LEKKER: Cheetahs' Harold Verster

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed on Friday that the two teams will be cut from the tournament at the end of the season.

Rumours have it that both teams will join the Pro12 in the UK, with Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster saying: “The board of the Cheetahs has reviewed the team’s future and is extremely positive about the prospect of appearing in alternative international competitions.

“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 Cheetahs to carve out a new and prominent place on the rugby map in South Africa as well as internationally.”

Kings president Andre Rademan, meanwhile, says: “It has been a rollercoaster 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.

“We have enjoyed 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.”