A "Lions League" to replace the Pro 12? Keith Wood makes the case

Former Ireland captain proposes a new league make-up and format

BY Raf Diallo 21:31 Wednesday 12 July 2017, 21:31 12 Jul 2017

Keith Wood ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

While the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand seems to have maintained the series' standing, disputes among different parties regarding rugby's world calendar persist.

Some of that has much to do with the interests of clubs and speaking on Off The Ball on the final Wednesday Night Rugby of the season, former Ireland captain Keith Wood gave his take on structural changes that could be made.

And his suggestions would impact the Guinness Pro 12 and English Premiership.

"Well, there is a world calendar in conversation for the moment," he said.

"For me, there always has been a - I can't say it's a perfect route but a good route is I still believe in having a league system based with Britain and Ireland." 

Presently, the Pro 12 pitches Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian teams together, with speculation linking South African sides with future involvement. A different format and make-up is something Keith would like to see.

He continued: "So the idea of trying to amalgamate and come to some agreement where you could have England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales playing almost as in a Lions League and then you fit in a Lions tour at the end of the every four years that can be factored in properly. I mean, there's an awful lot of work that would have to be done to make that happen but that doesn't mean that would be the wrong thing to happen.

"Because the Pro 12 does well but not anywhere near as well as it needs to and there's a lot of money in the UK. So there would be a different divvy up of the spend. But that seems like the most comfortable fit for this to fit into the Northern Hemisphere calendar. We know that if it does fit into the Northern Hemisphere, it can fit into the Southern Hemisphere."    

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