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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 17:17 GMT
Tigers relief as RFU denies story
Leicester chairman Peter Tom
Tom is disappointed consultants have not spoken to Leicester
Leicester Tigers are relieved that the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have denied they are planning to launch a competition based on 10 franchises.

On Monday, RFU chief executive Francis Baron described a newspaper's story about 10 franchises as "ludicrous".

Under the plans, Leicester, one of the biggest clubs in the country, would not have been given a franchise.

"We welcome the news that the RFU denies this is the shape of things to come," said Tigers chairman Peter Tom.

"I am sure we were not alone in being shocked and bemused at Sunday's reports.

"It is difficult to contemplate a move forward which does not feature the traditional club rugby strongholds and their many thousands of supporters."

The RFU is currently working on a vision for the future of English rugby and has employed consultants to pull together a document for discussion.

While welcoming the chance of dialogue, Tom criticised the lack of communication between the RFU and Leicester.

"Working together is important as the professional club game moves towards the end of its current agreement and seeks a new agreement for the future," said Toms.

"While we are pleased that the RFU are planning to consult us, we are amazed that the consultants have been involved with the RFU for over six months now and still, as of yet, have made no contact with us."

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