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Conference Call . . . Those Pro14 Changes Explained

What price the Ospreys or Dragons reaching the play-offs of the Guinness Pro 14 next season after a shake up in the formatting of the two conferences?

The Ospreys may have been the best of a bad bunch of Welsh regional performers in the Pro 14 last season, but their reward has been to find themselves in the same conference as the two finalists from 2019, Leinster and Glasgow, and semi-finalists Ulster.

The ranking is based on the two conferences being put together and ranked in terms of points. It means that Leinster, despite the fact that they are Pro 14 champions, are ranked as the second Irish team behind Munster who edged them out by a point last year.

In total six teams have changed conferences for the next two years.

With only the top three teams in each conference making the end of season play-offs it looks as though both Welsh regional sides will be up against it once again. None of the four regions made the play-offs last season and only the Ospreys qualified for the Heineken Champions Cup.

Zebre Rugby and the Cheetahs complete Conference A, while Cardiff Blues and the 2017 champions, Scarlets, find themselves grouped with Edinburgh, Munster, Connacht, Benetton Rugby and the Southern Kings in Conference B.

After two seasons of reaching the final, the Scarlets dropped back to fourth place in their conference last season. Munster were semi-finalists, while Connacht and Benetton reached the quarter-finals.

The line-ups will remain in place for two seasons, although teams do play across conferences. However, all points won only count in your own Conference table and only the top three teams reach the knock-out phase.

Six teams have changed Conferences for the next two years.

Conference A

Glasgow Warriors (SCO 1)

Leinster Rugby (IRE 2)

Ulster Rugby (IRE 3)

Ospreys Rugby (WAL 1)

Dragons Rugby (WAL 4)

Zebre Rugby Club (ITA 2)

Toyota Cheetahs (SA 1)

 

Conference B

Edinburgh Rugby (SCO 2)

Munster Rugby (IRE 1)

Connacht Rugby (IRE 4)

Cardiff Blues (WAL 2)

Scarlets (WAL 3)

Benetton Rugby (ITA 1)

Isuzu Southern Kings (SA 2)

 

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