Heineken Cup: Newcastle boss Dean Richards backs overhaul

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards has backed Premier Rugby's move to leave the Heineken Cup.

Currently, clubs in France's Top 14 and England's Premiership are beginning next season.

That decision came after over the qualification process and distribution of financial proceeds.

He told BBC Newcastle: "I fully support the move. It would be a real shame to lose a top European competition but it cannot continue in its present format."

Alongside Premier Rugby's dispute with the European Rugby Cup, the with the Welsh regions over financial governance in the country.

That has led to the mooting of a possible Anglo-Welsh competition, something the unless both nations' unions are on board.

But part of the English clubs' gripe is that at least 10 Pro12 sides - the league involving Scottish, Italian, Irish and Welsh sides - have automatic entry into the Heineken Cup.

"Whether the changes are to move to a meritocracy, or there is a different way of dividing the money, there has to be some change brought about," Richards continued.

"It certainly looks as though there won't be a competition next year. Hopefully there'll be an agreement in place for a replacement soon as I know people are striving and working very hard to sort that."

Meanwhile, Richards's side all but exited the Amlin Challenge Cup on Thursday night after a

The Falcons must now beat Bucuresti in their final pool game and hope Calvisano, a side yet to win in this season's competition, beat the French.

"I'm not worried because of how many chances we created - we should have been four or five tries clear," he explained.

"But of course we're disappointed, it's very frustrating to lose and to probably be out of the competition."

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