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French clubs to quit Heineken Cup

Heineken Cup
by BBC Sport (U3702819) 17 January 2007
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The Heineken Cup has been plunged into crisis after French clubs said they would boycott next year's competition.

The 14 leading clubs in France are concerned at the impact of the European competition on their domestic schedule due to the 2007 World Cup.

The French teams are also concerned about the ongoing row between the Rugby Football Union and English clubs.

"French clubs will not be participating in next season's tournament," said a League Nationale de Rugby statement.

Full story here: news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rug...

What are your views on this? What needs to be done to resolve this?

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comment by Fat10 (U6603165)

posted Jan 17, 2007

The Politicians and administators are going to end up disappearing up their own backsides and end up ruining a great sport.
Until Northern Hemisphere Rugby can all decide what they want to do and all start pulling in the same direction we are in danger of ruining a great opportunity to move Rugby Union into the 21st Century .
Whilst you ponder on that there are bigger issues to discuss like "who would be the best Darts XV " (PDC & BDA combined)
Leighton Rees and Jocky Wilson either side of Phil Taylor at Hooker......Cliff Lazarenko and Dave Whitcomb locking the scrum....John Lowe playing the 'slow the game down' role at No 8....Wolfie Adams on the blind side with gutsy Peter Nixon's never say die attitude on the open side.

Young Keith Dellar at 9, The Crafty Cockney, Eric Bristow at 10, Bobby George playing the Henson (same tan) role at inside centre with Bob Anderson, a wiry and awkward customer at o/s centre. Lightening action Ceri Morgan on one wing complimented by Lomuesque Andy Fordham on the other. Steady at the back Raymond Van Barneveld.

Slow day at the office !

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posted Jan 17, 2007

"johnnyboy and aerotriptripper you both need to realise that English rugby and the GP in particular is far from being in rude health. ..."

Rubbish. The punters come through the turnstyles, the clubs turn huge profits, and more people are taking up the sport than ever before. As for "not in rude health" one HC a summer does not make. You win one cup and suddenly the world is supposed to follow you? French and English Clubs have dominated the competition for a decade. O'Gara and Healy are entitled to their opinion but O'Gara's anti-English rants are well known and his nationality precludes him having anything positive to say about anything accross the water.

"Why do they deserve it? Other than their own pumped up opinions of themselves!"

Because French and English clubs can survive without the HC. Celtic Clubs can't. Simple as that. Also because of the blatant Anglophobia you display. Why would I want to fly to Dublin/Swansea/Edinburgh to be insulted by the English hating Irish/Welsh/Scottish supporters all day when I can watch decent rugby at the Rec or the Stoop in good humour and with friendly supporters? We don't need the HC.

I simply don't see why the HC is vital for European Rugby. Vital for Irish rugby maybe. Not the Northern Hemisphere as a whole. I agree with the French decision and consider the whole thing should be ditched.

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posted Jan 17, 2007

Brenner, I watch every game of rugby which is televised in England and France, and quite a few of the Magners games which I can catch on BBC2 Wales and S4C. I know my rugby. Your contention that English rugby and the GP in particular is far from being in rude health is not right. I think you mean that neither the England team nor the English clubs are currently winning against their northern hemisphere neighbours. In that, you are correct.

But that doesn't mean that the club game isn't healthy. It is. The first half of the GP season saw something like 3+ tries per side average in each game, mostly through the backs or back rows, so you can't say that the GP's not 'exciting'. The people who watch it think it is, according to the November poll, and the full grounds prove that point. The number of young players coming through this year and the sacking of the old coaching regime at national level has made it seem like spring time again. Another two years, and we'll be bouncing right back. These are great days, we've had the dark night and it's dawn now.

Like I said, I'm a bit sick of Irish supporters telling me as an English club supporter that my game is in a shambles and that they know what is important. I fully respect Ireland's current level of success - although only Munster have won anything. The Ireland national side haven't. But 2 things: 1. it's hard to criticise the depth and quality of our club game when you don't have one, and 2. it's the LNR, the French clubs, who are boycotting the Heineken. You should go on equipe.fr and complain about them, not about the English clubs on bbc.co.uk, eh?

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comment by jrparky (U4334643)

posted Jan 17, 2007

ATT - Because French and English clubs can survive without the HC. Celtic Clubs can't. Simple as that. Also because of the blatant Anglophobia you display. Why would I want to fly to Dublin/Swansea/Edinburgh to be insulted by the English hating Irish/Welsh/Scottish supporters all day when I can watch decent rugby at the Rec or the Stoop in good humour and with friendly supporters? We don't need the HC.

I simply don't see why the HC is vital for European Rugby. Vital for Irish rugby maybe. Not the Northern Hemisphere as a whole. I agree with the French decision and consider the whole thing should be ditched.

====

The HC is good for the NH game as it provides the players with a level between club rugby and internationals.
From this the National squads become better and the 6N returns to being the show piece event it should be.
This is borne out by the recent improvement of the Irish, Welsh and Scots.
However performance and acheivement are cyclical. The Welsh were great in the 70s, the English in the 90s and early 2000s. The Irish are having their time now, it may be the Scots in the near future. But anyway, the fact is each nation should set up their own selection procedures so that they alone can produce quality performances at International level. This is definitely what NZ have done, it is something we must do, and I believe the HC should be part of this.

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posted Jan 17, 2007

Of all the competitions to boycott this is the most disappointing as it's probably the only one that needs little or no tinkering with and it is pretty good in all respects.

As sad as it is for the most enjoyable competiton in rugby, I'm glad it's happened. The amount of games played is absurd, the competitons lose credibility with so many players injured or playing internationals at the same time, and there is a point on March where Leicester & Sale players play 4 DIFFERENT COMPETITONS in successive weekends, and potentially could be on the same pitch in all four (3 against each other / 1 alongside them)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A18467788

Lest hope this can trigger the much needed complete overhaul of the rugby calendar, certainly the English one - maybe the world over.

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posted Jan 17, 2007

So will the only difference between the competitive end of next seasons Heineken Cup & EDF Cup will be Leinster & Munster?

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posted Jan 17, 2007

It is a sad day for rugby that the french clubs have opted for this option. I feel we all need this competition to improve as rugby playing nations. I feel people have taken some mickey taking as anglophobe attitudes. It is just some harmless some and shouldnt be taken to seriously.

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posted Jan 17, 2007

Good to see the so called big two E&F trying to rule the roost again,when the millonaire backers get fed up backing the Clubs who will you run to again,the Celtic sides,sorry to say the arrogance sickens me,and is detrimental to the greatest game out.

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posted Jan 18, 2007

grandslam90, that has absolutely no relevance to what is currently going on. I don't think the English or French clubs or unions have ever run to the Celtic sides for anything. What are you actually talking about? It has nothing to do with the Celtic sides.

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posted Jan 22, 2007

Given that it will be a World Cup year, surely it makes sense to have a truncated Heineken Cup. Dispense with the pool rounds and go straight to a knock-out format. Nothing worse than watching clubs fielding below par strength teams due to length injury lists and national commitments.

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