Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says there have been no talks over a British and Irish league.

There have been reports and speculation this year of such a tournament being launched in the coming seasons.

But Anayi says no discussions have taken place and his focus is on consolidating the Pro14 competition alongside the two an tournaments.

“That is all news to us,” said Anayi at the official launch of Cardiff hosting the 2019-20 Pro14 final.

“I sometimes laugh because there is sometimes some ignorance around there being a an Cup.

“That is the platform where we play the great games against the English and French sides.

“We love the Champions and Challenge Cup and our part in it. We think we can do more to help those two tournaments as well as the Pro14.

“So the definite answer for us is our future is with the Pro14 and EPCR which represents the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

“We are focusing on that. We have a good product which we love and fans that are loving it more and more by the day.”

‘No expansion’ into North America’

A move to a British and Irish league could be linked to private investment coming into the Pro14, something which has already happened in England.

Premiership has moved into a “new era” after a deal was concluded for private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to invest more than £200m.

CVC has bought a minority shareholding, understood to be about 27%.

Welsh Union chief executive Martyn Phillips has said no concrete decisions have been made on any private investments in the Pro14 and it is currently speculation.

Anayi also said there were no plans for future expansion into North America.

Leinster celebrate

“I like the game growing in territories where it should be strong,” said Anayi.

“Are we the best way for that to happen now they have a domestic league? Probably not. We are better off probably supporting their domestic league.

“My view has changed over the last couple of years so we are not pursuing it (American teams in Pro14).”

Anayi said there were no plans to increase the number of sides in the competition.

“I want the 14 to be strong,” said Anayi.

“When you don’t have promotion and relegation, the bottom half of the table needs to really push the top half.

“We are probably getting one to eight being strong and we need nine to 14 being able to beat one to eight on any day.

“My job is to make sure the bottom half of the table is as strong as the top half and that is my focus for the next few years.”


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