Rugby Europe launches Super Cup club competition for emerging nations

·2-min read
Black Lion from Georgia who lost to South Africa last Friday will feature in the Rugby Europe Super Cup

The governing body for European rugby announced on Wednesday a new competition for domestic sides from emerging nations starting in September.

The Rugby Europe Super Cup organised by Rugby Europe will include eight teams split into two geographical groups.

Rugby Europe said they had held talks with European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), who organise the Champions Cup and the second-tier Challenge Cup, which include clubs from the countries that play in the Six Nations, about the planned competition.

"We have kept EPCR up to speed and informed about this initiative and I think they are fully supportive but I will let them comment," Rugby Europe CEO Florent Marty said.

"We will envision that there is a pathway between the EPCR competition and the Rugby Europe Super Cup with the best team from the Super Cup potentially joining the Challenge Cup. This is something we are discussing with EPCR," he added.

The four teams in the eastern conference are Georgia's Black Lion, Israel's Tel-Aviv Heat as well as Russian pair Enisey-STM and Lokomotiv Penza.

The western conference is made up of the Brussels Devils, Dutch club Delta, Portugal's Lusitanos and Castilla y Leon Iberians from Spain.

There is no club from Romania, whose national side have played in eight of the nine editions of the Rugby World Cup and suffered a close loss to Argentina last weekend.

"Romania will be part of the competition in future cycles," Marty said.

"They were just not ready because there were a certain number of requirements that need to be met. We can say confidently we will see Romanian teams in the competition in the future," he added.

Romanian Rugby Federation (RRF) president Alin Petrache said the Bucharest Wolves were unable to take part due to a lack of funding.

"The federation's budget was reduced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports by more than 50 per cent compared to 2019 and we could not benefit from a financial guarantee to help us evolve in this competition," Petrache said.

"We tried to find private resources to support the participation, but, unfortunately, they were not enough," he added.

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