English Premiership Rugby Chief Discusses Potential Merger With PRO12

Munster Rugby v Saracens - European Rugby Champions Cup

English Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty doesn’t see a merger between the English league and the Pro12 “in the foreseeable future.”

There has been much discussion in recent months about potential avenues the PRO12 can go down, as it looks to try and compete with the financial muscle of England and France. The addition of USA franchises has been mentioned as well as a potential merger with Super Rugby, but it now seems a merger with England most certainly won’t happen.

Speaking at yesterday’s Web Summit, McCafferty said:

“I don’t see that (merger) in the foreseeable future. We have to recognise there have been different systems — in France and England people have invested money in the clubs; we’ve positioned ourselves as the most competitive league in the world with the backing of investors. Those investors are not giving up on that ambition, they’re becoming more ambitious.

“The Pro12 has to recognise it must invest more in their league, to have three strong leagues in Europe.

Leinster v Bath - European Rugby Champions Cup Quarter-Final

“If you did that (merge) then that’s European competition. That brings three leagues together, but if you combine the English and Pro12 you’d destroy cross-European competition.

“The club, European and international levels are the platform for growth for rugby — but you need private investment. Scotland, New Zealand, and I believe Ireland are moving in that direction.”

What do you think needs to be done with the PRO12? Should it be left as it, or are changes needs so it can compete financially with England and France?

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