We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

7 great sport channels

Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA

All free when you join eir Broadband

Subscribe to eir Sport
Published: 09:07 | 6/10/16

Champions Cup need Irish provinces - EPCR chief


European Rugby Champions Cup director general Vincent Gaillard is keen to see the Irish provinces challenge for the honours once again.

Disagreements over the structure of the competition resulted in the Heineken Cup being replaced by the Champions Cup with the top seven teams qualifying based on their performance in the PRO12.

Since the introduction of the Champions Cup, French and English clubs have stamped their authority on the competition with last year's final the fourth in succession not to feature a Guinness PRO12 club.

Irish provinces dominated the Heineken Cup from 2005 to 2012 with Leinster winning three titles to Munster's two, but no Irish side qualified for the quarter-finals last year and Gaillard believes the provinces are needed in order for the competition to succeed.

“I hope (Anglo-French dominance) will be broken. We definitely want to see the Irish provinces coming back strong," Gaillard is quoted as saying in the Irish Examiner.

"Our chairman Simon Halliday met them a few weeks ago to try discuss where they were and I think it’s fair to say they are looking at themselves first of all. It was absolutely not about blaming the new format or the new competition. It was about ‘we need to get it right, we need to get better, we need to deserve to be back’.

“It’s no longer 24 spots, it’s 20 now, so the level is higher. I think they are on the case and we certainly all hope the Irish provinces will be back in the game. Absolutely we do, and the Welsh and the Scots for that matter, but the Irish for sure.”

Gaillard added: "We want a truly European tournament. We want the Irish to be successful.

“Is there imbalance here and there because of the money floating back into the Leagues? Certainly. But is the format of our competition preventing provinces from being strong? Absolutely not, and it’s in no-one’s interest for the competition to end up as a French or English (tournament), absolutely not.”

Conor McGregor will fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight belt at UFC 205 in New York on November 12 live on the eir Sport pack. The eir Sport pack is free to all eir broadband customers. To learn more about setting sport free visit www.eir.ie/sport .

Canning, Barron and Moran nominated for Hurler of the Year

09:35 | Today

Galway's Joe Canning and the Waterford pair of Jamie Barron and Kevin Moran have been nominated for the 2017 Hurler of the Year award.


Moran wants Brick to stay on

11:37 | Today

Waterford captain Kevin Moran wants Michael "Brick" Walsh to stay on for another crack at winning the Liam MacCarthy Cup.


PSG deny Neymar-Cavani rift

12:31 | Today

Paris Saint-Germain chairman president Nasser Al-Khelaifi insists there is no rift between forward pair Neymar and Edinson Cavani.


Rice wants starting spot against Spurs

15:08 | Today

West Ham's Ireland Under-21 defender Declan Rice has targeted a spot in Slaven Bilic's starting eleven against Tottenham at the London Stadium on Saturday.


Boullier slams "disaster" Honda-McLaren partnership

16:01 | Today

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has called the team's three-year partnership with engine suppliers Honda "a proper disaster".


What’s in the eir Sport Pack?

We’ve got heartstopping action across 7 great sports channels, with 42 Premier League games, every Champions League game and every Europa League game, as well as UFC, Allianz Leagues GAA, Golf, F1 and much more.