New Country In Talks To Add Club To The Guinness PRO14

Room for one more?

Georgian rugby is in talks to join the Guinness Pro14 in a bid to break into the top tier of the international game a report by the BBC has revealed.

With Italy continuing to struggle in the Six Nations it’s long been speculated that Georgia might join as a 7th team or battle the Azzuri in a promotion/relegation play-off, but so far the door has remained closed.

Georgia are currently 12th in the World Rugby rankings (three places above Italy), but Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel recently ruled out any changes to the structure of the championship in an interview with BBC Sport.

Head coach Milton Haig says it’s disappointing but hopes one day a door might open for Georgia.

“It’s always disappointing because you would hope one day there might be an opening for them to be a bit more risky and open the door,” Haig said.

“I can understand certain things in terms of the business model, but our job is just make sure that we can represent ourselves with every opportunity and that we hopefully we get more credibility and exposure.”

One way of perhaps getting their foot in the door would be to have a competitive side in the PRO14, something Haig says has been discussed with negotiations ongoing. They’re also exploring other competitions but staying in Europe would be the preferred option.

“We’ve had different talks with different competitions,” he said.

“The next step for us is trying to get into a franchise competition – it could be the Currie Cup, it could be the Pro14, it could be Super Rugby,”

“Like most countries, to be successful at a high level of international rugby you need a stepping stone.

“Preferably it is European but after that as long as it is competitive and cost-effective then we will take anything.”

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