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BKT URC Announces ‘Shields For Good’

BKT URC Announces ‘Shields For Good’

Leinster were the URC Irish Shield winners for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The four regional Shield trophies on offer in the BKT United Rugby Championship will carry greater reward this season with the league adding prizes for charities and foundations.

The BKT URC will share its platforms and a number of promotional rights with the chosen charity partners of each Shield winner from this season and into the future.

As part of the league’s commitment to purpose-led campaigns, the BKT URC is eager to support the organisations that are so connected to the competition’s teams and communities and add an extra layer of pride to the triumph of winning a regional shield.

Introduced in 2021, the regional Shields covering Ireland, Italy and Scotland, South Africa and Wales, were used as a mechanism to award four of the league’s places in the Investec Champions Cup.

As of this season, the Shields no longer provide a qualifying place into the Investec Champions Cup and, as such, only the games against a team’s Shield rivals (6) count towards their places in the mini tables.

This format allows the BKT URC’s closest competitors to trade blow for blow exclusively against each other, and now the four winners will have the added bonus of providing additional marketing assets to their chosen charity or foundation.

The lucky charities or foundations will be invited to become guardians of their respective Shield for the following season while also taking part in a presentation ceremony.

These organisations will receive match-day assets within the stadium for all of the derby games (12) connected to their respective Shield, while league digital platforms will provide spotlight content to promote their causes.

United Rugby Championship CEO Martin Anayi said: “Local rivalries have always brought about a fight for bragging rights, and it’s very fulfilling for us to attach tangible rewards for organisations and causes that seek to better the communities of our teams.

“Everyone across our league uses their responsibilities as role models to make a positive impact – now through ‘Shields for Good’ their actions on the pitch will have even more resonance off it.”


Irish: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster
Italian x Scottish: Benetton, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Zebre Parma
South African: DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions, Hollywoodbets Sharks, Vodacom Bulls
Welsh: Cardiff, Dragons, Ospreys, Scarlets

How the Shield format works

– Four teams per Shield
– Each team plays its three rivals home and away
– After all teams have completed their six Shield fixtures, the team ranked number 1 will earn the ‘Shields for Good’ assets for their chosen charity partner or foundation

As it Stands – Shield Tables

Irish Shield

Leinster 14 points
Ulster 13 points
Connacht 10 points
Munster 3 points

All teams have played 4 of 6 games

Italian x Scottish Shield

Benetton 14 points
Glasgow Warriors 14 points
Edinburgh 9 points
Zebre Parma 2 points

Games played: Benetton 5, Glasgow Warriors 4, Edinburgh 4, Zebre Parma 3

South African Shield

Vodacom Bulls 20 points
DHL Stormers 17 points
Emirates Lions 12 points
Hollywoodbets Sharks 3 points

All teams have played 5 of 6 games

Welsh Shield

Ospreys 14 points
Cardiff 12 points
Scarlets 11 points
Dragons RFC 9 points

Games played: Ospreys 4, Cardiff 5, Scarlets 5, Dragons 4

Remaining Fixtures:

Irish Shield

R16: Munster v Connacht
R17: Ulster v Leinster
R18: Leinster v Connacht
R18: Munster v Ulster

Italian x Scottish Shield

R15: Zebre Parma v Glasgow Warriors
R16: Edinburgh v Zebre Parma
R18: Glasgow Warriors v Zebre Parma
R18: Benetton v Edinburgh

South African Shield

R18: Hollywoodbets Sharks v Vodacom Bulls
R18: DHL Stormers v Emirates Lions

Welsh Shield

R17: Ospreys v Dragons
R18: Scarlets v Dragons
R18: Cardiff v Ospreys