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Pro12 agree deal to expand
DOK (IP Logged)
18 July, 2017 20:38
As expected includes to Saffa teams

Quote:
One of the anticipated clauses for the deal is that the two franchises will commit to strengthening their squads, to ensure the competitive nature of the competition is protected. (Sm22)

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Fearless Fred (IP Logged)
18 July, 2017 21:29
So, what's the impact on the European competitions? They've only just agreed to it being a true meritocracy in terms of qualifying for the Champions cup. Is that still going to be the case?

Update:

Here's the qualification rules for the 2018/19 European competitions:

Quote:
EPC Rugby
European Rugby Champions Cup
Nineteen clubs will qualify automatically for the 2018/19 Champions Cup in the following ways :.

• Guinness PRO12: The seven highest-ranked clubs based on their finishing positions in the league.

• TOP 14: The six highest-ranked clubs based on their finishing positions in the league.

• Premiership: The six highest-ranked clubs based on their finishing positions in the league.

NB: The 20th place in the Champions Cup will go to the winner of the Challenge Cup. If the winner of the Challenge Cup is already qualified, then the losing Challenge Cup finalist will take the place.

European Rugby Challenge Cup

Clubs will qualify for the 2018/19 Challenge Cup in the following ways:

• The remaining 18 clubs from the Guinness PRO12, Premiership and the TOP 14 which have not qualified for the Champions Cup.

• The two finalists from the Continental Shield which features representatives from emerging countries and the Italian Eccellenza.

So with the Pro12 apparently becoming the Pro14, the Qualification rules will need to be completely re-written again. You could keep the Euro qualification for European teams only, meaning the SA teams only play Pro14 games, allowing them to rest players and making it harder for the European teams who will be fighting on two fronts. I can't see that going down to well with our Celtic cousins. The other alternative is that you include the SA teams into the European cups, which presents lots of other problems.

You'd lose the two spots in the Challenge cup that currently go to the Emerging teams, which is bad for the development of the game. Then, depending on how truculent the Pro14 teams are, you could also see the automatic qualification of the Challenge Cup winner for the Champions Cup the following season also gone, which de-values that competition too.

All in all, this is going to be a mess and the fall-out could be wider than a lot of people think at the moment...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 19/07/2017 10:06 by Fearless Fred.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
talkshowhost86 (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 09:52
It's a fairly Mickey Mouse competition simply increasing the size of its ears.

Hope there's a commitment to keep them out of Europe (although I suspect that won't be an issue as all of their players will now try desperately to leave).

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
HonkyTonk (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 10:35
If they are kept out of Europe they still have the Currie cup to keep them busy. Usually they have the Currie Cup after the SR season, now it will run alongside the PRO 12. That will put some strain on their squads as usually there is an overlap of players that play in both. That will prob negate any advantage they may have had not playing in Europe.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Fearless Fred (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 11:36
Currie cup is more like the LV cup, surely? Plus it runs July to October, so that'll be an 11 month season for some players. I doubt they'll enjoy that!

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
HonkyTonk (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 11:57
Yep. Mark Reddish had the same thing when he joined us. Played SR season, then the Mitre 10 season in NZ and then straight to us.

You could say CC is like the LV, but my point is that currently quite a few players from the SR sides are involved, others that are not are normally involved in the international set up Touring/A sides. There is quite a bit of rugby

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Fearless Fred (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 12:12
I know our SH imports have had this as a one off on joining us (NEv had the same in his first season with us). But if they continue in the Currie cup, this would be an ongoing situation with players playing what amounts to almost a 10 month season July through to May every season. That would give very little time for the necessary solid month break and a proper pre-season for them.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
HonkyTonk (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 12:30
I would expect that they have something planned to deal with that

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Babs (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 13:03
To move the goalposts like this after punters have invested in STs is a serious kick in the teeth.
God only knows when we'll be given a fixture list.

SERIOUSLY NOT HAPPY!!!!

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
SimonG19 (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 16:17
Quote:
Babs
To move the goalposts like this after punters have invested in STs is a serious kick in the teeth.
God only knows when we'll be given a fixture list.

SERIOUSLY NOT HAPPY!!!!

I'm sure any unhappy season ticket holders will be able to obtain refunds without any difficulty.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
DazzaS (IP Logged)
19 July, 2017 21:58
Quote:
Babs
To move the goalposts like this after punters have invested in STs is a serious kick in the teeth.
God only knows when we'll be given a fixture list.

