European rugby talks end with no solution to impasse

Talks over the future direction of European rugby have broken up with no solution to the impasse.

The meeting in Rome ended after six hours with rugby executives agreeing to continue negotiations in Dublin on 30 October.

The existing European Rugby Cup deal expires in 2013.

English Premiership and French clubs want changes to the Heineken Cup format from 2014 and have threatened to quit the competition.

The row was further complicated when Premiership Rugby and European Rugby Cup Ltd struck separate television deals for the rights to show their games.

Speaking after Monday's meeting, Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie told BBC Sport: "I think it's not going to be resolved in one meeting. It's got to be seen as a priority but it's not going to be sorted this week or next."

In a statement the European Rugby Cup, the body which runs European club rugby tournaments, said: "The meeting featured six hours of comprehensive discussion on a broad range of issues raised by stakeholders including the structure and format of the European club rugby tournaments.

"All parties reaffirmed their desire to see European club rugby's tournaments continue to grow and develop further and to involve all of the current participant stakeholders."