SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos has remained coy on plans about a proposed Club World Cup which could involve Super Rugby clubs.
French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte suggested the concept – which would see the best clubs from six professional leagues around the globe face off over a six-week period – during an interview with Midi Olympique on Monday.
“World Rugby must create a World Cup for professional clubs that would take place every year, outside the traditional Rugby World Cup windows,” he said.
“We can take as a basis for our work what currently exists at World Cup level: 20 teams divided into four pools of five and a final phase with quarter-final, semi-final and final matches.
“The whole thing would have to be condensed into six weeks.”
Laporte proposed that the competition could be created at the expense of Europe’s two continental tournament, the Challenge Cup and the Challenge Cup.
In its place could come a global competition featuring the top six teams from Super Rugby, four from the Top 14, the Premiership and the PRO14 as well as the champions from the Top League in Japan and Major League Rugby in the United States.
The former France, Toulon, Stade Francais and Bordeaux head coach’s proposal has been met with some resistance, though.
European Professional Club Rugby, the governing body of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, issued a statement in the wake of Midi Olympique‘s report, stating it believes its competitions could complement a Club World Cup rather than deter from it.
Marinos issued a similar verdict in a statement released on Tuesday, saying that rugby’s priority at this point in time remains on getting back on the field.
“From time to time, [the idea] is raised. It is not appropriate to comment on such conjecture at this time,” Marinos said.
“At present, World Rugby and SANZAAR and its stakeholder nations are concentrating on getting rugby to a position where we can start playing competitive rugby once government restrictions in the respective territories allow this to happen and that is the first priority.”
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