Celtic League (rugby union)

Celtic League (Rugby Union)

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Celtic League (rugby union)

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The Celtic League, known as the RaboDirect Pro12 for sponsorship reasons, is an annual rugby union competition involving professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

Beginning in the 2001-02 season, the league was originally known as the Celtic League (Irish: An tSraith Cheilteach) (Welsh: Y Gynghrair Geltaidd) and comprised teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The league was sponsored by Irish cider makers Magners from the 2006-07 season until 2010-11. At the start of the 2010-11 season, two new Italian entrants competed in the league. Following the end of Magners sponsorship, from the 2011-12 season the league will be sponsored by RaboDirect for four seasons.

The league is one of the three major professional leagues in Europe, along with the English Aviva Premiership and the French Top 14.

Until the 2008–09 season the league champion was determined solely from league performance. However from the 2009–10 season, a play-off structure was re-introduced, similar to that used in the English Premiership.

Tournament format

The league season takes place between September and May, with each team playing every other team on a home and away basis. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top four placed teams enter the semi-final stage, with the winner of the first vs fourth and second vs third playoffs entering the Grand Final. The venue for...
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