European Rugby Cup (ERC) have confirmed that an agreement has been reached to ensure the participation of the English and French clubs in next season’s Heineken Cup tournament.
Shortly before the kick-off of yesterday’s Heineken Cup final at Twickenham, where Ireland’s Eoin Reddan played a vital role as Wasps won their second Heineken Cup, ERC Rugby issued a statement confirming the participation of the English and French clubs in the the tournament for 2007/08.
The statement read: “ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux is very pleased to confirm that the leading English and French clubs will participate in next season’s Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup tournaments alongside teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
Lux added: “I would like to thank all of ERC’s stakeholders who have been involved in the discussions and I am delighted to be able to confirm the future of both tournaments on the day of the 12th Heineken Cup final.
“ERC’s stakeholders will meet shortly to finalise the agreement that will secure the long term future of both tournaments.”
This was later confirmed in a statement released by Premier Rugby:
“Premier Rugby can confirm that the key terms for the participation of its clubs in Europe from next season have now been agreed.
|“It is expected that the formal agreement will be finalised in the next week.|
“This follows successful meetings with IRB, ERC and the RFU over the last three weeks and will ensure the long term participation of the Premier Rugby clubs in the European Cups.
“Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty added: “This is good news for the tournament, our supporters and the club game, particularly as it comes on a day when we extend our congratulations to London Wasps as winners of the first ever all-English Heineken Cup Final, played in front of a world record crowd for a club match.”