The PRO14 will see European rugby enter new ground this season, as the league welcomes two South African outfits to the league. The Southern Kings and the Cheetahs will join teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy as the league expands.
However, the competition organisers will be eager that it is more successful than the recent expansion of Super Rugby, which is contracting for 2018, losing three teams.
In order to ensure the financial stability of the Kings, the South African Rugby Union, SARU, have agreed to underwrite the Port Elizabeth outfit.
Jurie Roux, Chief Executive Officer of SARU, confirmed the news.
As reported by Rugby365, Roux stated how they were in “a lot better shape” than when under the support of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole.
“They will be on the pitch and they will be playing. We need to focus on them competing.
“SARU underwrites all their unions participating in international competitions.
“Life is about diversity, life is about options and life is about opportunities. It creates more diversity and makes sense in terms of time-zones.
“This is the first cross-hemisphere competition; the first time we will have played summer rugby in South Africa and the first experiment in aligning a season in the south with that of the north.
“Our eyes are on the bigger picture, which is new horizons and new opportunities for South Africa.”
With financial stability secured, the Kings can now look ahead to the new season with confidence.