World club championship on the table as rugby eyes fresh start

Bernard Laporte coached Toulon to Champions Cup success in Europe but that competition would have to go under his new plans for a global club championship. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

French rugby boss Bernard Laporte is working on a world club championship he believes would be a “breath of fresh air for the game”.

Laporte, who is president of the French Rugby Federation and is eyeing the vice-chairman role at World Rugby’s elections next month, told Midi Olympique the tournament could feature 20 teams playing in World Cup format with four pools of five, moving into quarter-finals, semifinals and a final.

His proposal would see six teams from Super Rugby, four each from the English Premiership, French Top 14 and PRO14, plus the league champions from Japan and the United States involved.

But there would have to be major concessions from the powerful European unions and that could be a stumbling block.

They would have to go for the greater cause of a world tournament.

“If we want to develop this Club World Cup, we have to find dates. Without the Champions Cup, nine weekends are available,” Laporte, 56, a former French national coach who has also coached three top French clubs, told Midi Olympique.

“This is only a proposal, but I am sure of one thing … we must create this competition and very quickly. It could be a breath of fresh air for the whole of world rugby.”

 

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