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"In short, it sucks" - Clermont president says French boycott talk disrespectful

Clermont-Auvergne president Eric de Cromières has quashed talk of a potential French boycott of ...

Clermont-Auvergne president Eric de Cromières has quashed talk of a potential French boycott of the Heineken Champions Cup. 

He says it's disrespectful to the Guinness PRO14 and the Gallagher Premiership.

Earlier this week, Midi Olympique reported that the French Top 14 were lobbying for two extra places in next season's Champions Cup.

It was claimed that a boycott could be on the cards of the French clubs did not get their way.

However, De Cromières has poured cold water on the notion, telling RMC Sport, "For me, at this point, it's ridiculous and counterproductive.

"In short, it sucks."

As things stand France has six places allocated for the Heineken Champions Cup, as has been the case for the last number of seasons.

The EPCR had been talking about reducing the size of the competition next season from 20 to 18 teams.

However, that plan looks like being thrown in the fire given the likely staggered nature of leagues finishing and re-starting.

The PRO14 remain hopeful of completing the current campaign and De Cromières says they need to be given time, "If their championship could be completed, obviously for them, the question would not arise and they would qualify six clubs.

"However, if they find themselves in the same position as us, that is to say with unfinished championships, the question of the qualification of eight clubs will arise eventually.

"But it's certainly neither smart nor a good time to talk about this."

The French rugby season was ended prematurely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as things stand Montpellier and Toulouse look set to miss out on Heineken Champions Cup qualification.

De Cromières was asked if a boycott was possible if the Top 14 didn't see its allocation increased: "If my aunty had balls, she'd be my uncle.

"The process is progressing. I had Vincent Gaillard, the director general of the EPCR, on the phone this afternoon (Tuesday) who told me that things were working out nicely.

"Again, let's stop agitating the world for nonsense that may not happen.

"The other Leagues are not yet in a position to decide... [talk of a boycott] is totally counterproductive."

The Clermont president concluded by saying he believes the boycott idea "is completely unfounded and ridiculous".

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Clermont-Auvergne Coronavirus Covid-19 France Guinness Pro14 Heineken Champions Cup Top 14