Club World Cup could replace Champions Cup - France Rugby president

The Champions Cup could be replaced by a Club World Cup competition in a bid ease growing financial issues in rugby. David Rogers/Getty Images

The European Champions Cup could be replaced with a Club World Cup featuring teams around the world, French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte has said.

Laporte, who is aiming to become World Rugby vice-chairman next month, has said he plans to develop a six-week club competition to be held every year, featuring 20 teams from around the world. The tournament would be in place of the Champions Cup.

"The European competition is magnificent, with Toulon [as head coach] I was able to lift the trophy three times and I know what it can represent," Laporte told French newspaper Midi Olympique on Monday.

"But let's be frank, it does not generate enough income. If we want to develop this Club World Cup, we have to find dates. Without the Champions Cup, nine weekends are available."

"This is only a proposal, but I am sure of one thing: we must create this competition and very quickly. It could be a breath of fresh air for the whole of world rugby."

Laporte will run alongside World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont at a council meeting next month and the pair are tasked with finding a solution to the growing financial concerns surrounding the sport.

USA Rugby decided to file for bankruptcy last week amid financial trouble exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdown, while Rugby Australia has stood down 75% of its staff.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) also announced that its board members, as well as England head coach Eddie Jones, would take a 25% pay cut. A number of other international head coaches have also taken pay cuts including New Zealand's Ian Foster, Scotland's Gregor Townsend and Wales' Wayne Pivac.

Laporte's plans for a Club World Cup would be similar to the quadrennial Rugby World Cup competition and would feature 20 teams split into four pools of five, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and a final.

Teams from the Gallagher Premiership, Super Rugby, PRO14, TOP14, as well as league champions in the United States and Japan would qualify for the tournament.