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Big Changes Coming As Future Format Of Expanded Pro12 Becomes Clearer

Big Changes Coming As Future Format Of Expanded Pro12 Becomes Clearer
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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The exit of the Cheetahs and Southern Kings from Super Rugby was confirmed on Friday as SA Rugby announced its team to participate in next season's tournament.

Super Rugby is decreasing its number of franchises from 18 this season to 15 next season with the two South African teams and one from Australia jettisoned.

As has been reported in recent weeks, the two South African sides are expected to pitch up in European rugby for the 2017/18 season, joining what will become the Pro14.

In today's Irish Times, Gavin Cummiskey has further details as to how the expanded competition will work.


To cover new costs, each team will receive €500,000. TV revenue, with the expansion into the South African market, will increase by €12 million.

The introduction of the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs and the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings will likely mean a change to the format of the competition.

The league would be split into two conferences of seven teams. Irish teams play each other twice under the current system. In a Pro14 Championship, this would increase to three rounds of interprovincial ties.


The playoffs will consist of the top three sides from each conference with the winners of each progressing automatically to the semi-finals.

This latest change to what was originally known as the Celtic League will probably not be the last. The possibility of the tournament expanding into North America with the addition of sides from the US and Canada has been mentioned previously.

Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE


See Also: South African Teams Will Add To The Historical Change Of The Pro12

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