19 July 2017


While I admire the Pro12's ambition and while it will be interesting to see South African teams playing regularly in Scotland, I am far from sure about this agreement.  The BBC website reports:
A deal to expand the Pro12 to 14 teams from next season has been agreed, BBC Scotland understands.
The South African sides Cheetahs and Southern Kings will join the league after losing their Super Rugby status.
The six-year deal is likely to benefit the league to the tune of an extra £6m per season from the South African Rugby Union and additional television income.
All elements of the deal have been agreed and, once legally ratified, could be formally announced next week.
The new Pro14 league will kick-off in the first week of September and will comprise two conferences of seven teams. Each conference will have one Scottish side, one South African side, one Italian side and two each from Wales and Ireland.
But it's an awful long way from Edinburgh to Johannesburg - a 12 hour flight, requiring substantially more recovery time than, say. Glasgow to Dublin.

Furthermore, although the BBC suggests that each Scottish team will benefit from an additional £500,000 in income, it will cost a pretty penny to send a squad of 23 players plus assorted officials to South Africa by business class once or twice a year.

But I assume that the SRU have done the sums ...


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