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Pro14 rugby will make an August return it has been revealed on Thursday. It will return after a five month break due to the Covid 19 pandemic. It will begin with derbies on August 22nd.
Teams from the same country will face off against each other in home and away games. The season is concluded with semi-finals and a final. BBC Sport report that the Pro14 final will take place on Saturday the 12th of September. The venue on this has yet to be decided. There was eight rounds of games remaining, however these will now not be played. This means the season will be cut by 6 games, from 21 to 15.
It is expected the remainder of the season will be played over four consecutive weekends. Leinster currently top Conference A, with Edinburgh ahead in Conference B. In terms of how teams will qualify for Europe, it will be based on finishing positions after round 13. The EPCR are also said to be in talks of increasing the number of teams in the Champions Cup from 20 to 24. This would mean an extra place for a team from the Pro14. This position would be to the Dragons of Wales. A meeting of the EPCR is to take place on June 24th where this will be discussed.
A statement released by Pro14 on Wednesday said, “The 2019-20 season will have an abbreviated finish that features the most attractive matchups and rivalries from the Guinness Pro14 with two rounds of derby games in each territory counting towards final positions”. The statement continued, “Games postponed prior to the indefinite suspension will be deemed 0-0 draws as previously stated by Pro14 Rugby on 28 February, 2020.”
It is likely that these games will be played without spectators. This will likely come down to 6 government jurisdictions. The director of the Pro14 Dave Jordan said, “Safety has been, and will continue to be, the highest priority. “We are very fortunate to be in a position where everyone involved is confident that we can conclude the season on the field of play. “The work and diligence of our leading medical personnel at our unions, our clubs, World Rugby and key stakeholders to get us to this point has been immense.”
Schedule of Games:
Round 14: Saturday, August 22
Round 15: Saturday, August 29
Semi-Finals: Saturday, September 5
Final: Saturday, September 12