineken Cup and Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby said to the Guardian: “ERC should know that we are serious. If it’s not resolved, we would go to an Anglo-French competition.”

McCafferty believed that reams from the RboDirect Pro 12 are given a significant advantage in the competition due to qualification methods.

A statement from the ERC has been released and spokesman Mark Jones commented: “”We are dismayed and frustrated at the position that has been taken by Premier Rugby.

“This is a process that is laid down as part of the accord agreed in 2007. It’s not a bolt out of the blue. The current qualification process was agreed by ERC’s shareholders as part of the 2007 accord.

“We welcome a full review of the tournament and we believe that at the end of the consultation process, European rugby will emerge stronger.

“All of our shareholders have said they want to see European rugby thrive and have agreed this consultation process.

“Our meeting on September 18 in Dublin is the second step in the process.”

The French and English clubs have also been criticised by Michael Bradley, coach of Edinburgh Rugby. Bradley said: “For me it is a bit of posturing more than anything else and I would hope they wouldn’t change the format.”