RFU Chairman Bill Beaumont CBE said: “The benefits will be seen far and wide, from the clubs to the supporters, sponsors and everyone who has followed the fabulous mix of high class rugby and good natured rivalry – all played out in many spectacular towns and cities in Europe.
“The RFU, and in particular Ian Ritchie, has invested significant time over the last few months in helping to find a solution to a problem that at one stage looked difficult to solve. We are very pleased that the challenges off the pitch are concluded so we can enjoy the joys of the game on it, creating more unforgettable memories for players and fans alike.”
RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said: “This is an excellent outcome for all concerned, most importantly the players and supporters who have made European rugby what it is today. This equitable, long term agreement will provide the platform for rugby union to continue to expand across Europe, increasing interest and involvement in the game at all levels.
“I would like to credit all parties, including BT Sport and Sky Sports, for their efforts in reaching an agreement for the benefit of the competition and the future of the sport.”