B&I Cup To Undergo Restructure
Competition set for changes next season
The British & Irish Cup will undergo a revision to the current structure for the 2013-14 season, moving from 32 teams to 24, playing in six pools of four.
Following the restructure, four Principality Premiership teams will now represent Wales in the competition, joining the 12 clubs of the RFU Championship as well as four from each of Ireland and Scotland.
Selection of the Welsh teams will be based on regional play-offs at the start of next season, with final positions in this season’s Principality Premiership giving teams Home field advantage.
RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew commented: “The British & Irish Cup organising committee agreed that the reduction in clubs would make for a more competitive league competition.
"The regional play-offs are a positive way of ensuring an appropriate regional spread combined with the best teams representing Wales in the competition, while the top four finishers in the Scottish domestic leagues will be automatically be included alongside the 12 Championship clubs.”
2013-14 British & Irish Cup structure
12 RFU Championship clubs
4 Welsh Principality Premiership clubs
4 Irish provinces – Connacht, Munster, Leinster and Ulster
4 Scottish teams - top 4 finishers in RBS Premier Division: Ayr, Gala, Stirling County and Edinburgh Academicals.
6 pools of 4 playing home and away
4 points for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 bonus point for a) scoring 4 or more tries and/or b) losing by 7 points or less
Top side in each pool progress to knockout stage, including two best runners-up
8 quarter-finalists ranked with teams ranked 1-4 having home advantage
Semi-finals and final
Four winning quarter finalists progress to semi -final draw
Winning semi-finalists progress to final