Euro D-day looms for Scots clubs

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Edinburgh and Glasgow Rugby could soon learn exactly what they must do to secure a place in the Heineken European Cup after next season.

The future of the tournament has been in doubt since English and French clubs served notice they intend to withdraw amid arguments over competition revenue and its format.

Following an emergency meeting of all countries represented, and held outwith the auspices of the main competition organiser last weekend, it is expected that automatic entry will be waived with six representatives each from the English, French and 
RaboDirect PRO12 League joining two qualifiers as the field drops from 24 to 20 teams. Qualifiers will emerge from play-offs involving those teams finishing just outwith the top six.

A stumbling block expected to be discussed on June 5 is the fact existing organisers signed a contract with Sky Television despite the English and French clubs being in dispute. England’s clubs have signed a £150 million deal with BT Vision 
that includes a European 
tournament.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Rugby have dropped into pool three for next season’s Heineken European Cup. Groups will be formed with one team from each pool.

Pools: 1: Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Clermont, Toulon, Toulouse; 2: Leicester, Northampton, Saracens, Perpignan, Harlequins, Cardiff; 3: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ospreys, Scarlets, Montpellier, Connacht; 4: Gloucester, Zebre, Treviso, Exeter, Castres, Racing Metro.

n Former Boroughmuir prop forward Bronson Ross, 27, has signed a one-year development contract with Ulster. After leaving Meggetland New Zealander Ross had spells with Spanish club Guernica and English outfit Coventry.

n ONE-TIME SRU President Robin Charters has died, aged 82.