Gavin Cummiskey on the new PRO14: It's good for Irish rugby

Two South African teams have joined the newly expanded competition

BY Simon Maguire 11:59 Wednesday 2 August 2017, 11:59 2 Aug 2017

Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Gavin Cummiskey joined Monday's Off the Ball to discuss the addition of two South African teams ahead of the new season.

The Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will join the new Guinness PRO14 Championship this season and brings and interesting northern hemisphere-southern hemisphere angle to the competition.

The new format will see each team play 21 "regular season" games before the play-offs. The top three teams from each conference will progress to the end-of-season showcase. The top team in each conference will automatically advance to the semi-finals. 

Speaking to Joe Molly, Cummiskey said: "I heard reports from a decent enough source that any problems were kind of moved out of the way because of the broadcasting money - it's up to half a million per province which sorts a lot of things out. I don't know if that includes costs but a lot of the problems have been taken out of it. 

"There's no jet-lag - that immediately takes a huge issue with the travel out of it. Saturday games, as far as I know and the CEO of the PRO12, now PRO14, Martin Anayi - he was brought in to make them competitive with the English and French markets. And, it seemed impossible unless they went international.

"A year ago I interviewed him and he said this and it looked like they were all going to cobble together a franchise on the east cost of America and bring that into play and that still might happen...but because Super Rugby is a bit of a convoluted mess at the moment, Australia are about to go to court with whoever they cut from their Super Rugby teams.

"For South Africa, this is a bit of a gift - it suits everyone at the moment. Whether it works or not, only time will tell."

South African rugby journalist Craig Ray also joined the panel and the full discussion can be heard here:

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