Sports Letters: European challenge

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to Alan Watkins' article 'Bath Need European Challenge' (12 April), I agree with Messrs Barnes and Watkins that a European Cup would do rugby a lot of good, and if such a championship came into existence, the Divisional Championship would be the competition to make room for it.

But two questions spring to mind: (1) Would each tie have two legs? (2) Would there be enough room in everyone's calendar for it?

What the game really needs is to reduce the number of league matches played in the top divisions by abandoning the home and away ruling. With players having fewer matches, a fixture played after the Five Nations' Championship could be revived on a regular basis - a combination of Ireland and Scotland versus a combination of England and Wales. The match could be played on the ground of whichever country finished highest in the Five Nations table.

This match would be a terrific spectacle and the proceeds could go to charity. It would involve two nations playing as one with the greatest 'double-act' travelling to the Continent to tackle the greatest team there - real European rugby.

Yours faithfully,



16 April