Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Regions still backing Champions Cup

RRW and the WRU are still in discussions.
RRW and the WRU are still in discussions.

Wales' four professional regions have reaffirmed their commitment to the Rugby Champions Cup.

Talks are ongoing between Regional Rugby Wales - the umbrella organisation for the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons - and the Welsh Rugby Union to resolve their major differences.

Further meetings took place on Wednesday, with RRW stating that the WRU has given assurances it will aim to resolve issues by the end of this month as both sides strive to reach agreement over a new blueprint for the professional game's future in Wales.

In the meantime, RRW has underlined support for the Rugby Champions Cup, a new competition proposed by England's Aviva Premiership clubs to replace the Heineken Cup next season.

RRW said, in a statement: "Meetings are currently taking place between RRW executives and the WRU to discuss the new Rugby Services Agreement document presented to the regions by the WRU.

"The regions are currently considering the contents of the document in detail and will be in active discussion with the WRU, including requesting further details, clarity and confirmation on a number of points raised in the proposals to see if there is any common ground.

"While the regions continue to actively discuss each element of the detailed operational document proposed by the WRU, the only defined competition and committed revenue available to the regions at this time remains the Rugby Champions Cup.

"The regions remain committed to the implementation of the Rugby Champions Cup, which will provide an additional £12million in committed revenues to Welsh rugby over the next three years.

"The regions have now been assured the WRU will seek to resolve the fundamental issues of defining and committing league and cup competitions and revenues by the end of this month.

"We are happy to discuss operational details within a potential agreement, but any detail is meaningless without WRU fulfilling their primary obligation of defining the structure of the competitions the agreement applies to and committing to the revenues generated.

"WRU assure us they will confirm these core elements within this month, allowing the regions to run their businesses at the same time as finalising any operational detail within a joint agreement."

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