POSSIBLE HEINEKEN CUP BREAKTHROUGH

In a major breakthrough for the future of the Heineken Cup, French club Toulon have announced that they will boycott any proposed French/English club competition and will remain in the Heineken Cup. Toulon are the reigning Heineken champions.
 
This is a major coup for the Heineken and a significant blow to the English and French clubs. Toulon hold a lot of weight and their stance may encourage other French clubs to back down and return to the negotiation table.
 
To be honest, most of the anti-Heineken talk was coming from the English clubs while the French clubs were remaining silent about it. I get the impression that the French clubs are less keen on a split from the Heineken than their English counterparts.   
 
Toulon’s stance stems from the fact that the governing body of club rugby in France is trying to implement a cap on overseas players and limit the number of foreign players in a team, which would seriously affect Toulon as they have a high number of overseas players.
 
I personally think that it’s a good idea to limit the number of overseas players in most countries as it affects the growth of the domestic players. France, with its large playing population has less to worry about then other countries.
 
How Toulon’s boycott affects their position in the Top 14 remains to be seen but their move should hopefully see an easing of the stand-off between the ERC and the English/French clubs and the first steps to retaining the Heineken Cup tournament.   
 

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