PRO14’s thriving Leinster-Glasgow rivalry is potentially set to increase next season as they are poised to compete in the same conference for the first time.
The Guinness tournament went down its current two-conference route in 2017/18 when two South African franchises were invited to join.
Fourteen teams in the same one division would have meant a 26-game regulation season, up from the previous 22, and too long a season.
It was instead decided to split teams into two seven-team conferences and run a 21-fixture campaign where some teams in different conferences only play each other once over the course of the season.
That was the situation regarding Conference B team Leinster and Conference A side Glasgow. They met in Glasgow in November 2017, the Warriors winning 31-21, and again 17 months later, the Scots winning 39-24 in Dublin in April.
A spot of news for you. Wales is to stage the PRO14 final for the first time next season. Great to be able to report this. It's been a long wait.https://t.co/yAJ0lzq1rw
— Simon Thomas (@simonrug) May 28, 2019
In both seasons, Glasgow finished as the top side in Conference A (81 points and 16 wins in 2019, 76 points and 15 wins in 2018) and Leinster were the top side in Conference B (76 points and 15 wins in 2019, 70 points and 14 wins in 2018).
Now, having just featured in this season’s showpiece final which attracted a record attendance to Celtic Park, Glasgow and Leinster are set to be put into the same conference for the next two seasons as PRO14 prepares to freshen up its fixture list based on the finishing positions in this season’s league.
It’s believed that Conference A will likely feature the highest and lowest ranked Irish sides, the middle two Welsh teams, the highest Scottish and South African teams and the lower Italian franchise. If so, it would mean a line-up of Leinster, Connacht, Cardiff, Scarlets, Glasgow, Cheetahs and Zebre.
That would leave Conference B consisting of the second and third ranked Irish sides, the first and fourth ranked Welsh teams, the second best Scottish and South African teams along with the first ranked Italian side. The line-up would be Munster, Ulster, Ospreys, Dragons, Edinburgh, Southern Kings and Treviso.
This refreshed conference draw would stay in place for the next two years.
WATCH: RugbyPass goes behind the scenes at the 2018 Guinness PRO14 final between Leinster and Scarlets in Dublin
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