In a statement released today by John Hussey, Chairman of Celtic Rugby, the board have announced that they have invited the Italian Rugby Federation to enter two teams in the Magners League from the 2010/11 season.
The Celtic Rugby Board yesterday considered the possibility of the introduction of two Italian teams to the Magners League.
Resulting from these deliberations, it has advised the FIR (Federazione Italiana Rugby) that they have agreed in principle to invite two Italian teams to join the Magners League in the 2010/11 season – subject to a number of conditions being met.
These conditions, which will be clearly defined, fall under main headings of playing and facility standards, finance and commercial including television.
This will be a comprehensive process and will take some time. The Board therefore decided that participation could not commence before the 2010/11 season.
The Magners League is one of the top professional rugby union tournaments in the world.
The quality of the Magners League is demonstrated by the fact that in the deciding Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland no less than 42 out of the 44 players that took part in that historic match play their rugby in the Magners League.
Four of this season’s Heineken Cup quarter-finalists are Magners League teams. It is essential that any changes to the structure of this great competition maintain the highest standards.
Chairman, Celtic Rugby