Premier European Rugby Tournament

This is an idea I had recently following on from an uninspiring debut season of the Champions Cup, with the exception of the Toulon and Leinster match, which was pretty incredible.

The proposal is for a new European rugby club tournament, incorporating the top 3 leagues of the northern hemisphere divided into 3 divisions, it will offer competitive matches on a weekly basis. The season will be constructed in such a way as to provide players with regular breaks in the form of weeks off from action and significant time set apart for the international periods in November and the Six Nations tournament. Players would therefore have 22 regular season matches, plus 4 potential autumn internationals and 5 Six Nations matches, a total of 31 matches in a season, not including playoffs, which will hopefully reduce injuries for players with regularly imposed recovery time.

Initially the 3 divisions will be constructed based on equally dividing up the top 12 finishers in the French Top 14, all 12 teams in the English Premiership and the 12 teams of the Pro 12 who represent Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy. The top four teams in each division will be placed into division 1, the second four into division 2 and the third four into division 3, as demonstrated below. Promotion and relegation will also occur between divisions and it is also proposed that the worst placed French and English clubs will compete in a 2 leg playoff match against the top ranked team from the French Pro D2 and the English Championship. This does not therefore seclude the competition from other teams, giving them the aspirational goal to break into the competition. There is also the potential to have the top 4 teams of division 1 competing in a semi-final and grand-final to declare the ultimate champion, although I firmly believe that the top placed finisher in the league structure deserves a trophy to acknowledge that fact also.

Live matches will be offered to all broadcasters with highlights packages from all 3 divisions also available for every matchday.

Division 1

  1. Toulon
  2. Clermont Av
  3. Toulouse
  4. Stade Francais
  5. Northampton
  6. Bath
  7. Leicester
  8. Exeter
  9. Ospreys
  10. Glasgow
  11. Munster
  12. Ulster

Division 2

  1. Oyonnax
  2. Racing Metro
  3. Montpellier
  4. Bordeaux Begles
  5. Saracens
  6. Wasps
  7. Sale
  8. Harlequins
  9. Leinster
  10. Scarlets
  11. Connacht
  12. Edinburgh

Division 3

  1. La Rochelle
  2. Brive
  3. Grenoble
  4. Castres
  5. Gloucester
  6. London Irish
  7. Newcastle
  8. London Welsh
  9. Dragons
  10. Cardiff Blues
  11. Benneton Treviso
  12. Zebre

Schedule example for  2016-2017 season

Matchday 1 – Weekend of 27th August

Matchday 2 – 3rd Sept

Matchday 3 – 10th Sept

Matchday 4 – 17th Sept

Matchday 5 – 24th Sept

Matchday 6 – 1st Oct

Matchday 7 – 8th Oct

BREAK – 15th Oct

Matchday 8 – 22nd Oct

Matchday 9 – 29th Oct

AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS

5th November

12th November

19th November

26th November

Matchday 10 – 3rd Dec

BREAK – 10th Dec

Matchday 11 – 17th Dec

Matchday 12 – 24th Dec

Matchday 13 – 31st Dec

Matchday 14 – 7th January 2017

Matchday 15 – 14th Jan

Matchday 16 – 21st Jan

BREAK – 28th Jan

SIX NATIONS 2017

4th February

11th February

6 NATIONS BREAK – 18th February

25th February

6 NATIONS BREAK – 4th March

11th March

18th March

Matchday 17 – 25th Mar

Matchday 18 – 1st Apr

Matchday 19 – 8th Apr

Matchday 20 – 15th Apr

Matchday 21 – 21st Apr

Matchday 22 – 29th Apr

Division 1 Semi Final and Playoff 1st Leg – 6th May

Division 1 Final and Playoff 2nd Leg – 13th May

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