EPCR have confirmed that talks have already taken place regarding the creation of a new global club tournament.

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The idea of a new global club tournament has frequently been mooted recently, with French Rugby President Bernard Laporte, who is hoping to be elected World Rugby vice-chairman next month, telling Midi Olympique that he is keen to introduce a Club World Cup.

Earlier on Monday, Laporte suggested that the Club World Cup would be a 20-team competition which includes teams from the English Premiership, French Top14, Pro14 and Super Rugby, along with the league winners from the United States and Japan, with the tournament taking place every year, bar World Cup years.

Laporte said the Club World Cup would replace the Champions Cup, stating that “it doesn’t generate enough income.”

Yet EPCR have responded to those comments, outlining that while discussions have taken place between EPCR and shareholders, they envisage that any global club tournament would complement the current European competitions.

They also confirmed that their discussions have centered around a global tournament which would take place once every four years, rather than the annual tournament suggested by Laporte.

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“EPCR has noted today’s media reports regarding a proposal for an annual Club World Cup,” an EPCR statement read.

“Discussions have already taken place on an official level between EPCR and its shareholders regarding a global club tournament which could complement the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup and which could take place once every four years. Work on possible formats is ongoing with a collaborative approach and issues of player welfare to the fore.

“EPCR does not believe it appropriate to highlight such discussions while the public health crisis due to COVID-19 continues, and currently, the organisation’s focus is on attempting to reschedule the knockout stages of the 2019/20 tournaments subject to government and local authority directives.”

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