Biarritz make 'official request' to play European games in Lille

Paris (AFP) –


European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said on Tuesday former winners Biarritz have asked to play their home Challenge Cup games 1,000km away in Lille.

The Basque outfit held a pre-season fixture in the northern town and president Jean-Baptiste Aldige has threatened to move the club to near the Belgian border due to a dispute with local government.

The disagreement with the mayor of the town on the Atlantic coast surrounds the re-developing their current Parc des sport d'Aguilera ground.

"EPCR has received an official request from the president of Biarritz to play matches in Lille," a spokesperson from the organisation told AFP.

Biarritz, who won the second-tier tournament in 2012, host English side Newcastle Falcons in January and fellow French club Toulon in April in Europe this term.

Aldige's outfit, who have former Australia centre Tevita Kuridrani and ex-New Zealand midfielder Francis Saili in their squad, are seventh in the Top 14 after returning to the first division following relegation in 2014.