ROME (AFP) –
Italy’s national coach Jacques Brunel branded moves to slash the European Cup from 24 teams to 20 as “ridiculous” on Wednesday, fearing that Italian clubs would be exiled from the event.
“I find this ridiculous,” Brunel told AFP. “It would be ridiculous to ignore the Italian market, an important developing area.
“We have to open rugby to nations that have embraced professionalism. At the time when we have brought Argentina into the Rugby Championship, it would be stupid and serious to go backwards.”
Both the English and French governing bodies are also against proposals by European Cup organisers to reduce the number of teams taking part.