Heineken Cup bosses claimed on Wednesday that the competition can still be saved despite a move by English and French clubs to set up a breakaway tournament.

The European Rugby Cup (ERC) asserted that all parties (including Top 14 and Premiership clubs) had reaffirmed commitment to ERC negotiations.

The statement comes following a meeting of ERC directors in Dublin at which Premiership Rugby and their French counterparts - Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) - were represented.

French and English clubs served their two-years notice last year of their intention to quit the Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cups due to grievances over qualification and revenue.

They then revealed on Tuesday that they planned to make good on their promise after their proposals for changes to the current format had been rejected. 

An ERC statement following Wednesday's meeting said: "Despite recent reports, all parties involved in the formulation of a new ERC Accord have reaffirmed their commitment to the process.

"A meeting focused solely on the negotiations will be convened by ERC as soon as practicable and the current points of difference, including the share of central revenues, qualification and season dates, would all be on the table.

"The board reiterated that European club competitions must be organised by ERC, and that any purported cross-border club tournaments needed the approval both of the IRB (International Rugby Board), and of the relevant unions who are shareholders of ERC.

"It was agreed that the negotiations towards a definitive solution needed to begin again in earnest."

The proposed changes to the Heineken Cup made by the French and English clubs were to reduce it to 20 teams and an equal three-way split in revenue between the Premiership, the French Top 14 and the RaboDirect Pro 12.

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Topics:
#Top 14
#Heineken Cup
#Rugby Union
#Aviva Premiership