The Powergen Cup will be played between the twelve Guinness Premiership clubs and the four Welsh regions.
There will be four pools of four based geographically as follows:
3. Dates of Rounds/Kick-Off Times
Pool matches will kick-off between 6 pm (GMT) on Friday and 5 pm (GMT) on Sunday of the following weekends:
Round 1 (30th September,1st/2nd October 2005)
Round 2 (7th/8th/9th October 2005)
Round 3 (2nd/3rd/4th December 2005)
4. Points Scoring
The points scoring system for the pool stages will be as follows:
(i) Four points for a win
(ii) Two points for a draw
(iii) A bonus point for scoring four tries or more
(iv) A bonus point for losing by a margin of seven points or less
5. Pool Winners
(a) The pool winner will be the team with the highest number of match points in each pool.
(b) If two teams in the same pool end the pool stage equal on match points, then qualification will be determined by the results of the match played between the two sides.
(c) But if the match is a draw:
(i) the team which has scored the greater number of tries in the match; and
(ii) if tries are equal, the team with the best points difference from all three matches
(d) If three teams in the same pool at the end the pool stage are equal on match points, then qualification will be determined by the results of the matches played between those three teams concerned (i.e. A v B, A v C, B v C,) as follows:
(i) the team which has earned the greater number of match points from the matches;
(ii) if match points are equal, the team which has scored the most tries in the matches; and
(iii) if tries are equal, the team with the best points difference from all the matches in the pool stage.
(e) If all four teams in the same pool end the pool stage equal on match points, then qualification will be determined by:
(i) most tries scored in the pool stage; or
(ii) if tries are equal, the best points difference from all the matches in the pool stage.
(f) If qualification is still unresolved, qualification will be based on:
(i) if points difference is equal, the team with the fewest number of players shown a red card in the pool stage; or
(ii) if the number of players shown a red card in the pool stage is equal, the team with the fewest number of players shown a yellow card in the pool stage; or
(iii) if still unresolved, by the toss of a coin.
(a) A draw will decide which of the pool winners will play each other in the semi finals, which winners will be deemed to be .home teams. and in which order the semi finals will be played.
(b) Each semi-final will be played at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff on 4th March 2006 and the final will be played at Twickenham on 9th April 2006.
(c) In the event of a tie at full-time at either semi-final or the final the winner of that shall be determined by:
(i) extra-time of 20 minutes (10 minutes each way); then
(ii) if the scores are tied after extra-time, then the team that has scored the most tries in the match (including extra time) shall be deemed the winner; then
(iii) if the teams have scored the same number of tries in the match (including extra-time), then the winner will be determined by a place-kick competition.
7. Eligibility of Players
(i) A team may not be represented in the competition by any person who has played or been a replacement (i.e. included in the match squad) for another team in the competition in the current season.
(ii) A team may not play as a player or select as a replacement in any match in the competition more than two foreign players.
8. Match Officials
(i) The match officials shall be appointed by the RFU following consultation with the WRU.
(ii) Television Match Officials may be appointed by RFU in conjunction with WRU for any match.
(i) Decisions on whether matches abandoned should be replayed or whether the result should stand will be made by the RFU.
(ii) Postponed matches should be played the following day where practicable.
10. Club Colours
In the event of a colour clash, it will be the away team's responsibility to change shirts.
(a) Red cards
Players dismissed from the field of play will be required to attend a hearing before a disciplinary panel organized by the RFU comprising members appointed by RFU in consultation with WRU at the Bristol Filton Holiday Inn (unless some other venue is agreed between RFU, WRU and the club/region of which the player is a member) on the Tuesday following the match.
(b) Yellow Cards
A totting up process will be established. Three yellow cards awarded for foul play will require the player to appear at a hearing on the next available date.
(c) Citing Procedures
The RFU Disciplinary Manager shall:
(i) make arrangements for a video recording of each Match to be taken, to a common standard, and independently from any video which may be commissioned by the participating clubs;
(ii) make arrangements whereby all independent videos are received by the RFU Discipline Department at Twickenham by not later than seventy-two hours after the conclusion of each match;
(iii) appoint a suitable number of Citing Officers, who shall be experienced in the playing and/or refereeing of top level Rugby Union Football, and shall be well versed in the Laws of the Game and their application;
(iv) immediately upon its receipt forward the independent video to a Citing Officer who is not affiliated to or connected in any way with either of the Clubs which participated in the Competition Match.
(v) A team may within forty-eight hours of the conclusion of a match notify the RFU Disciplinary Manager of any incidents which it wishes the Citing Officer to consider. The RFU Disciplinary Manager will immediately notify the Citing Officer of that Club's concerns.
(vi) A Citing Officer alone shall have the power and responsibility to cite a player where the Citing Officer believes the independent video shows that player to have committed an act of foul play whether or not it has been detected by the match officials. Such citing, to be effective, must be made in writing (the citing report) to be received by the RFU Disciplinary Manager at Twickenham within thirty-six hours of the receipt by the Citing Officer of the independent video or within seven days of the conclusion of the Competition Match, whichever shall be the earlier.
(viii) Upon receipt of a citing report from a Citing Officer, the RFU Disciplinary Manager shall forward to the player cited, through his club/team a charge sheet giving brief details of the alleged act of foul play, a copy of the citing report and a copy of the independent video of the match containing the incident giving rise to the citing.
Thereafter, the RFU Disciplinary Manager shall make arrangements together with the WRU for the hearing of the citation by a disciplinary Panel comprising members nominated by the RFU and WRU.
(i) Appeals against a decision by a disciplinary panel will be heard by an Appeal Panel on the Thursday following the Tuesday hearing provided notice of appeal has been received by noon on the day following the hearing of the Disciplinary Panel, failing which, the time-frame for any such appeal will be set out in the decision of the disciplinary panel.
(ii) An independent Chairman and two other panel members will be appointed by the RFU.