Club Rugby World Cup set for the go ahead in 2021

European Professional Club Rugby chief executive Vincent Gaillard gave a positive outlook for the proposed tournament. 

The tournament would be played every four years would allow the game’s hierarchy to time it to avoid clashes with the Rugby World Cup, the sport’s premier event.

The tournament would feature the eight quarterfinalists from Europe’s Champions Cup taking on the eight best teams from the southern hemisphere.

“We have some basic principles, that it is played every four years to keep a rare and exclusive format. More than that, it devalues the product,” Gaillard told the AFP news agency of the Club World Cup

“We’ll probably play in the same period, probably a bit tighter, on consecutive weekends. But it’s still early.

“We’re advancing. There’s a unanimous agreement among our board that it’s the EPCR that carries it.”


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England’s best uncapped XV Eddie Jones should be watching

Fullback: Josh Hodge (Exeter Chiefs) – The 20-year-old started for Exeter for the first time since his move from Newcastle in June against Bristol last week. It’s fair to say he made quite the impression.

Winger: Ollie Thorley (Gloucester) – He made his debut for the Cherry & Whites in 2013 as a 17-year-old, partnering World Cup winner Mike Tindall in the centre of an LV= Cup match, and has since gone on to prove himself as one of the brightest talents at Kingsholm. A World Rugby U20 Championship winner in 2016, Thorley has pace, power and an eye for the try line.

Centre: Cameron Redpath (Bath RFC) – The son of 60-cap Scotland legend Bryan Redpath, centre Cameron was born in Narbonne, France. He was selected in England’s 34-man squad for their 2018 tour of South Africa but was unable to travel with the squad because of injury. The 20-year-old, who recently departed Sale Sharks for Bath Rugby, has also represented England U20, scoring three tries in nine appearances.

Centre: Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors) – The 20-year-old continues a low-slung surge towards Test recognition. His slicing angles are troubling Premiership midfields, a kicking game is developing and he even dotted down at the tail of a driving maul in the comprehensive win over Harlequins.

Winger: Ratu Naulago (Bristol Bears) – The speedster took Super League by storm with Hull RFC, scoring 17 tries in 26 games, before signing with Bristol Bears for the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season. It will be a switch back to union for Naulago, who previously won the Premiership 7s title with Saracens. If he can hit the ground running, he’d be right in the frame for a call-up from Eddie Jones.


Fly-half: Jacob Umaga (Wasps) – The youngster was invited to train with England for the Six Nations, appeared to have stepped ahead of other budding deputies to Owen Farrell and George Ford.

Scrum-half: Harry Randall (Bristol Bears) – He was named-checked a while ago by Jones. A diminutive, crisp distributor, Randall really could suit a renewed focus on quick ball at the breakdown. 

Prop: Richard Barrington (Saracen) – Originally signing to play for Sarries to play in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. he’s become a cult figure since joining from Jersey in 2013. He has developed into a fine scrummager and dependable asset. 

Hooker: Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby) – An unused replacement in this year’s wet and wild Calcutta Cup encounter, has come closest to a cap. The way he has restarted the Premiership campaign, spearheading Bath’s polished set-piece work, indicates that he fancies one.

Prop: Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors) – The destructive Worcester scrummager  has been on the cusp of Test honours for the last two years, having been called up for the 2017 tour of Argentina, only to be denied by injury, before being called up for England’s pre-World Cup training camp.


Lock: Joel Kpoku (Saracens) – The 6ft 4in 21-year-old was a rugby league player in his youth but switched to the 15-man code at under-17 level and has made swift strides since signing for the Saracens academy. He has joined an impressive production line that has developed George Kruis, Maro Itoje and Nick Isiekwe into senior England players, and looks set to become a key player for Sarries moving forward.

Lock: Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs) – The towering second-row has been thriving of late with Exeter Chiefs, proving himself to be an efficient lineout operator and warrior at the breakdown. Would not let anybody down.

Flanker: Ben Curry (Sale sharks) – Twin brother of Tom, he was called up to the senior England squad by Eddie Jones for their 2017 summer tour of Argentina, but did not make an appearance on the tour. The former England U20 captain never lets Sale down and certainly wouldn’t let his country down if given the call.

Flanker: Jack Willis (Wasps) – Jones was close to giving the flanker his debut in South Africa two years ago until a serious injury intervened, but his latest impressive performance has led to further speculation that he might play a role in England’s autumn campaign.

Number 8: Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins) – He is the natural successor to Billy Vunipola, or someone who can play alongside him. I would hope he has three years now before a World Cup to get into the team. There are not many better in the game at the moment at doing what he does. A future international star for sure.

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