Rugby

Cheetahs, Kings set for 21 games in Pro14 season

2017-07-19 12:50
Cheetahs (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Cheetahs and Southern Kings’ participation in a new European competition is set to be announced within the next week.

The Pro12 will be rebranded to Pro14 to include the two South African teams, who were recently axed from Super Rugby.

According to BBC Sport, the six-year deal is likely to benefit the league to the tune of an extra £6m per season from SA Rugby and additional television income.

The new league will kick-off in the first week of September and will comprise two conferences of seven teams. Each conference will have one Scottish side, one South African side, one Italian side and two each from Wales and Ireland.

The most likely format will see the two conference teams play each other on a home and away basis, the BBC report further stated.

Within this format, the teams would also play one game against all the sides from the other conference, which would deliver 19 games.

Additionally, each team would also play home and away derby fixtures as well, providing a total of 21 league games.

The winners of each conference will qualify automatically for home semi-finals, while the teams placed in second and third in each conference will be drawn together in playoffs for the remaining two semi-final places.

The Cheetahs and Kings were recently excluded from Super Rugby, as the tournament will be reduced from 18 to 15 teams from next year.

Australia will also lose a franchise, with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) yet to announce whether the Melbourne Rebels or the Western Force will be excluded.

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