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SBD Global/September 13, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Pro14 CEO Martin Anayi Says U.S. East Coast Team Will Join Competition

It is a matter of "when, not if" a team based on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. joins the Pro14, tournament CEO Martin Anayi said, according to Alex Lowe of the LONDON TIMES. Anayi oversaw the expansion of the Pro14 this summer, with the inclusion of two franchises from South Africa, and he "plans on turning the cross-hemisphere club tournament into a transatlantic competition." Premiership Rugby is "building a presence" in the U.S., having struck a broadcast deal with NBC. Additionally, the Newcastle Falcons will play Saracens in Philadelphia, Pa., on Saturday. Anayi said that "plans are close for the Pro14 to establish a permanent foothold" in the U.S. with the introduction of a team based on the East Coast, plus another in Germany. Anayi: "We are thinking about what is next. The two teams in South Africa can change our game and change our tournament and if we get that right we shouldn't stop there. We would be looking to expand again at some stage. ... [When it comes to] taking games to America, we have to be innovative. The English have got a great thing going in Philadelphia and it will go really well" (LONDON TIMES, 9/12).
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