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United Rugby Championship

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Fscarlet View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 June 2021 at 9:36am
The ‘United Rugby Championship will kick off in September 2021 as the top clubs from South Africa (Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls) combine with the Guinness PRO14 to create a world-class 16-team league.

In comparison to the Guinness PRO14 structure, the 18-round regular season in the United Rugby Championship will see the return of a single-standing table that will prevent clashes with international weekends and leave little margin for error for those chasing the title. Every game will count in the league which will be further strengthened by an expanded knock-out series that aims to deliver more jeopardy with a full schedule of quarter-finals and semi-finals capped off by a Grand Final played in a destination venue.

Fixtures: The regular season of the United Rugby Championship will take place across 18 rounds with each team’s fixtures comprising of six (6) Home AND away fixtures against their regional pool opponents and12 Home OR away fixtures against the remaining teams in the league

Regional pools

Irish Pool: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster
Welsh Pool: Dragons, Cardiff Rugby, Ospreys, Scarlets
South African Pool: Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls
Italian & Scottish Pool: Benetton Rugby, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Zebre Rugby Club

Final Series/Play-Offs: One league table will be used to rank teams and after 18 rounds the top eight sides will qualify for the Play-Offs. Teams will be seeded from 1 to 8 and will receive home advantage according to their seeding.

European Qualification

A total of eight teams from the United Rugby Championship will qualify each season for the following season’s Heineken Champions Cup. The balance of teams will participate in the Challenge Cup.

Subject to the finalisation of contract terms with EPCR, South African teams will be eligible to qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup from the 2022/23 season if they have finished in the United Rugby Championship qualification places from the prior season.

All points won during the URC season will contribute to rankings in the regional pools and the highest-ranking team in each of the four pools will earn a place in the Champions Cup for the following season. This addition to the format is expected to add even greater intensity to these age-old local rivalries.

The remaining four places in the Champions Cup will be awarded to the four highest-ranked teams from the single-standing league table who have not already qualified through the four regional pools.


URC (unitedrugby.com)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EJPT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 9:53am
Hmm so the scottish clubs get it easy for almost guaranteed 20 points each as they can outgun the italian ‘rivals’. why use a one league table! 
In my opinion Top of the division go through to the playoff and there should be a wildcard round for four other best placed teams. It will ruin the more competitive divisions chances. 

I dont like it. It tries to use an NFL structure then bins off whats good about it. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 9:58am
At least 3 of those boks will qualify plus 3 irish and youd expect ine scot with that group set up. The regions in bother here apart from the winner of our group we won’t likely get another team in erc

Edited by RR1972 - 15 June 2021 at 10:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote London Scarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:08am
Good news to see that they aim for majority of matches to be on free to air (BBC) and a they are launching a new global subscription streaming service (anything has to be better than premier sports). 

Less fixtures so hopefully we see more full strength matches. European qualification will be tough!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:19am
Kind of feel they should have gone with the top 2 of each pool contesting the play off's, something like

Welsh 1 v Irish 2
Scot/Ital 1 v Welsh 2
Irish 1 v South African 2
South African 1 v Scot/Ital 2


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:19am
9 home league matches? 9?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EJPT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:24am
Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Kind of feel they should have gone with the top 2 of each pool contesting the play off's, something like

Welsh 1 v Irish 2
Scot/Ital 1 v Welsh 2
Irish 1 v South African 2
South African 1 v Scot/Ital 2


No thats way too logical. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:34am
I'm out of touch with Super rugby, so what's going on? The SA teams from Super rugby have left and joined the Pro14? What's behind this then?

Can a joint league with Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and SA really work logistically? I suppose the SA teams had to fly enormous distances to play the Australian and NZ sides so easier for them. But for ourselves?

Five questions in one post... I must be confused. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:39am
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

I'm out of touch with Super rugby, so what's going on? The SA teams from Super rugby have left and joined the Pro14? What's behind this then?

Can a joint league with Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and SA really work logistically? I suppose the SA teams had to fly enormous distances to play the Australian and NZ sides so easier for them. But for ourselves?

Five questions in one post... I must be confused. 

Time zone wise it makes sense, though the carbon footprint will go through the roof!! I'd like to think that we would play 2 SA sides on the bounce away to save money. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:41am
I went out to South Africa when the Kings and the Cheetahs first came in and I can say that it’s really not that big of an issue with the flights etc. No jet lag. On the way back I took off from Joburg on Sunday night arrived in Heathrow Monday morning and took the tube straight to work. Wasn’t a problem with jet lag or anything.
https://twitter.com/exile_podcast?lang=en
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jones2004 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 10:55am
Why have they done the European qualification in such a weird way? I actually like the league structure, and it’s the best way to maintain fairness while having the double headers for the derbies, which are the main money-spinners for the clubs. However with the top 8 going to the play offs SURELY they should’ve said that those 8 go into the HC, and if that means no Welsh / Scottish / Italian teams, tough, they’ll have to improve. Now you can have a different 8 teams in the play offs compared to those that will qualify for the HC, which is bound to cause endless confusion. I didn’t think they could shoot themselves in the foot with what should’ve been a simple format, but heyho, I forgot that we were talking about the people who’ve been responsible for the Pro 14 for the last few years!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SA14 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 11:00am
I’m pretty sure with the league if they gave people a 100 different ways of doing things people would complain at all 100. The only way that would work that would be acceptable I think is one league, every team plays each other home and away. Every other way has a flaw. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 11:02am
Originally posted by SA14 SA14 wrote:

I’m pretty sure with the league if they gave people a 100 different ways of doing things people would complain at all 100.  


Which pretty much shows it's an unviable competition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote minded Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 11:04am
Originally posted by Fscarlet Fscarlet wrote:

Kind of feel they should have gone with the top 2 of each pool contesting the play off's, something like

Welsh 1 v Irish 2
Scot/Ital 1 v Welsh 2
Irish 1 v South African 2
South African 1 v Scot/Ital 2
I guess the reason being is that, say, the third place Irish team could still accumulate more points than the second place Scot/Ita team if they all have a poor 12 game stretch outside the "regional" pool?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scarletnut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 11:08am
Originally posted by Jones2004 Jones2004 wrote:

Why have they done the European qualification in such a weird way? I actually like the league structure, and it’s the best way to maintain fairness while having the double headers for the derbies, which are the main money-spinners for the clubs. However with the top 8 going to the play offs SURELY they should’ve said that those 8 go into the HC, and if that means no Welsh / Scottish / Italian teams, tough, they’ll have to improve. Now you can have a different 8 teams in the play offs compared to those that will qualify for the HC, which is bound to cause endless confusion. I didn’t think they could shoot themselves in the foot with what should’ve been a simple format, but heyho, I forgot that we were talking about the people who’ve been responsible for the Pro 14 for the last few years!
Spot on! it cheapens the league 
I still wake up late at night and think of what might have been when tim stimpson hit that jammy penalty1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KID A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 June 2021 at 11:15am
Our test players will still be unavailable for 4 rounds of the league matches according to WalesOnline.

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