Fresh from their central role in securing a new deal for the future of European club rugby, Aviva Premiership bosses are understood to be working on plans for a World Club Cup.
The Independent reported that, having worked with the Rugby Football Union on the new European competition, English clubs will next test the resolve of the IRB with plans to create a global tournament in June 2018. That would clash with one of the IRB’s windows for international rugby.
The Champions Cup will be run by a new governing body, European Professional Club Rugby, an organisation which sees power shift considerably away from national unions towards professional clubs.
Buoyed by their newfound influence on rugby administration, organisers have already discussed plans for a month-long World Club Cup with broadcasters in England and South Africa. The tournament would see the eight quarter-finalists from the Champions Cup up against eight southern hemisphere Super Rugby teams.
The IRB, whose own World Cup for national teams provides the bulk of its income, is likely to view a rival club tournament with concern.
Bath chairman Bruce Craig, who was instrumental in securing the new Champions Cup, admitted a World Club Cup could be delayed until 2022, with international teams’ summer tours already agreed up to 2019, and British & Irish Lions tours scheduled for 2017 and 2021.
Original story on ESPN.