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- Irish rugby union footballer and coach
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen does not believe that the Champions Cup can continue with its current format as they deal with the fallout from several postponed matches.
Five games between British and French clubs were called off due to travel restrictions caused by the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.
Leinster’s clash with Montpellier was also cancelled but, unlike the other encounters, was not down to be rearranged after an outbreak in the Irish province’s camp.
The French outfit were handed a 28-0 victory as the four-time European champions were the side deemed to be at fault, but Cullen believes all the matches that were called off in round two should be treated the same.
Reshape the tournament
“At the end of the day, all the games are (gone) through Covid, aren’t they? So, there’s no reason,” he told reporters.
“We were in a position where we had a team ready to travel and obviously we had concerns ourselves about the fixture.
“But we were told to press on with our preparations and to be ready with the group that we had. We had the sign-off from public health as well.
“EPCR are going to have to reshape the tournament anyway because there’s so many games that need to be rescheduled because obviously there was no window to reschedule at the time of cancelling of our game, whereas now the postponement route is what’s likely.”
The Ospreys and Scarlets have also been forced to forfeit matches and Cullen insists that they should be replayed if the EPCR are going down the route of rescheduling some of the games.
“You would hope that everyone would get a fair crack at playing the games because that’s what you want, you want the games to be decided on the pitch rather than decided by slight technicalities of when games get postponed or cancelled,” he added.
“If there’s scope to play the games you’d much rather play the games, surely. It’s not really an appeal. It’s being left with EPCR at the moment so we’ll see how that plays out over the coming days hopefully.
“There’s still so much to go as well, if you think with round three, four even.
“If you look back at the landscape this time last year and the way the tournament got played out (the pool stages ended after two rounds). We have those last 16 home and away windows this year.
“How that plays out, it has to get re-configured in some format. We’ll just try to control what we can control and hopefully we’ll get to play somebody at some point in the very near future!”
The article Leo Cullen expects EPCR to alter Champions Cup format appeared first on Planetrugby.com.