SERIOUSLY NOT HAPPY!!!!

Wrong board to talk about it babs. Your best taking it up with a Celtic rugby board who may have more of an idea about potential refunds.

Have you moved to Ireland now?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/07/2017 15:18 by DazzaS.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Almost quin (IP Logged)
20 July, 2017 14:30
I can't find any mention of what happens to the Dufopean place in any of the articles about it which is strange as that is a very important consideration

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Almost quin (IP Logged)
20 July, 2017 17:06
Just read one article which states they will not be elligiable for Europe

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Scaramouche (IP Logged)
21 July, 2017 12:55
Quote:
Almost quin
I can't find any mention of what happens to the Dufopean place in any of the articles about it which is strange as that is a very important consideration


I know a lot of Dufopeans too!

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
akb1 (IP Logged)
01 August, 2017 11:12
[www.bbc.com]

now confirmed

The Pro12 will be expanded to include South African side Southern Kings and Cheetahs from September, organisers have confirmed.

The expanded tournament will be called the Pro14 and see the teams split into two conferences of seven made up of two Welsh, two Irish and one team each from Scotland, Italy and South Africa.

The conferences have been decided based on last season's results.


Cheetahs and Kings will play their home games in South Africa.

They will play only Saturdays, and there will be five travel-free days before matches.

The first round of matches is due to be played on the weekend of 1-3 September, with the first fixtures to be announced on 7 August.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
akb1 (IP Logged)
01 August, 2017 11:21
[www.pro12rugby.com]


Celtic Rugby and the South African Rugby Union have today confirmed that the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will join an expanded Guinness PRO14 tournament in time for the upcoming 2017/18 season.

A long-term strategic agreement has been signed by both parties which will allow the participation of two South African franchises in the renamed Guinness PRO14 Championship.

The agreement means that the Championship will take place across the northern and southern hemispheres and marks the first phase of expansion as the Guinness PRO14 becomes a truly global tournament.

This move will contribute to the drive for ever higher standards that we demand across the tournament and provide greater resources to our clubs who will compete in the most testing environment the Championship has ever created.

We can also reassure supporters across the Championship that all current home and away Derby games have been protected – these fixtures are sacrosanct to the tournament and those tribal rivalries are just one element of what makes the Guinness PRO14 so special.

With a new format, new teams and new audiences the Guinness PRO14 – which leads World Rugby statistics for Positive Play – will hit even greater heights in 2017/18.

NEW FORMAT

The addition of the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will require the Championship to introduce a new Conference format as a league format is not suited to a 14-team cross-border tournament.

The Guinness PRO14 will adopt a two-conference model which will allows for the new clubs to be added into the Championship without need to add extra rounds in 2017/18.

Conference A
•Munster (IRFU)
•Ospreys (WRU)
•Glasgow Warriors (SRU)
•Cardiff Blues (WRU)
•Connacht (IRFU)
•Zebre Rugby Club (FIR)
•Toyota Cheetahs (SA Rugby)

Conference B
•Scarlets (WRU)
•Leinster (IRFU)
•Ulster (IRFU)
•Edinburgh (SRU)
•Benetton Rugby (FIR)
•Dragons (WRU)
•Southern Kings (SA Rugby)


•Each conference will contain 7 teams with an equal split of teams from each union
•Every team plays 21 regular season games
•Every team to play each other at least once
•All Home & Away Derby fixtures will remain in place
•Italian, Scottish and South African teams will play an additional Derby fixture to even out the schedule (e.g. Edinburgh will play Glasgow Warriors three times)
•The Guinness PRO14 Final Series will now include Quarter-Finals allowing six clubs to reach the knock-out stages (teams 1-3 from each Conference)
•The top 3 clubs from each conference will qualify for the Champions Cup while the team with the highest points total outside of those six teams across both conferences will claim the final Champions Cup place

South African clubs will not be eligible to qualify for EPCR tournaments at present

The Conferences need to fulfil two criteria. First, there must be an equal number of teams from each union in both conferences. Secondly, there must be a competitive balance based upon the previous season’s final placings that feed into union rankings.

To create an equal number of teams per union each conference will contain:
•2 Irish teams; 2 Welsh; 1 Italian; 1 Scottish, 1 South African

Additionally, for the entrance of the South African teams their Super Rugby final placings were used for ranking.

Please note: To maintain competitive balance the Conferences will be reset each season based upon rankings from the previous campaign.

