Edinburgh Rugby are facing a battle to be included in a new-look – and re-named – Heineken European Cup next season as a deal to safeguard the future of the competition looks set to be rubber-stamped, possibly today.
Stakeholders have hatched a plan that will see seven teams from the Pro12 – Edinburgh are currently eighth but with games in hand over the two teams immediately above – join six from the English and French Leagues as the field drops from 24 to 20. The remaining place will go to the winners of a play-off between teams that finish seventh in France and England.
Unravelling broadcasting rights after England’s clubs signed up with BT Sport and the existing government body reaffirmed its commitment to Sky is already underway. The broadcasters are expected to agree sharing the coverage of the tournament.
Six Nations organisers will set up an executive board weighted towards England, Welsh and French clubs. However, an independent chairman is expected to resolve dispute and proceeds will be divided evenly until the quarter-finals.
• Scotland full back Stuart Hogg will face a disciplinary panel tomorrow after being sent off against Wales on Saturday for barging Dan Biggar.