International ventures await Kings, Cheetahs
Cape Town - Both the Cheetahs and the Kings have committed to seeking "exciting international ventures" following the decision to axe them from Super Rugby 2018.
SA Rugby confirmed on Friday that the Stormers, Sharks, Bulls and Lions would be the four franchises representing South Africa in the 2018 tournament following the SANZAAR restructuring.
SA Rugby president Jurie Roux thanked both franchises for their commitment to Super Rugby, while an SA Rugby statement added that "announcements relating to new international competitive opportunities for the two teams will be made in due course."
That fuels speculation that both the Kings and the Cheetahs are on the verge of joining Europe's Pro12 - a competition currently made up of sides from Ireland, Wales, Italy and Scotland.
"We will, at a later stage, announce the new direction in which the Southern Kings are headed," Kings CEO Crous confirmed.
"We have been working tirelessly to ensure that top-class, international rugby remains in the Eastern Cape and that the Southern Kings continue to produce new heroes while opening up new markets and opportunities for the franchise, local players and the province as a whole.
"Our exit from the Super Rugby competition does not signify doom, but rather the dawn of a new, promising and exciting era for Eastern Cape rugby. Furthermore, the traditional rugby landscape is set to change in future, particularly with the global rugby calendar being aligned. We are on the verge of being one of the first to be involved in such positive changes."
Roux had this to say: "I want to thank the Cheetahs and the Kings for the mature and professional manner in which they approached and managed this difficult situation. They took decisions that will not only benefit them, but also SA Rugby in general."