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    S15: Cheetahs likely to stay

    2012-05-21 22:31
    Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss (Gallo Images)
    Cape Town - It looks likely that the Cheetahs will remain as a Super Rugby team next year, with the Lions dropping out at the expense of the Southern Kings.

    Volksblad reports that the Cheetahs' favourable log position will in all probability mean the Johannesburg-based Lions would have to make way for the Kings next year.

    The South African Rugby Union (SARU) earlier this year promised the Southern Kings a place in Super Rugby in 2013 - hoping to convince SANZAR to expand the tournament to 16 teams to accommodate six South African teams. However, SANZAR has made it clear a change in the structure of the event won't happen until after 2015.

    SARU again met with its Super Rugby franchises in Johannesburg on Monday, with CEO Jurie Roux calling it a "very positive meeting". They apparently agreed on "a number of options" to solve the dilemma of having six sides fighting for five places in next year's competition.

    A final decision on how South Africa structures its Super Rugby teams from next season will be made by SARU's General Council on 13 July.

    However, the Cheetahs' favourable log position looks set to keep them in the competition next season, with SARU apparently looking to possibly stick with its initial decision - where the last placed team will drop out of the competition.

    Volksblad further reports that SARU is looking on how to "accommodate" the Lions, with a possible Cats merger (as was the case from 1998 to 2005) out of the question.

    The Cheetahs are currently 13 points clear of the bottom-of-the-log Lions, which makes it highly unlikely that they will finish below their rivals from Johannesburg.

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