Pro14 Rugby clarifies SA situation

Pro14 Rugby says it's in 'early discussions' with SA Rugby about adding more South African teams to the competition. understands that the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers will join an expanded Pro16 tournament from the 2021-22 season, with SA Rugby finding the Cheetahs a new tournament in which to play.

'Both Pro14 Rugby and SA Rugby are in early discussions about potentially expanding the tournament and deepening our partnership to include more South African franchises from 2021,' read a Pro14 Rugby statement on Wednesday.

The tournament organisers added that discussions with SA Rugby were on-going about replacing the Kings – who have gone into voluntary liquidation – in next season's Pro14 with another South African team.

Meanwhile, the fixtures for the first eight weeks of next season's Pro14 tournament have been confirmed. 

As a result of travel restrictions to and from South Africa due to Covid-19 restrictions, the first 11 games will feature European-based teams only. Plans are in place for South African teams to resume playing in 2021, but they will not be able to play a full schedule.

There will be 14 Monday night games next season, from rounds three and eight, aimed at preventing direct clashes with the extended international calendar.

Pro14 fixtures