BLOEMFONTEIN – The 2019/20 Guinness Pro14 kicks off on Friday night when the South African Currie Cup champions, the Toyota Cheetahs, host last season’s finalists, Glasgow Warriors, in Bloemfontein.

A distinguishing statistic of the Pro14 is that it is tops when it comes to fewer penalties, more ball in play and faster action when compared to European rival competitions.

Last season, a massive 880 tries were scored and it contrasted with the general perception that rugby in the northern hemisphere is a cumbersome game as Irish powerhouse Leinster romped to their sixth Championship title in an epic final.

Cheetahs winger Rabs Maxwane topped the try-scoring tally, crossing the whitewash with 14 tries as he remained the stand-out winger for the Bloemfontein side.

In fact, the momentum created by the Pro14 filtered down as the Cheetahs were also popular Currie Cup champions, beating the Lions in the final last month.

And, with 116 players in Japan at the Rugby World Cup, the competition stands head and shoulders above other leagues in developing stars for the international stage.

The competition kicks off on Friday – without the World Cup contingent – but with an opportunity to see the cream of rising talent on show.

In South Africa, a revamped Southern Kings side will be amped to make the most of it, while the Cheetahs, with the momentum of a Currie Cup crown, will want to make yet another impression. 

African News Agency (ANA)