JOHANNESBURG - The Cheetahs and the Kings are set to finally hear their Super Rugby fate on Friday.
Although SA Rugby have remained tight-lipped during the week, it is anticipated Friday's Special General Meeting in Newlands will confirm that this will be the last year that the Cheetahs and the Kings will taste Super Rugby.
Since SANZAAR’s announcement that the 2018 Super Rugby competition would be restructured and that the changes would include a three-conference, 15-team format, it has been widely speculated that the Cheetahs and the Kings would be the two South African teams that would be axed.
Although details have been sketchy, there has also been unconfirmed reports that both South African franchises might compete in Europe’s Pro 12 with teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy.
Since the SANZAAR announcement, representatives of South Africa’s six Super Rugby franchises in April agreed a set of criteria to determine the four teams to represent South Africa in the competition from next year.
The new Franchise Committee, the CEOs of the franchises and the other committee members identified the areas which the teams would be assessed on.
These areas included financial and economic sustainability, sustainable support base, team performance and stadium and facilities.
The new format will include five teams from New Zealand, four from Australia, four from South Africa and one team from Japan and one from Argentina.