France scrumhalf Morgan Parra says South African clubs should not have been allowed to take part in the European Champions and Challenge Cups next season.
This comes shortly after the fixtures for next season’s European competitions were announced, with Parra set to travel with new club Stade Francaise to Johannesburg to face the Lions in December.
United Rugby Championship title holders the Stormers, finalists the Vodacom Bulls and quarter-finalists the Sharks will all be part of the Champions Cup, while the Lions and Cheetahs will take part in the Challenge Cup next season.
However, 71-Test-capped scrumhalf Parra criticised the decision to include South African teams in Europe, during an interview with French publication Midi Olympique.
“I’m going to be honest. It’s a great experience for the players who are going to face these franchises but, for me, it’s no longer called the Champions Cup,” Parra said. “Before, it was the European Cup – with real meaning and history, too.
“I have nothing against the southern hemisphere, but it is no longer the European Cup. Let it be called something else and say that the European Cup no longer exists.
“And it’s the same for the Challenge Cup, it no longer exists. For me, the two competitions should not be played with SA teams.”
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