The future of European rugby
Fresh talks over Heineken Cup future
ESPN Staff
December 20, 2013

Rugby Football Union CEO Ian Ritchie will attend fresh talks regarding the future of European rugby on Friday as the six unions meet to continue discussions over next season's Heineken Cup.

The five other unions agreed to play in a union-run tournament next year when they held talks back in November. The RFU was snubbed from these, a call that frustrated Ritchie, according to the Telegraph.

Ritchie has previously said he fears the lack of a pan-European tournament next season could prove to be detrimental for the Six Nations.

At present, Premiership Rugby are refusing to enter any competition next season run by European Rugby Cup Ltd - the body in charge of the Heineken Cup - and the talks today will see Ritchie reportedly propose a tournament organised by the Six Nations Board, a plan originally opposed by the French Rugby Federation but received some encouragement from the other unions.

The meeting will be presided over by independent mediator Graham Mew, according to the newspaper, and alongside governance, broadcasting rights will be under the spotlight.

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