SA teams could replace Italy’s in Pro12

Italy's Pro12 clubs Treviso and Zebre are concerned that the Cheetahs and Kings could replace them in the tournament from next season.

Treviso finished 10th on the log last season and Zebre last.

While Italy has a contractual right to field two teams in the competition until 2020, there is said to be a breakout clause in the deal.

The Pro12's new broadcast cycle will start in mid-2018 and SuperSport has reportedly promised to double the current pot of £11-million, according to Mark Palmer, the Scottish correspondent for the UK Sunday Times.

Adding to the Italian Rugby Federation's concern is the fact that it was supposed to have become equal partners in the Pro12 by 1 July, but this has still not happened. Pro12 CEO Martin Anayi is currently in Rome to meet with FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi. 

There has been talk of the Pro12 becoming the Pro14, but this would mean scrapping the current log format that sees each team play each other home and away (and the top four qualifying for the semi-finals) for a two-conference format.

Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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