ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Aug 26, 2020

Could Southern Kings decision to skip 2020 PRO14 season turn Northern Hemisphere rugby on its head?

This week’s announcement from South African franchise the Southern Kings to not play again until 2021, therefore pulling out of the restarted current Guinness PRO14 campaign, has led to many fans calling for an upheaval in the domestic competition in the Northern Hemisphere.

ADVERTISEMENT

Amid financial trouble, the board of the Kings announced that no domestic competition would be played for the remainder of this year, sparking fresh doubts over its participation in the new PRO14 season which starts in October.

The PRO14 responded by releasing a statement which read: “PRO14 Rugby is aware of the Southern Kings voluntary decision to withdraw from any domestic competitions in South Africa for the rest of the 2020 calendar year.

“Due to on-going travel restrictions enforced by the South African government against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not foreseen that any cross-border Guinness PRO14 games involving South Africa teams will take place until 2021.

“PRO14 Rugby remains in discussion with SA Rugby on when South African participation in the league can resume in the new year. Work is already underway to concentrate the opening 2020/21 fixtures among the twelve European-based clubs.”

The Kings joined an expanded PRO12 in 2017 to mixed reaction and now it appears as though the withdrawal from this year’s season has invoked an even bigger response with some calling for a complete overhaul in how the club scene in Britain and Ireland is run.

The British and Irish League exists already but as a semi-professional competition only. The benefits of such a professional league may well be what is needed to boost the game in the British Isles but the logistics of organising are complicated to say the least.

ADVERTISEMENT

It would years at best to build a structure which all the unions would agree to, plus the usual topic of ringfencing and promotion/relegation would almost certainly be a deal breaker for many.

There’s also the conundrum of selection. What would the structure look like? Conferences as in the current PRO14 format, or a straight-forward single league?

And there’s the next problem: 12 teams compete in the Gallagher Premiership and 14 in the PRO14. Remove the two South African teams (the Kings and the Cheetahs) as well as the two Italian outfits of Treviso and Zebre and you still have the prospect of a 20-team league disputed across four nations.

With player welfare and the international test window already a rife debate in world rugby, plus the negative impact on the Italian game by ditching them from regular club rugby, the signs of a combined British and Irish League don’t look promising.

ADVERTISEMENT

Certainly, reducing the number of clubs and/or amalgamating some might seem the best option, but try convincing those who stand to lose a place in the league, or their entire heritage.

The best case scenario should South African teams not return to the PRO14 is very likely to be reverting to the previous model of the PRO12.

One thing for sure is that this will no doubt drag on over the coming months

RELATED VIEWING:

Related Articles

  • 32 WEEKS AGO

    Exeter vs Toulouse is off as a number of...

  • 32 WEEKS AGO

    Danny Cipriani leaves Gloucester with immediate...

  • 32 WEEKS AGO

    'Aphiwe can’t believe it. We were starting...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    No other player has mastered intercepts like Bryan Habana could

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: French flair lights up Brisbane with EPIC coast-to-coast try

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Watch how Marcus Smith lit up Twickenham on England debut vs USA

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Extended highlights show why Josh Adams could be a Lions Test starter

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Aphelele Fassi: The debut Springbok that could change Warren Gatland's Lions selection

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    The controversial Watson tackle which escaped any card vs Springboks

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Lewis Ludlow received a four match ban for this knee to the face

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Controversial Marika Koroibete red card not upheld

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Wallabies will contest controversial red card after French player 'milked it'

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Wallabies fans raging after questionable early red card for Marika Koroibete

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    New Rassie video targets foul play, confirming fake twitter account was his

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Critics hit out at Rassie Erasmus for fake twitter and 'comical' behaviour

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Awesome Daly kicking montage shows just how deadly his left boot really is

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Players channel inner Lebron with incredible 'basketball' passes

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Damian McKenzie's outstanding try-saving tackle

View All

Funnies

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Unimpressed Vunipola loses patience with Cheslin Kolbe in Cape Town

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    New compilation of rare Nigel Owens footage is comedy gold

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    The moment Ellis Genge soaks Ugo Monye live on TV is simply priceless

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Inside the Quins changing rooms after winning AWESOME Prem final

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    'I don't know what I'm saying!', Joe Marler's brilliant interview after EPIC Prem win

View All

Amateur

  • 38 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 76 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 76 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 76 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 22 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 28 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 35 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

View All