"This is a significant agreement for Welsh rugby and our Regions. It was vitally important for the good of our game, as well as the rest of the professional game across Europe, that the top flight French and English clubs stayed within the Heineken Cup fold," said WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis.
"It was always the view of both the WRU and the Regions that we would fight tooth and nail to ensure the Guinness Premiership and French Championship teams remained in the tournament. We played our part in encouraging others to come to agreement on vital issues and ensured the dialogue was maintained at all times.
"The Heineken Cup is not only pre-eminent in the professional game in Europe. It also has huge standing and significance to the global game.
"That is why it was vital we did all we could to avert a boycott by the leading clubs in France and England. It means that the Welsh Regions will play against the likes of Toulouse, Biarritz, Stade Francais, Leicester, Gloucester and London Wasps once again next season - and for the foreseeable future."
A statement issued by ERC reads as follows:
The ERC Shareholders meeting took place in Dublin today (Tuesday, 8 May) with IRB Chairman Dr. Syd Millar, which included representatives from the six Shareholder Unions and representatives from the Club bodies from England (PRL), France (LNR), Italy (LIRE) and Wales (Welsh Regions).
All parties reaffirmed their commitment to the long term future of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup and to providing a stable future for both ERC tournaments.
The parties reached a conditional agreement, which, on completion of discussions between RFU and PRL over the next two weeks, will ensure the long term future of both European tournaments and the participation of the leading teams from all six competing nations. All parties are working towards a final agreement by the weekend of the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, 20 May.
It was confirmed that the participant teams will be Club / Provincial / Regional teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and in the case of England, France and Italy, Club teams from the top professional leagues in each country.
In attendance at today's meeting were:
IRB (Dr. Syd Millar & Mike Miller)
ERC (Jean-Pierre Lux & Derek McGrath)
FFR (Pierre Camou, Bernard Lapasset & Michel Palmie)
LNR (Serge Blanco)
FIR (Orazio Arancio)
LIRE (Sandro Manzoni)
IRFU (Peter Boyle & Philip Browne)
RFU (Terry Burwell & Martyn Thomas)
PRL (Mark McCafferty & Tom Walkinshaw)
SRU (George Jack & Allan Munro)
WRU (Roger Lewis)
Welsh Regions (Stuart Gallacher)