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South African teams will be able to compete in the European Rugby Cup


The South African provinces will be able to participate in European competitions from the 2022-2023 season after the formation of the United Rugby Championship (URC), unveiled on Tuesday.

The Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers will face four teams from Wales and Ireland, and two from Scotland and Italy, in a revamp of the PRO14 competition set to begin in September.

This decision, long mentioned, will allow the South African provinces to qualify for the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, subject to the finalization of an agreement with the European Professional Club Rugby, owner of the competitions.

These South African teams played in Super Rugby against their New Zealand, Australian and Argentinian counterparts.

But the decrease in interest in this competition saw them separate themselves from their rivals in the southern hemisphere and turn to the north and the more lucrative European market.

"It is a decisive moment in the history of South African rugby"

Jurie Roux, President of South African Rugby

"Our teams will oppose the best clubs from four nations steeped in tradition," South African rugby boss Jurie Roux said in a statement. They will do so without having to cross time zones or acclimatize, and 100% of matches will start in prime time in South Africa. It is a defining moment in the history of South African rugby, opening new doors and heralding an exciting new era for our sport. ”

The RCU will take place over 18 days, with each team's matches comprising six home and away matches against their regional group opponents and 12 home or away matches against the remaining teams in the league.

It will be followed by a knockout phase starting with the quarter-finals.

Eight teams will qualify for the Champions Cup the following season.

The rest of the teams will participate in the Challenge Cup.

URC teams by country:

Ireland: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster

Wales: Dragons, Cardiff Rugby, Ospreys, Scarlets

South Africa: Sharks, Stormers, Lions, Bulls

Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors

Italy: Benetton Rugby, Zebre Rugby

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-06-17

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