Cheetahs, Kings in PRO12 by September?

Cape Town - Reports emanating from Europe suggest that the Cheetahs and Southern Kings could play in the PRO12 competition as early as September this year.

Recent media reports have indicated that the two South African franchises excluded from Super Rugby could be added to the PRO12 - a European competition that currently includes club teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

Super Rugby will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with two teams from South Africa and one from Australia to get the boot.

While nothing has been made official, the general consensus is that the two South African teams excluded from the competition will be the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings.

On Friday, BBC Sport reported that the Cheetahs and Southern Kings are set to join the PRO12 in September.

The new 14-team format is set to start for the 2017-18 season, rather than the following year.

Meanwhile, there has also been speculation that the South African sides could play some of their home matches in the United Kingdom, with Saracens' Allianz Park mentioned as a potential venue.

The PRO12 clashes with South Africa's Currie Cup, which means that the defending champion Free State Cheetahs and the EP Kings - who play in the Currie Cup First Division - will be forced to field second string outfits.

SA Rugby will announce on July 7 which two South African franchises will lose their Super Rugby status.

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