A selected target date, August 22nd has been announced for the Guinness PRO14 2019/20 season to restart across all five competing territories.
The date was announced following a PRO14 board meeting on June 9th and was based upon information available in each jurisdiction in which the Guinness PRO14 is played.
The season will have an abbreviated finish that features the most attractive match-ups and rivalries from the competition with two rounds of derby games in each territory counting towards final positions. This will cut the season from 21 games to 15.
As previously stated by the PRO14 rugby in February, all games that were postponed before the indefinite suspensions will be deemed 0-0 draws. Round 13 fixtures of Zebre Rugby club v Ospreys and Bennetton Rugby v Ulster which were postponed will now be deemed 0-0. As a result, all four teams will have two points added to their totals.
The final of the Guinness PRO14 is targeted for Saturday the 12th of September with the season being concluded across 4 consecutive weekends. The proposed game rounds are Round 14 on Saturday, the 22nd of August, Round 15 on Saturday, the 29th of August, semi-finals on Saturday, 5th September and the final on Saturday, the 12th of September.
An overview of all health and safety protocols and protective measures that will be put in place will be published in due course. The protocols and measures are to prevent and mitigate the threat of COVID-19.
David Jordan, the tournament director said on the Guinness PRO14 website that “safety has been, and will continue to be, the highest priority as we look to activate our plans to restart the 2019/20 season. We are very fortunate to be in a position where everyone involved is confident that we can conclude the season on the field of play.”
“The work and diligence of our leading medical personnel at our unions, our clubs, World Rugby and key stakeholders to get us to this point has been immense. Operating across five territories often brings different complexities to the Guinness PRO14but out unions have worked hard to bring proposals to their governments so we may put plans into action,” said Jordan.
Planning for the 2020/21 competition has begun. The 3rd of October has been selected as the provisional date for round 1.
Image Credit: Twitter @Pro14Offical