French rugby boss proposes annual Club World Cup

Bernard Laporte (Getty)
Bernard Laporte (Getty)

French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Laporte has reportedly developed plans for a six-week global club competition to be held annually.

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Laporte, who is aiming to become vice-chairperson of World Rugby next month, told French rugby publication Midi Olympique that the new tournament should feature 20 teams.

He proposed that six teams would qualify from Super Rugby, four each from the English Premiership, French Top 14 and PRO14, plus the league champions from Japan and the United States.

The format would replicate the structure of the World Cup, with 20 teams split into four pools of five, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.

Laporte said space would be made in the European rugby calendar by scrapping the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions.

"If we want to develop this Club World Cup, we have to find dates. Without the Champions Cup, nine weekends are available.

"This is only a proposal, but I am sure of one thing: we must create this competition and very quickly. It could be a breath of fresh air for the whole of world rugby."

Laporte, 56, coached the French national team between 1999 and 2007 and is also the former French Secretary of State for Sport.

He also coached French clubs Bordeaux-Begles (1993-1996), Stade Francais (1996-1999) and Toulon (2011-2016).

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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