Pro14 rugby to return on August 21, but Cheetahs and Kings left stranded


The Pro14 competition is returning on August 21. AFP/File/CHARL DEVENISH

Pro14 chiefs on Wednesday confirmed the five-nation rugby competition would return on August 21 following a five-month coronavirus shutdown.

An abbreviated schedule will see the regular season cut to 15 rounds followed by semi-finals and a final across four consecutive weeks.

Round 14 will kick off in Italy on Friday, August 21 with Benetton welcoming Zebre to Treviso before a busy Saturday schedule featuring derby action in Britain and Ireland.

In Wales, Scarlets face Cardiff in Llanelli followed by Edinburgh’s clash with Glasgow in the Scottish capital.

The final game on that Saturday sees Munster play defending champions Leinster at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, where the hosts are looking to extend their record unbeaten run of 14 games in the Pro14.

The following day Ospreys take on Dragons in Swansea and Connacht face Ulster in Dublin.

Round 15 will again feature derbies in Britain, Ireland and Italy.

No dates have been fixed for the derby games in South Africa between the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings.

Due to the current conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, both teams have only been allowed to return to non-contact training this week.

Tournament director David Jordan said: “Thanks to the great efforts of our clubs and unions, the willingness of governments and the support of our broadcasters we now have a fixture list to look forward to.

“Everyone who makes our games possible has had to adapt to a new way of working under the restrictions of the pandemic and the response of all our key stakeholders has been very impressive.”

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