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SA rugby welcomes PRO 14 competition

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WEB_PHOTO_KINGS_CHEETAHS_010817: The Captains, Lionel Cronje of the Southern Kings, and Francois Venter (captain) of the Cheetahs. © Deryck Foster/BackpagePix The Captains, Lionel Cronje of the Southern Kings, and Francois Venter (captain) of the Cheetahs.

JOHANNESBURG – The official launch of the PRO 14 competition took place in Cape Town on Friday.

It is a first cross-hemisphere regional competition, the Toyota Cheetahs and Southern King will compete against 12 Celtic and Italian sides.

“Life is about diversity, life is about options and life is about the opportunities and we as SA Rugby feel truly blessed that all of the shareholders and all of the unions see faith in us and see faith in our teams," said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

The new tournament created more diversity, he said

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"It makes perfect sense for us in terms of time zones, and it provides us options for bigger international exposure for our teams,”

Pro14 CEO Martin Anayi said; “We’ve had four different winners in four years, playing an attractive brand of rugby. We’ve never scored as many tries as we did last season. From world rugby statistics, including Super Rugby, we have the best statistics for ball in play, attacking rugby stats, they tend to set the Guinness PRO12 and we think they’ll go forward in the PRO14.

“From a competition point of view, we play a great brand of rugby, we come with arguably two of the best clubs in the world, Munster and Leinster, in terms of support/fan base,” Anayi added.

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