Meeting on Wednesday evening during a long telephone meeting, the club presidents decided to maintain the same competition formats for next season, keeping the same number of clubs in Top 14 and Pro D2. The current season is not officially over yet.
Their exchanges were long. Very long. Meeting for three hours by phone on Wednesday evening, all the presidents of Top 14 and Pro D2 have once again addressed all the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic. Stopped until further notice, the season is not yet officially over. For the moment, the National Rugby League and the elite strongholds are clinging to the hope of replaying and are working on different scenarios. But when? No one knows, and it all depends on the evolution of the pandemic. And if they can be played, will the matches be open to the public? There too, it seems more than improbable …
No Top 15 or Top 16
The only point voted on yesterday by all the presidents concerns next season. It is a given that the fourteen Top 14 clubs and the sixteen Pro D2 clubs will finally stay at thirty next season. The Top 15 or Top 16 will therefore not take place and the two formats of the competition will be identical. “Only the format was voted, confirmed to us on condition of anonymity a member of the meeting (anonymity because Paul Goze asked the presidents to stop speaking in the media). There is no agreement for now on downgrades and promotions. ” But everything suggests that they will not take place. Like many clubs, the NRL would be rather favorable to the exceptional abandonment of ascents and descents, just like the FFR which will oppose relegations if the whole of the championship cannot be disputed.
Obviously, clubs well placed to climb into the elite are not frankly delighted to see their dreams soar. This is what the president of Perpignan, Francois Riviere, told us against this hypothesis, as did Colomiers, Grenoble and Oyonnax. To try to reduce their anger, a bonus-penalty solution is under consideration. As indicated by RMC Sport yesterday, some hope that the current classification may have consequences on that at the start of next season. On paper, it seems difficult to achieve. For others, it even looks like “DIY”. This hypothesis will be further studied in the coming days, before the steering committee next week. But aside from next season’s format, presidents are slow to agree on many issues.