From the start of next season, the Anglo-Welsh Cup will be replaced by an new 12 team Premiership Rugby Cup.
Focusing on the core sides within the Aviva Premiership, the dis-association from the Welsh regions is both a loss, but also a refocusing on the development of the Under 23 age-grade players, and in Premiership Rugby coaches
The pathway for young players is now clear, linking the three competitions; Premiership Rugby, Premiership A League and now the Premiership Rugby Cup.
Premiership Rugby Cup to replace the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2018/19
With total prize money of more than half a million pounds, the new competition will be played over four pool rounds, including the Derby Day, semi-finals and Final. The Premiership Rugby Cup will comprise three pools of four teams each and will kick off with the first two pool rounds starting on the last weekend of October and the second two starting at the end of January.
“The pathway for young players is now clear linking the Under-18s League, the A League and now the Premiership Rugby Cup into one strong route towards Gallagher Premiership Rugby, European competitions and Test matches.”
New Premiership Rugby Cup launched https://t.co/aRrV2HDka0
— Harlequins 🃏 (@Harlequins) May 10, 2018
The significant change from this season, will be the absence of Welsh clubs. “We are sad that our friends in the Welsh Regions will not be involved next season but we have been discussing for some time that they need to move a new structure, prioritising an Under-23 format.”
The pool draw for the new Premiership Rugby Cup will be announced at BT Tower on 6 July.
- New competition to be called Premiership Rugby Cup
- Prize money in every match for the winning team
- Four rounds followed by semi-final and Final
- Final to be staged at the home ground of the highest seeded team.
The Exeter Chiefs will be the last side to hold aloft the Anglo-Welsh Cup, yet it appears that the governing body has looked to further streamline the competition. So from 13 teams, down to 12 teams for the Premiership A League, and a view to endorsing the Academy system that the top-tier sides have invested in.
The Greene King IPA Championship will likely still operate as per 2017/18, but with a higher reward for promotion – considering the half a million pounds prize money on offer for the Premiership Rugby Cup.
Excerpts have been used from an Premiership Rugby media release.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images