European Rugby Cup
European Rugby Cup Ltd (or ERC) was the governing body and organiser of the two major European rugby union club tournaments; the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup. It was replaced by the European Professional Club Rugby governing body in 2014.
|Chief Exec||Derek McGrath|
The organisation was established in 1995, in preparation for the 1995–96 season, and was headquartered in Dublin. ERC's had nine major shareholders: the six tier 1 unions and three club associations, which were all represented on the board of directors:
- Rugby Football Union
- Fédération Française de Rugby
- Irish Rugby Football Union
- Scottish Rugby Union
- Welsh Rugby Union
- Federazione Italiana Rugby
- Club associations
In 2012, Premiership Rugby and LNR, on behalf of the English and French clubs respectively, notified ERC that they would be withdrawing from the accord governing the competition, being dissatisfied with the organisation of the competition and the distribution of funding. Premiership Rugby subsequently refused to join any new agreement in which ERC remained organisers of European rugby tournaments.
On 10 April 2014 it was announced that the nine shareholders with an interest in continuing major European club competition had come to an agreement for new competitions. Under the new agreement, ERC was wound up, and a new body, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), would be created to organise three new competitions, European Rugby Champions Cup, the European Rugby Challenge Cup, and the third tier Qualifying Competition, beginning with the 2014–15 season.
The Board of ERC, which oversaw the implementation of ERC's strategy for the development of European club rugby, was made up of representatives of the six shareholder unions, league bodies and club representatives and shaped the strategy and development of ERC and the tournaments.
Reporting to and making recommendation the Board were a series of ERC Committees, focusing on the various roles of ERC as a Governing Body and Tournament Organiser and these drew on the experience and expertise of the clubs and Unions from each participation nation.
ERC Committee Structure: – ERC Commercial Committee – ERC Rugby Committee – ERC Match Officials Committee – ERC Disciplinary Committee – ERC Finance and Audit Committee
The ERC Executive and team of 20 employees was based in the Dublin headquarters and were charged with implementing the strategy for the development of European club rugby and management of the two tournaments and of the showpiece ERC Finals weekend.
ERC European Player of the YearEdit
Recognised as one of the most prestigious individual accolades in the game, the ERC European Player of the Year honourrd the best player of the European club rugby season from both the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup tournaments.
In 2010 ERC launched the ERC15 Awards, recognising the outstanding contributors to the first decade and a half of European competition. The inaugural recipient of the ERC European Player Award, as the best player over the first 15 years of these tournaments, was Munster Rugby's Ronan O'Gara. For the 2010/11 season, ERC moved to present an annual award.
Ronan O'Gara (Munster Rugby) – 2010 (Awarded for the previous 15 seasons)
Seán O'Brien (Leinster Rugby) 2011
Rob Kearney (Leinster Rugby) 2012
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) 2013
Steffon Armitage (Toulon) 2014
Nick Abendanon (Clermont) 2015
ERC Elite AwardsEdit
To celebrate the 10th anniversary season of the Heineken Cup, the ERC Elite Awards scheme was introduced to recognise the most prominent teams and players of the competitions.
Teams with 50 or more appearancesEdit
|Cardiff Blues[n 2]||114|
Players with 100 or more Heineken Cup capsEdit
|Peter Stringer||Munster, Saracens, Bath||100|
Players with 50 or more Heineken Cup capsEdit
Players with 500 or more Heineken Cup pointsEdit
|Stephen Jones||Llanelli, Scarlets, Clermont Auvergne, Scarlets (2nd stint)||869|
|Diego Domínguez||Milan, Stade Français||645|
|Neil Jenkins||Pontypridd, Cardiff, Celtic Warriors||502|
|David Skrela||Colomiers, Stade Français, Toulouse, Clermont Auvergne||500|
Players with 25 or more Heineken Cup triesEdit
|Dafydd James||Pontypridd, Llanelli, Bridgend, Celtic Warriors, Harlequins, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues||29|
|Geordan Murphy||Leicester Tigers||25|
- Official site ERC Rugby Homepage at the Wayback Machine (archived 23 April 2006)
- http://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/featured-post/15722/european-rugby-statement/ European Rugby Statement, The Rugby Paper, 10/4/14
- "Steffon Armitage named ERC European Player of the Year". BBC. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Steffon Armitage of Heineken Cup champions, RC Toulon, has been named ERC European Player of the Year 2014". ERC. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- ERC. "Official tournaments website". ercrugby.com.
- "Team Awards: 50 Heineken Cup Matches". ERC. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Player Awards: 100 Heineken Cup Caps". ERC. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Player Awards: 50 Heineken Cup Caps". ERC. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Player Awards: 500 Heineken Cup Points". ERC. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Player Awards: 25 Heineken Cup Tries". ERC. Retrieved 28 May 2014.