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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 19:58 GMT
Cup chief sees way to end crisis
Jean-Pierre Lux
Lux says the RFU is key to solving the row
European Rugby Cup chairman Jean-Pierre Lux says a planned boycott of next year's Heineken Cup can be avoided.

French sides have threatened to quit in a row over fixture congestion, and they want national unions to give clubs more say in the running of the tournament.

"We cannot begin domestic competition until after the World Cup but it is possible to find a solution," said Lux.

"Maybe we play through the Six Nations and when France tour Australia they omit players still in the competition."

Lux is also the representative of the French clubs' representative group, Ligue Nationale de Rugby, on ERC.

The Ligue's president Serge Blanco is particularly unhappy at how the Rugby Football Union has dealt with the English clubs, and there is the worry that English clubs may follow the French sides' lead.

"The English and French clubs want to have power in the tournament," said Lux.

"When French union Bernard Lapasset agreed with Serge to give him 48% of the shareholding, Serge was happy with that. But he was waiting for the same in England.

"He cannot change his position. But what can change is the situation in England between the clubs and the union."

ERC shareholders are due to meet on 7 February, and chief executive Derek McGrath said he wanted all interested parties to attend so they could at least try to avoid a boycott.

"We must have people round the table in order to reach a decision," he said.

"We are hopeful the LNR will be at the next meeting so that we can therefore continue our discussions."



SEE ALSO
O'Driscoll pleads for cup rethink
17 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
French clubs to quit Heineken Cup
17 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup safe - French chief
11 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup future under threat
12 Dec 06 |  Rugby Union
The way forward for England
07 Dec 06 |  English
Heineken Cup 2006/7
22 Oct 06 |  Rugby Union


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