English media want major Champions Cup change following Leinster win


Leinster Rugby advanced to their third successive Champions Cup final on Saturday with victory over English Premiership leaders Northampton Saints.

The game took place in Croke Park, with the Irish province awarded home-country advantage due to the the face that they finished higher in the standings than the Saints due to the performances in the pool stages.

Leinster have had home-country advantage in the semi-finals in each of their last three wins, and while this opportunity is available to any team who earn it, the English media believe it is an unfair advantage.

Toulouse for example, who won the other semi-final against Harlequins, also had home country advantage for the same reason, but there have been calls to make it a more even playing field for everyone.

The Times reckon the semi-finals should be held at a neutral venue.

“[A neutral semi-final weekend] would help to rebalance the tournament, which is stacked heavily in favour of top pool seeds – especially this year’s finalists Leinster and Toulouse, who both played their ‘home country” semi-finals in their own cities against English opponents.”

The Daily Mail added:

“Northampton and Harlequins were beaten by Leinster and Toulouse in last weekend’s semi-finals. Those two matches took place at Dublin’s Croke Park and Stadium de Toulouse respectively. That has attracted criticism in some quarters as the two teams who will contest May 25’s final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium both played their last four matches in their home cities.”

The reports also reveal that a TV deal is yet to be done with TNT Sports for next season and that the tournament may need a revamp.

What do you think? Is it time for a change?

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