Close sidebar

Edinburgh boss hits out at Sam Warburton’s criticism of Pro14

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has responded to Sam Warburton’s suggestion that the Pro14 is ‘shamelessly going wherever the money is’.

Warburton criticised the Guinness Pro14 in the wake of the restructuring of the Rainbow Cup, which was supposed to pit the four best South African sides against the best from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.

Those plans fell through because of coronavirus-related reasons, and the Rainbow Cup is now set to take place as two separate tournaments – one with European teams and one with South African teams.

Warburton was speaking at the launch of the British and Irish Lions’ test jersey and admitted that he is less than impressed by the constantly changing nature of the Pro14.

“I think you need to keep it to domestic leagues. Ideally I’d have it as just a Celtic league. I think the Italian teams should go into the French league, it would be much better for them logistically and they would agree with that as well,” Warburton said.

“Keep it how it used to be but obviously the ideal situation would be to have a British and Irish league, but the brutal fact is the English don’t need the Celtic teams.

“But I think the Pro14, it’s changing every year and it’s almost like shamelessly going around with a money sack and not the best quality of product.”


‘He has to make up something to talk about.’

Cockerill clearly disagrees with Warburton’s assessment of the Pro14, telling The Scotsman that he is confident that including South African teams in the tournament is the right way forward.

The Edinburgh head coach inferred that Warburton was only criticising the Pro14 as part of his job as a pundit.

“He’s paid to say things isn’t he? If he doesn’t say things he doesn’t get paid. So he’s got to talk about something,” Cockerill commented.

“What we probably need is some stability in the league. We choose what teams are in there, choose a format and we stick with it for a number of years so we can actually see if this works.

“The concept of what’s happening is a good one, it’s an exciting one, and clearly it has to make commercial sense because it’s a professional sport. But I think it’s a sound idea, let’s see where it gets to.

“Everybody is entitled to their opinion and Sam’s entitled to his. But he’s a journalist so he has to make up something to talk about.”

Read More About: , , ,