After weeks and months of speculation, the addition of the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs to the PRO12 has finally been confirmed by tournament organisers.
Of course, the league now comprises of 14 teams and a result, the tournament has been rebranded the Guinness PRO14. As has been reported over the last number of weeks, the new competition will consist of two conferences of seven and the make-up of which will be like this.
— PRO14 RUGBY (at 🏡) (@PRO14Official) August 1, 2017
The number of teams from each union in each conference is equal i.e. two Irish sides in each conference, two Welsh sides in each conference etc. To retain competitiveness, the makeup of the conferences will change each year to reflect the most recent standings.
There will be 12 home and away fixtures in a single conference in addition to seven home or away fixtures against teams in the other conference. While there will be two additional rounds to make up the balance of home and away derby games.
Six teams will qualify for the knockout stages – the top three in each conference. The conference winners will automatically qualify for the semi-finals while the remaining four teams will battle it out for the remaining two places in the semi-finals.
Those six teams who reach the knockout stages will automatically qualify for the Champions Cup but the South African sides are ineligible. So if a South African side reaches the knockout stage then their place will go to the team below them.
Watch the below video which explains everything.
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