Cheetahs, Kings cut from Super Rugby in 2018

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

It's official, the Cheetahs and Kings have been cut from Super Rugby for the 2018 season.

Both clubs announced the cuts this afternoon before the special general meeting of the SARU, which was slated to take place overnight.

The Cheetahs had threatened similar legal action to the Force, pointing to an agreement with the SARU that the team would be part of Super Rugby until 2020.

But CEO Harold Verster said the club had reached an "amicable settlement with SA Rugby".

“The board of the Toyota Cheetahs has reviewed the team’s future and is extremely positive about the prospect of appearing in alternative international competitions," he said.The Cheetahs are thought to be exploring the potential of playing in Europe. Photo: Getty Images"It will be an exciting challenge for our players, supporters and commercial partners and will be the start of a new chapter for rugby both in our region and in South Africa.

"Also, it will allow the Toyota Cheetahs to carve out a new and prominent place on the rugby map in South Africa as well as internationally,” he said.

It's thought that both franchises will look to take part in the Pro12 competition, though neither side said as much in their statements.

Eastern Province Rugby Union president held a similarly optimistic view about the Kings' future.Both the Cheetahs and the Kings will explore other avenues in 2018. Photo: Getty Images"It has been a roller coaster ride for the franchise for a number of seasons but there is now a clear and viable way forward for rugby in the Eastern Cape to build on the foundations that have been laid – particularly in the past season," he said.

"We have enjoyed Vodacom Super Rugby but the chance to test ourselves against different opposition in different conditions is a mouth-watering one.

"We are therefore not opposed to joining new competitions.

"With all stakeholders pulling in the same direction we can bring success and excitement to rugby in the Eastern Cape.”