Club breakaway confirmed

France and England’s top clubs have announced their new competition will be called the Rugby Champions Cup.

This will replace the Heineken Cup.

The IRB are still to respond to this weekend’s official confirmation that neither of the two countries will reconsider staying with the Heineken Cup in its current format.

A statement read: ‘It is now confirmed that the competition will be named the Rugby Champions Cup. The competition will be based on the principles of qualification on merit, a strong competition format, equality between the leagues, higher commercial values for the teams and expansion into new European markets.

‘The Top 14 and Premiership Rugby clubs have already confirmed their participation in the new competition and a joint working group has been created to prepare all necessary elements in good time for the 2014-15 season.’

South Africa’s six Super Rugby franchises may also join the new competition post the completion of the existing Super Rugby agreement in 2015.