European champions versus Super Rugby winners under discussion

  • Talks are ongoing to stage a World Club Challenge-style game between the winners of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the Super Rugby champions
  • The move would be ground-breaking for rugby union as never before have the winners of planet’s two premier club competitions faced each other
  • European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is in discussions with SANZAR, which organises the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition
European Champions Cup chiefs have confirmed they are in talks with Super Rugby bosses about a possible fixture between the winners of each competition.

For years, rugby fans in the northern and southern hemispheres have clamoured for a match between the European Cup champions and the Super Rugby winners.

If the game was staged this season, it would see three-time European winners Toulon, of France, taking on reigning Super Rugby champions the Highlanders, of New Zealand.

EPCR said in a statement: “EPCR can confirm that it is actively formulating a strategy on how best to organise and market a match in the future between the winners of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the winners of the Super Rugby competition,

“As EPCR continues to develop the concept, it has to not least ensure that any such match would be incorporated into the global season at the appropriate time, and that it would also involve full-strength squads from both competing clubs to reflect the elite nature of the Champions Cup and Super Rugby tournaments.

“To that end, EPCR is in discussions with SANZAR, which runs the Super Rugby competition, with a view to working on a joint proposal regarding the match.

“With planning at an early stage, EPCR will be making no further comment until it is in a position to do so at a future date.”

This season’s Champions Cup competition reaches its quarter-final stage next month, with five English clubs – Saracens, Northampton, Wasps, Exeter and Leicester – in contention for silverware, along with French trio Toulon, Racing 92 and Stade Francais.

The Super Rugby tournament, meanwhile, is ongoing in the southern hemisphere, featuring top teams from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, plus newly-formed Argentina representatives, the Buenos Aires-based Jaguares.

The main issue surrounding the proposed game is where to place it in the congested international calendar so that both teams involved would be at full-strength.

EPCR is in discussions with SANZAR, which organises the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition, with a view to drawing up a joint proposal regarding the match.

 

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