While four South African teams could soon join the Pro 14, their participation in the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup will not take place next season.
The Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup will have to wait to become international. While they currently only concern clubs from the Top 14, Premiership and Pro 14, the two competitions organized by the EPCR could soon welcome teams from another continent. Indeed, faced with the economic consequences of the health crisis, four teams from South Africa could strengthen the ranks of the Pro 14, with the Sharks, Lions, Stormers and Bulls who would replace the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings, who recently ceased their activities.
While the EPCR confirmed the maintenance of the 24-team format for next season, the question of the potential integration of these four formations from the Southern Hemisphere then arose, with the answer in the hands of the officials of the Pro 14. The question has been raised recently both at the highest level of the EPCR and the Pro 14. But, according to daily information The team, it cannot be decided in time for the start of the 2021-2022 season. Indeed, it is a file which would have taken too much delay and which still contains too many obstacles still in place to be completed in time.
However, if the Pro 14 is well undergoing its transformation into Pro 16 in the coming months with the integration of the four South African teams that have previously taken part in Super Rugby, the EPCR grants ” a lot of attention »To this dossier for the 2022-2023 season. The question of how to qualify for the Champions Cup will then be at the heart of the discussions because, despite the potential maintenance of the 24-club format, it will be necessary to make room for one or more South African formations, that is to say to grant less to the other components of Pro 14, including teams from Wales and Scotland. A case which is therefore far from being resolved.