The Cheetahs have hired a high-profile advocate as they consider taking legal action should they lose their PRO14 status.
SA Rugby bosses are set to meet on Tuesday to vote for the four South African franchises that could join an expanded PRO16 tournament in 2021.
Reports have suggested that the four South African Super Rugby franchises – the Stormers, Vodacom Bulls, Sharks and Lions – are favoured to join the revamped northern-hemisphere club competition.
This would leave the Cheetahs and Kings, who have been involved in the PRO14 since 2017, out in the cold again after they were kicked out of Super Rugby when the southern-hemisphere tournament was reduced to 15 teams.
The Kings have already revealed that they will not be participating in the two domestic competitions this year and have since been placed in liquidation by SA Rugby and their financial struggles could affect their chances of retaining their place in the PRO14.
However, the Cheetahs are determined to keep their place in the competition as well as retain their franchise status. According to Netwerk24, the Free State team has reached out to Adv Wim Tengrove to assist them in a potential legal battle with SA Rugby.
The report revealed that should Tuesday’s vote go against the Cheetahs, they are prepared to take legal action against SA Rugby. The Cheetahs have a contract with SA Rugby to play in the PRO14 until 2023, which could work in their favour. The Cheetahs could lose in the region of R30 million per annum if they are kicked out of the PRO14.
An alternative plan could be to join a Super Eight tournament with Australia or New Zealand, but this is something that is believed not to sit well with the Cheetahs bosses.
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