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Euopean Champions Cup set to be expanded as EPCR determined to finish current campaign

 

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A shake-up for the European Champions Cup is on the table regarding next season, while hopes still remain that this campaign's knockout games can somehow be played out

A shake-up for the European Champions Cup is on the table regarding next season, while hopes still remain that this campaign's knockout games can somehow be played out

A shake-up for the European Champions Cup is on the table regarding next season, while hopes still remain that this campaign's knockout games can somehow be played out

A shake-up for the European Champions Cup is on the table regarding next season, while hopes still remain that this campaign's knockout games can somehow be played out.

In a statement, tournament organisers EPCR said that they still harbour hopes of staging the finals in both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup in October and plan to reach that point by managing to complete what remained of the season prior to it being closed down due to the coronavirus.

This leaves the door ajar regarding Ulster's quarter-final at Toulouse, originally meant to have played at the start of last month, and means that it could still happen pending the situation regarding the pandemic.

"EPCR remains committed to making every effort to conclude the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season subject to official advice," said the statement.

EPCR also said that next season the Champions Cup could be expanded to contain 24 teams made up of eight sides from Europe's leading leagues, namely the PRO14, English Premiership and France's Top 14.

The competition is currently made up of 20 teams divided into five pools and last had 24 teams spread over six pools in season 2013-14.

If such a model were adopted it "would apply to next season's tournament only on an exceptional basis," the statement added.

Expanding the Champions Cup is, according to EPCR, "just one a number of tournament formats being considered for the 2020-21 season."

Earlier this week it was reported that French clubs had, following the abandonment of this campaign's Top 14, threatened to boycott next season's competition unless eight places were made available to them.

Belfast Telegraph