Pro14: Ospreys face Scarlets in Euro play-off


Ospreys wing George North is a former Scarlets star

Scarlets will travel to Ospreys in Pro14’s Champions Cup play-off in May.

The fixture involving the teams was confirmed after a dramatic final day of the regular Pro14 season.

Ospreys saw off Cardiff Blues 26-23 in Welsh rugby’s second Judgement Day encounter to finish fourth in Conference A.

Scarlets lost to Dragons, but two bonus points were enough to keep their dream of top-flight European rugby alive.

Benetton finished third in Conference B after winning at Zebre, with Scarlets dropping back to fourth.

Glasgow later ended Edinburgh’s hopes of rising to fourth, leaving Scarlets with the chance to beat their arch west-Wales rivals to a coveted spot among Europe’s elite.

The match on 17 or 18 May will be staged at the Liberty Stadium and come at the end of a season in which a proposed merger between Ospreys and Scarlets was called off.

Ospreys have home advantage because they secured more league points than the Scarlets.

Wales will have a team in the Champions Cup next season but no side competing in the Pro14 play-offs with Glasgow, Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht and Benetton battling it out for the league title.

European equation

There are 20 places available in Europe’s top flight with qualification coming via top leagues including in France and England as well as the Pro14 which has teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and South Africa, who are not eligible for continental competitions.

Nineteen teams qualify automatically for the Champions Cup with seven sides from the Pro14 and six each from the English and French leagues.

The 20th and final position will be decided by a series of complicated results which could see the Pro14 being given an eighth spot, or a side from the Top 14 or Gallagher Premiership celebrate a seventh side in the Champions Cup.

For the Pro14 to benefit, this season’s Challenge Cup semi-finalists Clermont, La Rochelle, Harlequins and Sale need to finish in the top six of their respective leagues and Leinster would have to defeat Saracens in the Champions Cup final on 11 May.

An eighth Pro14 spot could then either go to the team that loses the Champions Cup play-off between Ospreys and Scarlets or to the side with the eighth most league points, which is currently Cardiff Blues.

Pro14 organisers have not yet revealed the exact criteria for that eighth European spot should the convoluted scenario arise.

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Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48081289

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Publish date : 2019-04-27 20:47:44

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