Irish legend slams SA PRO14 sides as 'waste of time'

Keith Wood (Getty)
Keith Wood (Getty)

Irish legend Keith Wood has slammed South Africa's participation in the PRO14, calling it a "waste of time". 

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The Cheetahs and the Kings joined the competition from the 2017/18 season, meaning that sides from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy have had to travel to South Africa for some of their away games. 

Now, with the coronavirus pandemic having enforced a national lockdown in South Africa, that arrangement has resulted in a complication. 

The 2019/20 season was suspended as the virus brought global sport to a standstill, and it is not clear if it will be completed. 

Wood, speaking on a podcast for the Off the Ball website, didn't mince his words when discussing the South African sides last week. 

"For me, the PRO14, I don't like it as a competition," he said. 

"I've never quite understood (I do understand because of Italy being in the Six Nations) the need to put Italian sides, with no history, no sense of a rivalry into the midst of a Celtic competition.

"And the South African teams for me I think are an absolute waste of time. In terms of player welfare, deciding in the middle of your season, especially for international players, to suddenly have to pop down and play a game at the Highveld, for me it isn't particularly right."

Wood, now 48, played a total of 63 Test matches - 58 for Ireland and five for the British & irish Lions - between 1994 and 2003. 

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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