The Free State Cheetahs could benefit from a proposal to cut the number of sides from Wales competing in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
A report on Welsh rugby has proposed cutting one of Ospreys, Cardiff, Scarlets or Dragons from the start of the 2023-24 season.
The Cheetahs have been actively searching for a European competition to join, and were recently hopeful of receiving clarity over their potential participation in a possible ‘B Division’ of the URC.
But, CEO Martin Anayi dismissed talk over the Free Staters’ inclusion in a Shield Series, saying, “it’s not on the cards”.
“We have a job on our hands to make sure the URC is as good as it can possibly be and we are getting there,” Anayi added.
The four Welsh professional teams have struggled for success over several years with crowd numbers dwindling in Wales, and have posted significant losses, while have been saddled with a collective £20-million bank loan to be paid back over 20 years.
On the field, the Welsh have fared poorly in the URC, the Scarlets currently the highest placed on the log in ninth, but already ruled out of playoff contention.
All four sides have also battled to compete physically with the Stormers, Sharks, Lions and Vodacom Bulls, and regularly conceded 50-point-plus defeats in the Republic.
The Professional Rugby Board, the organisation that runs the sport in Wales, will study the proposals before making recommendations at the next meeting scheduled for 11 May.