European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have released a statement confirming its plans to stage this season’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals in October.
The Champions Cup had to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, in a statement issued today, EPCR says 'every effort' will be made to get this season’s matches played.
EPCR also revealed plans to potentially expand the competition to 24 teams next season as a result of the disruption to domestic competitions.
“As part of its future planning, and with the extraordinary circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the forefront, EPCR can confirm that a number of tournament formats are being considered for the 2020/21 season,” the EPCR statement read.
“Ongoing discussions with EPCR’s league and union shareholders regarding new formats have included the possibility of a 24-club Heineken Champions Cup with eight representatives from each of Europe’s leading league competitions, played over eight weekends. If adopted, any new format would apply to next season’s tournament only on an exceptional basis.
“In the meantime, EPCR remains committed to making every effort to conclude the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season subject to official advice and with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community in mind. It is hoped that the 2020 finals could be staged on 16 and 17 October.”