Gosper backs PRO12 expansion

Date published: August 28 2016

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says he supports the idea of North American teams competing in the PRO12.

PRO12 officials have reportedly held talks which could lead to American and Canadian teams becoming part of the competition in the future.

The PRO12 us currently made up of four teams from Ireland and Wales each and two from Scotland and Italy respectively but talks of the Six Nations moving has led to talks of expansion.

“We’d be supportive of any competitions including US-based sides,” said Gosper.

“The US market is a very important market for rugby. It’s a high-growth market, it’s the fastest-growing team sport in the USA. It certainly will, we think, provide us in the future with huge revenues to World Rugby through our Rugby World Cup product, which all gets invested back into the game around the world.

“That competition, or the Aviva [Premiership], or the Top 14, or Super Rugby – they’re all competing for players and competing for eyeballs on broadcasts, so we understand why they would be interested in having a US team in their competition.

“From our point of view, it would be great because it would be developing players in that area who otherwise would have to come to Europe. Anything that keeps and inspires some home-grown US players can only be good for the development of that sport.”