Heineken cup gets shot in arm from French
IN what will be seen as a huge boost to the Heineken Cup's survival, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) has pledged its continuing support to the existing competition.
In a potentially fatal blow to the plans of the Top 14 and English Premiership clubs' plans to form a breakaway European tournament, the governing body in France has backed the ERC and issued a stinging rebuke to its own clubs.
Until now both the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the FFR have maintained a silence over the row. Approval for any new competition would need to be supported by the Rugby Football Union, the FFR and International Rugby Board.
The FFR statement indicated approval for the proposed "Rugby Champions Cup" would not be forthcoming from it.
"No international competition involving French clubs can be organised outside the framework of the FFR without its prior agreement. The FFR will remain a major player in the European cups organised by ERC and backs proposals to permit the continuity and development of these."