FIXTURES

The regular season will consist of 21 Rounds, which is one game less than the previous format. These Rounds will be made up from a combination of:
•12 Home & Away games in your team’s conference
•7 Home OR Away games against each team from the other conference
•An additional 2 Rounds to ensure all derby fixtures are played home & away (this means Scottish, Italian, South African clubs play three derbies)

The fixture list has been drafted for all 21 rounds, Rounds 1-13 will be confirmed next week (commencing August 7) after the Championship’s broadcast partners have made their selections for live television broadcasts and the clubs have been consulted.

REACTION

Martin Anayi, CEO of the Guinness PRO14, welcomed both clubs to the Championship and described it as an historic chapter for the tournament as it begins the first phase of expansion.

“The arrival of the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings marks a bold and exciting new chapter for the Guinness PRO14 as a global rugby Championship,” Anayi said. “As a country, South Africa is a rugby powerhouse of over 55 million people. These teams already operate to the high standards demanded by Super Rugby and they will add to the quality of our tournament.

“Our Unions and World Rugby are committed to broadening the game and this move is evidence of our ambition to lead the way in growing the club game beyond our own borders, which in turn will unlock the true potential of this tournament. Expansion is in the DNA of the Championship and ever since the Celtic League kicked off in 2001 Cross Border competition has thrived.

“Being based across some of the most renowned hotbeds of rugby, the Championship has always been rife with international talent and last season we saw 270 internationals appear in the Guinness PRO12. Since then another 25 made their Test debuts in June while 27 of our players were on duty with the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand.

“This is a natural evolution for the Championship and not only will the calibre of the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings grow audiences, interest and the commercial base for the tournament and our clubs, it is a move that also lays the foundations for years to come. The appeal of professional club rugby has never been greater and we aim to be at the forefront of the game’s growth around the world,” Anayi said.

“These are bold steps but the encouragement from our shareholder unions, our sponsors, our broadcasters and World Rugby – has shown that there is an appetite for innovation, fresh stories and new rivalries. The new tournament structure will also provide more teams with the opportunity to reach the Guinness PRO14 Final Series and that is fantastic news for our players, coaches and fans.

“To achieve this within three months is an astonishing achievement by everyone involved. I would like to thank Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, and his colleagues in South Africa for their hard work and vision. For everyone involved this is a golden opportunity to do something unique within the game of rugby and it is fantastic that they share the same ambitions as our unions and teams.

“Last season’s figures showed that we are the home of Positive Play and now the Guinness PRO14 will be one of the most unique and diverse rugby tournaments in the world.”

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said the decision to accept an invitation to play in the northern hemisphere competition was a ground-breaking move that added a whole new dimension to the South African season.

“This development is as exciting as the launch of Super Rugby itself back in 1996,” said Roux. “It marks the start of a new adventure for rugby in South Africa with a number of exciting opportunities. It will not be without its challenges in aligning with a competition in a different part of the calendar and in very different playing conditions; but it is also a fantastic opportunity for South African rugby to widen our rugby horizons.

“This time next year South African provincial teams will be competing in 11 countries on five continents. We believe the Toyota Cheetahs’ and Kings’ participation will be good for the competition and good for the teams.”

Harold Verster, CEO of the Toyota Cheetahs, believes that both clubs will be viewed as “trail blazers” as they make their preparations to compete in the Guinness PRO14.

“There will be a steep learning curve for our coaches and players but we’re in it to win it. This is a whole new ball game for rugby in South Africa and we’re proud to be trail blazers. There is a lot of excitement around the union about the opportunity and we’re already looking forward to kick off,” Verster said.

“We’re excited about taking the Toyota Cheetahs’ famous brand of all-out attacking rugby to Europe and bringing top European clubs to South Africa. The Free State is one of the great nurseries of rugby in South Africa and this is an exciting prospect for our young players – to test themselves against top players from the northern hemisphere.”

Andre Rademan, president of the Eastern Province Rugby Union, said: “We have been through tough times on and off the field over recent years but we now have the chance to reclaim our status as one of the powerhouses of South African rugby.

“The Southern Kings have been on an upward playing curve this season and there is much to be excited about. This team represents the heartlands of black rugby in South Africa – a tradition stretching back to the very establishment of the game in this country – and we will bring a unique passion and flavour to the tournament.”

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby, Chairman said: “Following consideration of PRO14’s submission, including strategic goals and evaluation of the global rugby benefits, the World Rugby EXCO was unanimous in approving expansion.

