Rugby edges closer to ‘Champions League’
23 Jan 2012
An agreement to stage a best of the best tournament between the northern and southern hemisphere could be reached as early as this year.
The idea has been in the pipeline for years. What if the Super Rugby champions could battle the European Cup champions in a series of games to determine who is the undisputed club leaders in world rugby?
The good news is that top officials are considering the idea and working hard to find space for it in the international calendar. English rugby chief Mark McCafferty said that there’s plenty of interest from the clubs, sponsors and broadcasters for such a series, although it seems like a change in calendar won’t be possible until after the 2015 World Cup.
‘The thought of seeing the Bulls against Toulouse or Saracens take on Queensland Reds would be great,’ McCafferty said. ‘There are a lot of great sides in both hemispheres. It would only take one or two weeks but finding that one or two weeks is the problem.
‘We are talking all the time [to southern hemisphere officials] about improving the competition structures and growing interest in the game. And this is one of the ideas.’
A decision to stage such a tournament may be reached this year, and from there the officials will determine the format of the matches. One would imagine that the fairest format would see the teams playing home and away, although perhaps a third fixture would need to be added to ensure the series doesn’t end 1-1 and thus without an undisputed world club champion.