The format of the Champions Cup is reportedly set for a radical overhaul as the tournament’s current two, 12-team conference system has come under pressure from key stakeholders.
The Champions Cup currently uses a dual conference system, with the 24 qualifying teams divided into two pools. Each club plays four pool stage matches against two other teams in their pool.
The top eight from each pool qualify for the last 16, while the ninth and 10th-ranked clubs drop down to the Challenge Cup playoffs.
This format was first implemented in the 2021-22 season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it was retained for the 2022-23 season, the first involving South African teams.
However, according to the Telegraph, the current format has come under criticism from players and coaches for being too complicated, while there is also a concern that it has negatively affected financial revenues.
The EPCR is reportedly considering a return to the old European Cup format, which would see the 24 teams divided into six pools of four, adding an extra weekend of action to the tournament.
Stakeholders have also called for the Champions Cup to return to its previous schedule, when pool stages were held between October and January, as opposed to this season, when the pool stages only started in December.
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