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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Heineken Cup format set for comprehensive review

Published 31/10/2012 | 05:00

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THE format of the Heineken Cup is up for review ahead of the 2014/15 tournament, the ERC have confirmed.

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After a meeting in Dublin, the ERC revealed it will undertake a "comprehensive evaluation" of the proposed format changes of a 20-club and a 32-club Heineken Cup, as well as the current tournament format.

The ERC hope to present its findings to another meeting of the various stakeholders at a meeting in London on December 12. That will be the fourth meeting since the row erupted.

The English and French clubs want to see Pro12 clubs qualify for the Heineken Cup, rather than have their place in the tournament guaranteed, as is currently the case.

They also want the monies divided evenly among the leagues.

However, there will be no change to the current format until at least 2014-15.

Meanwhile, Chris Robshaw has been confirmed as England captain for the autumn internationals against Fiji, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

But Robshaw will be leading a squad beset by injuries, with Dylan Hartley in danger of missing the entire series after damaging his knee playing for Northampton at the weekend. Courtney Lawes will definitely miss the Fiji clash, while Jonathan Joseph remains a significant doubt.

"Courtney Lawes has got an injury that will probably be one or two weeks and Dylan will be a couple of weeks after that," coach Stuart Lancaster said.

Irish Independent

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