The Premier European Club Rugby Competitions

With the advent of expert rugby in 1995, the sport changed all over the world. In the Southern Hemisphere, SANZAR changed into shaped and the Super 14 and Tri-Nations competitions had been started.

In Europe, the ERC (European Rugby Cup) become installation. This changed into based totally in Dublin and it runs 2 expert competitions, the Heineken Cup and the European Challenge Cup. They run those in collaboration with the choicest competitions in every country in order that there isn’t a clash between games from the diverse competitions.

The ERC has an ambition: ‘to lead membership rugby to unparalleled degrees of reputation and profileā€¦ Making a one of a kind and giant contribution to the improvement and progression of rugby union.’ Their motto is ‘ERC – Driving European Club Rugby Competition’

So it is able to be seen that the ERC became installation with lofty ideals and visions. The truth that the 2 competitions are nonetheless running (as of 2013) shows that they’re doing something right although it could be debated as to whether they’re achieving their ambition as stated. These rugby competitions continue beneath the ERC even as there are rumblings and discontent inside member countries approximately the format and who qualifies for each competition, normally for reasons to do with self-interest via the nations involved.

What are these two competitions that the ERC run in European rugby?

The Heineken Cup is the top-quality club rugby opposition in Europe. It is played for by using groups from the 6 IRB nations that contest the 6 Nations Championship: England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy. Each usa might also use a different manner of determining which groups play within the Heineken Cup however there are 24 teams in total. The wide variety from each us of a may vary relying on results in diverse other competitions. They presently play in 6 swimming pools of 4 teams. The pool winners and the next satisfactory 2 runners-up qualify for the play-offs.

The format has modified over the years, each with the variety of teams and variety of swimming pools. For example, in the 1st yr there were handiest 12 teams.

There is communicate of further changes after the 2013/14 season.

The different opposition is the European Challenge Cup. It has been known, for sponsorship reasons, as the Parker pen Shield, the Parker Pen Challenge Cup and is currently (2013) called the Amlin Cup. It is the 2nd tier rugby opposition in Europe and teams that don’t qualify for the Heineken Cup play in it. There are additionally teams from Romania, Spain and Portugal participating.

Over the years it also has had various formats and numbers of teams. Currently (2013) it has 20 teams gambling in five swimming pools of four groups. The pool winners and the next first-rate 3 runners-up qualify for the play-offs, where they’re joined by means of three teams ‘parachuting’ in from the Heineken Cup opposition. These are the next first-rate three teams that did no longer qualify for the Heineken Cup play-offs.

The ERC runs those 2 competitions in Europe and they may be quite complicated to run because of the quantity of groups and international locations involved. It should be said that politics inside the game have a major pertaining to the manner things are done. Having stated that it does mean that there is lots of pleasant professional membership rugby being performed in Europe.