Surprise Nation Reveal They’ve Had Talks About Entering The PRO12
The German Rugby Federation had held talks with PRO12 officials over the possibility of its national team joining the league.
The preliminary discussions however were at a very low level, with the goal of entering the side very much a long-term one.
Speaking to The42 ahead of their Rugby Europe Championship game against Belgium, Union president Klaus Blank said:
“We have been in contact with Pro12. They explained to us what they are targeting for the next seven, eight years so it’s not next season or it’s not the season after that. It’s a long-term thing.
“There was contact last summer when they asked us to have a little chat about the ideas of Pro12. They said to us that they’re thinking about maybe North America, maybe countries here in Europe but it’s just as an idea.
“I actually don’t understand the discussion in the media about that because it’s not realistic to where we are in conversations. It was just one chat. I wasn’t involved in this discussion but as I said there was only one time and that was half a year ago so I really don’t know why this happened, maybe one interview at the wrong time. I don’t know if it was a misunderstanding.”
Regardless of what happens, Blank did state it is imperative that entering a serious competition will be vital for the German team’s development and the evolution of the sport in the country.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Pro12 or something else, if we want to develop our team and more players we need a competition like that,” he continued.
“If it’s Pro12 or something else, it doesn’t matter but we need more competitions on a higher level. That’s what we need and that’s one of our targets but it’s not on us to get into Pro12 or something else.
“If they want us or any other country to join, they have to ask and they have to give the structure and then we can discuss that. It’s not our tournament but if we are invited we would be happy but that’s it, we don’t force it.”