Allan Dell warns Pro14 not to go down the Super Rugby route

Scotland prop Allan Dell has issued an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” message to the Guinness Pro14 in a week when Wales’ so-called “Project Reset” has dominated headlines.

The two most successful Welsh regions, Scarlets and Ospreys, held talks to merge before abandoning the idea yesterday after widespread opposition.

It would have meant another change to an originally Celtic competition which has gone on to absorb Italian and South African teams. There has been talk of more clubs from South Africa joining the Cheetahs and Southern Kings, who were brought into the league in 2017, while expansion into North America has also been mooted in the past.

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Dell is leaving Edinburgh to join English Championship frontrunners London Irish next season but remains concerned for the future of the tournament.

Scotland prop Allan Dell. Picture: SNS
Scotland prop Allan Dell. Picture: SNS

“If you look at Super Rugby, it has become a bit of a mess now with all the teams coming in. I don’t know if it is because of finances and all these people trying to get more money in the franchises,” said the 26-year-old.

Super Rugby, which was set up as a provincial club competition for the southern hemisphere big three of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia has since taken in franchises from Argentina and Japan and evolved into a convoluted conference system which has been aped by the Pro14.

“I don’t know what’s happening with the Welsh teams and the mergers and things like that. I don’t want to talk about that,” added Dell.

“But the Pro14 need to make sure they are not copying Super Rugby and trying to chase too many teams coming in and it’s left in the situation where it is saturated like Super Rugby. Whatever they decide to do, hopefully it is for the best for the competition and for the teams involved.”