The Pro 14 is every bit as competitive as the AP and that's proven time and time again in Europe.Glasgow going away to win in la Rochelle is an unbelievable performance for a team supposedly on the wain. Did the Northampton fans forget that they should have lost or at least drew away to Benneton a couple of weeks ago were it not for some shambolic refeering gifting them a chance of a winning penalty kick after the 80 was up.
Saracens have won 5 out of the last 6 titles. How does this constitute a competitive league? Let's not pretend Leinster wouldn't have a similar record if they dumped us into the prem. There's just as many average teams in that league as ours.
That isn't the same thing (and in fact it sort of supports one of the points about Pro14 teams being able to target Europe more than GP teams).
Darren Cave made a very good point on this the other day that I think gets to the heart of the problem.
The best in the Pro14 are more than a match for the best in the GP.
The worst in the Pro14 (Dragons, Kings, Ospreys, Zebre etc) are a good bit below the bottom of the GP.
I think we completely ignore the impact relegation has on a competition. 'Competitiveness' is only a factor in getting into the playoffs and Europe in the Pro14, the bottom teams have little to play for.
In the GP because of relegation literally every game has incrementally more riding on it. The simple fact is without the threat of relegation, and with 6 sides getting into the playoffs instead of 4 in the GP, there's incrementally less riding on each game in the Pro14.
Irish guys who have played in both leagues have said this too - the threat of relegation has a huge impact on a team. DOC and Madigan for two examples.