PRO14 organisers have confirmed that the tournament will proceed without the Cheetahs and Kings until next year due to travel restrictions brought about by Covid-19.
The news comes in response to the Kings’ announcement that the franchise has voluntarily withdrawn from participation in any planned domestic rugby competitions in 2020.
The Kings’ decision means that the Cheetahs’ hopes of playing PRO14 rugby again this year have also been dashed, as the two South African sides would have had to play against each other due to the current travel restrictions in place.
PRO Rugby chiefs released a statement on Tuesday, saying a decision has been made to focus solely on the 2020-21 season fixtures of European-based clubs.
‘Rugby is aware of the Southern Kings’ voluntary decision to withdraw from any domestic competitions in South Africa for the rest of the 2020 calendar year,’ the statement read.
‘Due to on-going travel restrictions enforced by the South African government against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not foreseen that any cross-border PRO14 games involving South Africa teams will take place until 2021. PRO14 Rugby remains in discussion with SA Rugby on when South African participation in the league can resume in the new year.
‘Work is already under way to concentrate the opening 2020-21 fixtures among the 12 European-based clubs.’
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