Cape Town - The Cheetahs are seemingly confident that they will retain their Super Rugby status.
This comes after SANZAAR confirmed on Sunday that the Super Rugby tournament will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year.
South Africa will lose two teams and Australia one, with Japan’s Sunwolves and Argentina’s Jaguares retained.
Speculation is rife that the Cheetahs and Southern Kings will be the two South African teams to go, but the Bloemfontein franchise is hopeful that will not be the case.
SA Rugby will commence with internal consultations to identify its four entrants to the 2018 competition. The process will start in Johannesburg on Tuesday (April 11), where the SA Rugby Franchise Rugby Committee will meet.
The newly-established Franchise Rugby Committee is made up of representatives of all six South African franchises, with the Cheetahs represented by Managing Director Harold Verster.
In a statement released on Monday, the Cheetahs commented: “There is a substantial process that still needs to be followed before a final decision can be taken. SA Rugby said that it hoped it would be able to confirm its 2018 Super Rugby participants by the end of June 2017.
“These are challenging and uncertain times for all the Super Rugby franchises in SA. The Cheetahs are 100% committed to the process and we strongly believe that through an honest and fair process we stand a strong chance of retaining our Super Rugby status.
“In the meantime, we are looking forward to an exciting clash with the Chiefs. Our team is focused and ready to take on the Chiefs this Saturday.”