Cheetahs focused on Super Rugby survival, for now...
Cape Town - The Cheetahs have responded to a suggestion that they should join a European rugby competition should they be axed from Super Rugby in 2018.
The Super Rugby competition will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year, with South Africa losing two teams and Australia one.
There have been calls for the Cheetahs and Southern Kings to be the two South African teams to go, but SA Rugby is yet to make an official decision.
In an exclusive discussion with Sport24, former Eastern Cape rugby boss Tony McKeever suggested that the Cheetahs and Kings should join the PRO12 competition in Europe.
The PRO12 - which runs from September to May - is an annual competition involving 12 professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
In response to McKeever’s suggestion, the Cheetahs said their first priority would be to fight for their survival in Super Rugby, but that they would explore other opportunities in a worst case scenario.
A statement issued by the Cheetahs reads:
“The Cheetahs’ full attention, energy and focus is currently to maintain its position in Super Rugby - in the interests of our sport rugby in central South Africa.
“All possibilities will however be considered in order to maintain and promote the sustainability of rugby in central South Africa.”
Netwerk24 also reported earlier in the week that the Cheetahs were planning on taking the matter of their Super Rugby status to court.
The franchise had consulted with a senior advocate to test the validity of SA Rugby’s contract - which determines that the Cheetahs form part of Super Rugby until 2020.