Celtic Rugby chiefs to meet as Italians threaten to quit

FIR President Alfredo Gavazzi (Getty Images)
FIR President Alfredo Gavazzi (Getty Images)
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Celtic rugby representatives are due to meet in London on Monday amidst concerns the two Italians teams could quit the competition.

It is understood a new Celtic sponsor is still being sought and turmoil is set against a potential exodus of Welsh regions amid disharmony threatening the Heineken European Cup.

The four-year agreement with the Italian Rugby Federation expires soon and FIR President Alfredo Gavazzi has said there is discontent at the way Zebre and Treviso are treated. “We are not the country cousins. They have to treat us as joint partners,” Gavazzi said.

If the Italians’ investment of 70 million Euros is withdrawn then Gavazzi favours trying a stronger eight-team domestic league in a move that, intriguingly, makes an identical idea put forward recently by Scottish Rugby look increasingly prescient.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies want more info on the SRU proposal to create a club Super League. “The paper on a semi-pro club Super League lacks any basic information – or perhaps understanding. There was no consultation with the clubs,” says president John Wright.