English & French use guerilla tactics

Tue, 17 Sep 2013 08:45
Large jean pierre lux Large jean pierre lux.jpg630 Large jean pierrelux3

European Club Rugby President Jean-Pierre Lux has accused English and French clubs of using "guerilla" tactics in the ongoing row over the format of the European Cup.

European Club Rugby President Jean-Pierre Lux has accused English and French clubs of using "guerilla" tactics in the ongoing row over the format of the European Cup.

Speaking to AFP, Lux said the English and French teams were not showing any willingness to compromise in their demands, but he rejected the idea that they could form a breakaway competition next season.

Clubs from the English Premiership and French Top 14 have said they will pull out of the European Cup next season and set up their own competition, in which they will invite other teams to take part, if they don't get their way over the current impasse.

They want a reduction in the total number of clubs taking part in the European Cup from 24 to 20, as well as a significant cull in the number of Celtic League teams gaining automatic entry, from 10 to six.

But Lux says they're being unfair in their demands.

"There were meetings up to the beginning of June. Since then everyone has been waiting for someone else to make the first move to kick-start the negotiations," Lux told AFP.

"We received letters from the English and French leagues a few weeks ago that had a decidedly guerilla spirit to them.

"When I hear the English and French leagues denouncing Celtic intransigence, we could also reply that those two leagues don't want to change their positions.

"We need to find a compromise to advance."

Even so, Lux says there's no chance a rival competition could be organised next year, despite Anglo-French threats.

"It's not possible. I went to a meeting last week where the Chief Executive of the English Federation [RFU] Ian Ritchie and the President Bill Beaumont clearly said they had told their clubs there would be no new society.

"Pierre Camou [President of the French Rugby Federation] has clearly indicated in France for some time that there will never be a Franco-English competition, he's against it.

"All the federations hope that ERC continues to run the [European] competitions."

Lux says that the Anglo-French proposals would have a detrimental effect on the game in Europe.

"Going from 24 to 20 clubs in the European Cup means the Scottish and Italian teams would lose out," he said.

"I've been told it would improve the level of the Challenge Cup [as that would move from 20 to 24 teams] but I remain sceptical because we're asking for those four teams to come solely from the Celtic League.

"I would prefer all the leagues to make an effort."

Current rules mean that 10 out of the 12 Celtic League teams are guaranteed entry into the European Cup, including both Scottish and both Italian teams, while depending on who wins the two European competitions, all 12 could qualify.

The English and French leagues are only guaranteed six each.

This season saw 11 out of the 12 Celtic teams qualify, with only Newport Gwent Dragons from Wales missing out.

This season's Challenge Cup contains seven French teams, six English, four from the Italian top flight, one Portuguese, one Romanian and just one from the Celtic League, the Dragons.

The English and French teams tend to play their reserve sides against the other European teams and still canter to high-scoring victories.

What they want is to see six teams from each of the English, French and Celtic leagues qualifying for the European Cup by their league position, with the final two teams coming from the countries whose sides win the European Cup and Challenge Cup.

They feel that the current format favours Celtic League teams who know they can rest their best players in league matches ahead of European Cup games as they are not risking their participation in the competition the next season, whereas in England and France every game is a battle to ensure a high enough league finish.


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4