Cross-border league to resume with series of derbies
Guinness Pro14 aims for August return
The Guinness Pro14 will return in August with a series of derbies.
Competition organisers have announced the restart fixtures, which feature back-to-back derby matches over two weekends followed by semi-finals and the final as the Pro14 resumes in a condensed format.
Benetton v Zebre will kick things off in Italy on Friday 21 August, followed by a series of matches between Welsh, Scottish and Irish teams over that weekend.
There are currently no dates for South African derby fixtures between the Cheetahs and the Kings as those teams have only been allowed to resume non-contact training this week due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As IRFU chief executive Philip Browne revealed in May, the four Irish provinces – Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster – will play their four derby fixtures behind closed doors at the Aviva Stadium while Edinburgh and Glasgow will play their two matches at BT Murrayfield.
The matches postponed before the league was suspended due to Covid-19 – Zebre v Ospreys and Benetton v Ulster – will be recorded as 0-0 draws, with all four teams receiving two points. You can see the latest conference tables here.
The abbreviated format sees a reducton in regular-season games from 21 to 15, with the top two teams in each conference qualifying for the semi-finals on Saturday 5 September. Pro14 organisers will await the latest information from the governments involved before deciding on a venue for the final, which will take place on Saturday 12 September.
Related: The challenges of rugby’s return to training explained
Tournament director David Jordan said: “So far we have been encouraged by the developments that have allowed all of our teams to return to training. Thanks to the great efforts of our clubs and unions, the willingness of governments and the support of our broadcasters we now have a fixture list to look forward to.
“Everyone who makes our games possible has had to adapt to a new way of working under the restrictions of the pandemic and the response of all our key stakeholders has been very impressive. With these fixtures now confirmed we are all geared to safe delivery of these games and to the welcome return of rugby after such a long period without the sport.”
Here is the fixtures list for the restart of the 2019-20 Pro14 season…
Fri 21 Aug Benetton v Zebre (7pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sat 22 Aug Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (3pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sat 22 Aug Edinburgh v Glasgow (5.15pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sat 22 Aug Leinster v Munster (7.35pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sun 23 Aug Ospreys v Dragons (2.15pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sun 23 Aug Connacht v Ulster (4.30pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport, DAZN & TG4
Fri 28 Aug Glasgow v Edinburgh (7.35pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sat 29 Aug Dragons v Scarlets (5.15pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sat 29 Aug Ulster v Leinster (7.35pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sun 30 Aug Munster v Connacht (3pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sun 30 Aug Cardiff Blues v Ospreys (5pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Sun 30 Aug Zebre v Benetton (7pm) Live on Premier Sports, eir Sport & DAZN
Weekend of 4/5/6 September
Sat 12 Sept
As for the 2020-21 season, organisers have identified 3 October as the provisional date for the first round of fixtures.
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