Heineken Cup: Rugby Champions Cup name for proposed successor

The http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/proposed+replacement+for+the+Heineken+Cup will be called the Rugby Champions Cup, English and French clubs have announced.

They will quit the Heineken Cup at the end of this season because they object to the current set-up for a number of reasons.

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“A joint working group has been created to prepare all necessary elementsPremiership Rugby

The issues include qualification and the way revenue is shared.

A Premiership Rugby statement said: "The competition will be based on the principles of qualification on merit."

Premier Rugby added the new tournament will have "a strong competition format, equality between the leagues, higher commercial values for the teams and expansion into new European markets".

A statement concluded: "The Top 14 and Premiership Rugby clubs have already confirmed their participation in the new competition and a joint working group has been created to prepare all necessary elements in good time for the 2014-15 season."

The International Rugby Board said it will only back the new pan-European club tournament if the French and English rugby unions approve it.

2013-14 Heineken Cup structure
  • France: 7 (Castres, Toulon, Toulouse, Clermont-Auvergne, Racing Metro, Montpellier, Perpignan)
  • England: 6 (Northampton, Exeter, Saracens, Harlequins, Leicester, Gloucester)
  • Ireland: 4 (Leinster, Connacht, Ulster, Munster)
  • Wales: 3 (Ospreys, Cardiff, Scarlets)
  • Scotland: 2 (Glasgow, Edinburgh)
  • Italy: 2 (Zebre, Treviso)

    England's Aviva Premiership and France's Top14 leagues believe the current Heineken Cup structure favours teams from the RaboDirect Pro12, which is made up of sides from Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy, who will be allowed to join the potential new tournament.

    Only the top six in England and France are guaranteed a place in the Heineken Cup, which began in the 1995-96 season, whereas at least 10 Celtic League outfits - including both Scottish, both Italian and a minimum of three sides each from Wales and Ireland - have certain entry into the competition.

    With the Pro12 having no relegation, it is argued teams can rest players for league matches to keep them fresh for Europe, while Premiership and Top 14 teams have to fight hard just to qualify.

    The English and French clubs are also unhappy with the way revenues are split between the three leagues and want to keep a greater share.