A statement from European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) has hit out at media reports reports regarding a proposal for an annual Club World Cup.

French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte is among those behind a Club World Cup tournament to replace the existing European Champions Cup in a bid to increase club revenues that have taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Laporte, who is looking to be elected World Rugby vice-chairman in the governing body's vote next month, said he has had the idea in the works along with its chairman Bill Beaumont.

The proposal would see 20 teams from the northern and southern hemispheres, including clubs from the English Premiership, Pro14, Top14 and Super Rugby, taking part in a six-week tournament every year except in World Cup years.

Responding to such a move, the EPCR statement read: "Discussions have already taken place on an official level between EPCR and its shareholders 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 player welfare to the fore.

"EPCR does not believe it appropriate to highlight such discussions while the public health crisis due to COVID-19 continues, and currently, the organisation's focus is on attempting to reschedule the knockout stages of the 2019/20 tournaments subject to government and local authority directives."