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England and France open to Heineken Cup return

The ERC (European Rugby Cup)’s Heineken Cup may still include all six countries, as French and English rugby union top tiers have revealed they are open to negotiations.

English Premiership Rugby and the French National Rugby League (LNR) have already announced their plans for the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup, with 30 out of the 38 ERC clubs agreeing to join the new competition for its 2014/15 inaugural season.

Yesterday afternoon, however, LNR club president met at Orly Airport near Paris and agreed to commit to a new ERC-run format announced by the unions last week. LNR president Paul Goze assured Premiership Rugby that remaining with the ERC would be conditional to English clubs also participating.

Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty told the Press Association following the French announcement: “If somebody can outline what that transition would entail, how the issues would be overcome and exactly what the new structure in 2015/16 would be, then we could look at it.

“If we can see there is a new structure to replace ERC and we have the detail of that, then something might be feasible. At the moment it's all very general and difficult to comment on.”