Tuesday 20 March 2018

South African side receive formal invitation to join the Guinness PRO12 - report

Is the PRO12 about to become the PRO13?
Is the PRO12 about to become the PRO13?
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

South African Super Rugby side Cheetahs have been formally offered a place in the Guinness PRO12, according to a report from BBC Scotland.

The Bloemfontein-based side are likely to be jettisoned when Super Rugby is restructured and they have been offered a chance to join the PRO12 which contains teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy.

Southern Hemisphere's governing body, SANZAAR, are expected to cut the Super Rugby competition to 15 teams as part of anew structure that will come into place next season.

The Cheetahs and the Kings look like the two South African franchises that will be lost along with an Australian team.

Last month, Tony McKeever, who was the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Spears' chief executive, proposed that the two South African sides, who will be axed from Super Rugby, take part in the PRO12.

A spokesperson from the PRO12 declined to comment when approached by the BBC but it appears as though they have made overtures to the South African side.

The PRO12 have looked at expanding into the North American market in the past to tap into new markets, while there has also been speculation that the South African rugby union have been exploring options to participate in competitions in the Northern Hemisphere.

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