Celtic Park ‘could host rugby’s PRO14 final in 2019’

Celtic Park could stage next season's PRO14 final. Picture: SNS Group
Celtic Park could stage next season's PRO14 final. Picture: SNS Group
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Celtic Park could host next season’s rugby PRO14 final, as tournament organisers seek to widen the competition’s appeal.

A decision is expected in the coming weeks but the home of Celtic looks like being confirmed as the venue for the showpiece.

The stadium has never before hosted a rugby union fixture, but was the venue in 1909 for a rugby league match between Australia and England.

PRO14 chiefs are also looking to host the final in South Africa, after the 2017/18 competition was expanded to include two teams from the South African Rugby Union (SARU) - Southern Kings, of Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein-based side Cheetahs.

Sources in the country say that PRO14 chiefs have contacted SARU officials to make them aware of their desire to stage the PRO14 final in South Africa in the near future, with Cape Town mooted as a possible venue.

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However, with two Italian teams and four Welsh sides participating in the tournament, a South African final may still be some way off.

Seven of the eight PRO14 finals staged since the play-off system was brought in in 2009/10 have taken place in Ireland, with the 2015/16 final between Connacht and Leinster played at BT Murrayfield.

The 2018 final will be held for a second successive year at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.