In a richly ironic development, and an indication of the difficulties which EPCR have encountered is that they have been obliged to subcontract the running of the inaugural tournament to around 16 or 17 staff from the ERC, the very organisation which all the leading protagonists of the Anglo-French clubs’ breakaway had insisted should have no further hand in the tournament.

It will be recalled, for example, that the chairman of Premier Rugby, Quentin Smith, declared “there will no longer be a need for it” in reference to ERC, in branding the Dublin-based organisers of the Heineken Cup as “no longer fit for purpose”.


As expected, a statement from EPCR yesterday confirmed that Twickenham is the uninspiring choice of venue for the 2015 final of the European Rugby Champions Cup on Saturday May 2nd, with the Stoop to host the European Rugby Challenge Cup final the night before. While the statement also declared these games to be “the two highest profile matches in the 2014/15 European club rugby calendar”, the finals will be held on the first weekend in May, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals run off four and two weeks previously, in accordance with the agreement between all parties last April in face of French demands to give their Top 14 climax a clear run for the rest of May.


Read the full story on the Irish Times.