Derby fixtures to be cut in proposed new Guinness Pro14 format

The amount of derby fixtures played by Irish provinces is set to be reduced to four per season.

As it looks increasingly likely that South Africa’s Free State Cheetahs and Southern Kings will be joining the Guinness Pro12 and creating a two conference system of seven teams, it means there will be a lot less Irish and Welsh derby’s throughout the season.

It is expected that each conference will not be allowed have more than two teams from the same country in it. The upshot of this would mean only four derby match’s for the Irish teams in the regular season compared other seasons where there would be a guaranteed six.

In the proposed conference system, teams in one conference will play each other home and away and then play games against teams in the other conference just once with the fixture rotating between home one season and away the next.

While there excitement in some circles about the introduction of these Super Rugby side’s as it brings a new dimension to the league, many Irish fans will be displeased at the fact they are not going to have six Irish derby matches like other seasons.

Action from Munster V Leinster last season

These matches are often the highlight of the season for fans with the age old rivalries taking centre stage especially around Christmas and the New Year with each province having one home and one away trip over the festive period.

Tournament organisers will argue that even though the provinces are going to miss two big derby games each season, that increased TV revenue brought by the addition of the South African teams will more than offset any potential loss.

While nothing has been confirmed, It is expected  that the “Pro14” will be discussed on Tuesday in a meeting with the heads of the Pro12 in a bid to formalise a competition structure agreeable to the teams.

The fact that no details of the upcoming season with regards to fixtures and dates would lend further credibility to this speculation. Wales online have reported that details of the new system have emerged.

The new system is to be based on the final standing in last year’s regular season with the conferences divided up accordingly.

If this is to be true then the conferences would be divided up as follows. Munster would be in a conference with Scarelets, Ulster, Blues, Edinburgh, Zebre, and one of the incoming South African Teams.

In the other conference, Leinster and Connacht will be with Ospreys, Glasgow, Treviso, Dragons and again one the the South African sides.

The fact that their are 7 teams in each conference could see the first placed teams directly through to semi finals with the 2nd and 3rd placed teams making the 1/4 finals.

Social Sharing

Posted in

Munster Rugby issue squad update ahead of Ulster clash

Munster have won 12 of their 17 games so far, drawing one and losing four to sit top ...
Read More

Munster secure bonus-point win away to Edinburgh | HIGHLIGHTS

Munster retook the lead with a penalty from the boot of Crowley and they saw out the remainder ...
Read More

Munster Rugby issue squad update ahead of Edinburgh meeting

It has been confirmed that back-row forward Daniel Okeke has completed his time at the province and will ...
Read More

Munster pick up bonus-point win over Connacht | HIGHLIGHTS

With the match ticking closer to 80 minutes, Shane Daly crossed for a deserved try after another strong ...
Read More

Munster name team for Connacht URC clash | TEAM NEWS

On the injury front, Josh Wycherley was unavailable for selection as he continues to follow the graduated return ...
Read More

Munster release squad update ahead of Connacht meeting

Liam Coombes returns to training following a shoulder injury, as does Brian Gleeson, who was dealing with an ...
Read More

Munster pick up bonus-point Lions win | HIGHLIGHTS

Munster are now third in the URC table and have secured 29 points out of a possible 30 ...
Read More

Munster team named for Lions clash | TEAM NEWS

RG Snyman and captain Tadhg Beirne continue their partnership in the engine room with Peter O’Mahony, Alex Kendellen ...
Read More