Toulon, one of Europe's top club rugby sides, could feature in the Rugby Club World Cup ©Getty Images

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have held talks about the inception of a new Rugby Club World Cup.

EPCR, who already organise European continental club competitions the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, have opened up to the idea of the competition after French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte discussed it with World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont and Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney.

Laporte, who is running to become deputy chairman of World Rugby next month, told Midi Olympique that there would be a 20-team Club World Cup if the competition were to be created.

He said it would feature the top four teams from the French Top 14, the English Premiership and the Pro14 league and six teams from the southern hemisphere's Super Rugby.

One club each would come from Japan's Top League and the United States' Major League Rugby.

EPCR have stressed that the competition would not replace, but rather complement, the already-existing Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

The proposed competition would see 12 European clubs compete at the Club World Cup ©Getty Images
The proposed competition would see 12 European clubs compete at the Club World Cup ©Getty Images

Discussing the rumours, EPCR said: "Discussions have already taken place on an official level between EPCR and its stakeholders regarding a global club tournament which could complement the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup and which could take place once every four years.

"Work on possible formats is ongoing with a collaborative approach and issues of players welfare to the fore."

Last year, World Rugby abandoned their plans to create a Nations Championships after they failed to gain unanimous support from their stakeholders.

The competition, which was set for 2022, would have seen the Six Nations teams and Rugby Championship sides, as well as United States and Japan, compete over the year with the top two sides contesting a final.