Super Rugby teams could be joining the PRO12 from next year - Reports
This would be very interesting.
We all know that changes to the PRO12 will happen at some stage.
It is no secret that PRO 12 CEO, Martin Anayi, is looking to add more teams to the competition from lucrative and growing markets in order to generate more revenue for the tournament.
The competition currently languishes behind the Top14 and Aviva Premiership in terms of it's commercial viability.
Over the past 12 months, we have had stories surrounding potential new franchises joining the competition from The United States, Germany and the ever improving Georgia.
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What is certain is that there will be changes to the competition in the near future with regards to new additions.
The only question is where will these new teams will come from.
The latest speculation surrounding this has come from South Africa.
Super Rugby is currently going through a crisis where tournament organisers are looking to axe three teams - two from South Africa and one from Australia.
The South African teams are rumoured to be The Cheetahs and The Southern Kings.
While the Australian team will either be the Melbourne Rebels or The Western Force.
According to Sport24, former CEO of The Southern Spears, Tony McKeever, has held discussions with Martin Anayi with regards to adding The Cheetahs and Kings to the PRO 12 and rebranding the tournament as the PRO14.
“I have already engaged the PRO12 CEO Martin Anayi and proposed he take these two teams and rebrand this as PRO14 and let the Cheetahs and Eastern Province Rugby be a part of this tournament, which starts in September," said McKeever.
McKeever wants The Kings to rebrand themselves as an Eastern Province franchise.
McKeever proposal does make sense.
The two franchises already have established playing squads at their disposal and their inclusion in the PRO12 would makes sense from a TV audience perspective i.e. similar time zones to Western Europe.
"Martin [Anayi] is a visionary and seeks to expand PRO12 into new markets and grow the PRO12 TV audiences and spectators. This is a perfect synergistic way to accomplish that with South African Rugby," McKeever added.
There is so much speculation at the moment that it is difficult to know what reports are to believed but in two years time, we could easily see our provinces playing fixtures in some new countries.
Click play (below) for Episode 13 of The Hard Yards rugby podcast. Ronan O'Gara, Kevin McLaughlin and SportsJOE's Pat McCarry join host Andy McGeady to talk Munster, Leinster and PRO12. Andrew Trimble features with some refreshing honesty on dealing with the media.