“I Don’t Like It As A Competition” – Ireland Legend Wants PRO14 Scrapped For British & Irish League
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I don’t like it.
The Guinness PRO14 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Compared to the Premiership or Top 14 it holds very little esteem with the top sides in the completion giving Europe preferential treatment.
What began as a Celtic completion involving Ireland, Scotland and Wales has become a cross-border tournament in recent years with two Italian teams joining before two South Africa changed it from the PRO12 to the PRO14 two seasons ago.
One man who isn’t a fan of the PRO14 for a number of reasons is former Ireland, Munster and Lions hooker Keith Wood who just doesn’t “like it.”
He doesn’t like having Italian teams in the competition and feels the South African sides are a complete “waste of time.”
“For me, the PRO 14, I don’t like it as a competition,” Wood said on his new State of the Union show on Off The Ball.
“I’ve never quite understood (I do understand because of Italy being in the Six Nations) the need to put Italian sides, with no history, no sense of a rivalry into the midst of a Celtic competition.
“And the South African teams for me I think are an absolute waste of time. In terms of player welfare, deciding in the middle of your season, especially for international players, to suddenly have to pop down and play a game at the Highveld, for me it isn’t particularly right.”
Wood thinks rivalry plays a huge role in club rugby and would prefer to see a British and Irish competition.
“I’ve always been a fan to try and go on that sense of rivalry,” Wood added.
For me, I am still looking for change. I would love to have a British and Irish League, because I think the sense of rivalry that we see in the Six Nations can be mirrored at a club game with Leicester and Leinster or Munster.
“You know the crowds that are going to turn up to those sort of things. The Heineken Cup, what it did show over the years is that there is a huge appetite for that battle and that contest and those inbuilt rivalries that happen over the year.
“There has to be something that fits a little bit better, especially on the back of COVID as to whether there is going to be a huge amount of travel or not, whether with the closer proximity, we can make that into something that unifies it a little bit more.”