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Hopes raised Heineken Cup can be saved

THE long-running conflict over the Heineken Cup and European rugby may be heading towards resolution following a "positive and constructive" meeting in Paris.

Representatives from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy rugby unions met in the French capital on Wednesday in a bid to find a solution to the top-level European Rugby competition.

The clubs are arguing over the format and governance of a competition that could potentially replace the Heineken Cup.

The brief post-meeting statement, issued by the Six Nations committee which chaired the Paris summit appeared to offer a chink of light.

The Six Nations committee chaired this latest summit, as it seeks to form a competition that could potentially replace the Heineken Cup, run by European Rugby Cup (ERC).


The Welsh Rugby Union described the meeting as "positive and constructive" in a statement.

The statement read: "The meeting was constructive and progress made, with all parties working towards a European competition. The WRU continues to remain confident that the progress now achieved will lead to a positive outcome for all stakeholders.

"The cautious optimism is based on a detailed structure of actions to be pursued immediately."

Chief executive Roger Lewis led the WRU delegation in Paris, with chairman David Pickering and finance director Steve Phillips also attending.

ERC continue to hold board meetings.

At the latest, they refused to release overdue tournament appearance payments to the clubs, fearing liabilities should they be wound up at the end of the season.