“This approval was granted under the proviso that key strategic conditions will be met. This includes the implementation of a detailed player welfare plan, which we are delighted PRO14 are fully committed to. We look forward to the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the competition’s history.”

TRAVEL AND PLAYER WELFARE

In order to provide travelling teams to South Africa with the best possible preparation, games will be fixed for Saturdays. This will allow visiting teams to have a seven-day turnaround leading into these fixtures including five ‘clean days’ that do not involve any travel.

Flights between Europe and South Africa are overnight which will allow players to rest during the journey while training facilities and accommodation venues are up to the standards expected in Super Rugby.

For teams who are scheduled to play twice in South Africa, the aim will be for them to play back-to-back games on a ‘mini-tour’ in one round trip. Where the fixture list prevents this, games in South Africa for those clubs will be spread across a reasonable period of time.

Martin Anayi, CEO of the Guinness PRO14, added: “Our clubs, players and coaches are already excited about the opportunity to play in South Africa in front of new crowds, new stadiums and take on these exciting new tests.

“From a logistical point of view, we know that travelling long distance will be nothing unusual to the South African sides, and indeed our core international players, but it is a new departure for our clubs. As such we have been in a dialogue with performance directors across all participating unions to ensure that player welfare is not compromised.

“We will work closely with travel partners to ensure that players are provided the best possible times and conditions when flying to and from South Africa to make sure their preparation is unaffected.

“In addition, we will welcome members of SA Rugby’s Premier Panel of full-time referees who will join our stable of elite officials.

The 2017/18 season will bring the Guinness PRO14 to new destinations, create more competition and present more vibrancy than ever before on a journey we believe is only just beginning.”

EDITORS NOTES:

Celtic Rugby has three equal shareholders: the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU); the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
talkshowhost86 (IP Logged)
01 August, 2017 14:45
I'm probably reading this wrong, but how can they have quarter finals with 6 teams?

Are they going to have:

3rd vs 2nd (match 1)
Winner of match 1 vs 1st (match 2)
Winner of match 2 goes into final against winner of match 2 from other conference

All sounds a bit crazy to me.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Sketchley (IP Logged)
01 August, 2017 17:12
Quote:
talkshowhost86
I'm probably reading this wrong, but how can they have quarter finals with 6 teams?
Are they going to have:

3rd vs 2nd (match 1)
Winner of match 1 vs 1st (match 2)
Winner of match 2 goes into final against winner of match 2 from other conference

All sounds a bit crazy to me.

From BBC

How will they decide the winners?

A play-off system. The top side from each conference will advance to the semi-finals and will have home advantage.

Teams placed second and third in each conference play each other to determine the other two semi-finalists. The teams ranked second in each conference will have home advantage.

The play-offs will work over a three-week period after the regular season has been completed.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Fearless Fred (IP Logged)
01 August, 2017 18:57
Quote:
Sketchley
Quote:
talkshowhost86
I'm probably reading this wrong, but how can they have quarter finals with 6 teams?
Are they going to have:

3rd vs 2nd (match 1)
Winner of match 1 vs 1st (match 2)
Winner of match 2 goes into final against winner of match 2 from other conference

All sounds a bit crazy to me.

From BBC

How will they decide the winners?

A play-off system. The top side from each conference will advance to the semi-finals and will have home advantage.

Teams placed second and third in each conference play each other to determine the other two semi-finalists. The teams ranked second in each conference will have home advantage.

The play-offs will work over a three-week period after the regular season has been completed.

In a way, it's what the Premiership had for three seasons when the idea of Playoffs and a final were first introduced.

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Fearless Fred (IP Logged)
01 August, 2017 19:20
Just seen on Twitter:

Quote:
Ricky Harries
My main worry with this format is fans. Travelling to places 12 hours away full of crime & poverty. Just hope SA fans stay safe in Newport

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Stoquin (IP Logged)
02 August, 2017 02:01
Love that last post, hilarious.

Does this new solution mean that there is no automatic place in european cup for an Italian side, I seems to be which is good news as it was always an advantage for the teams with the Italian team. Well done ERC

 
Re: Pro12 agree deal to expand
Brown Bottle (IP Logged)
02 August, 2017 13:22
Quote:
Stoquin
Love that last post, hilarious.
Does this new solution mean that there is no automatic place in european cup for an Italian side, I seems to be which is good news as it was always an advantage for the teams with the Italian team. Well done ERC

I thought that decision had been made long ago. No automatic places for any country.



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