SA Rugby has announced plans to exit Super Rugby and join the PRO14 competition, which is set to be expanded.
That would involve moving the Lions, Bulls, Sharks and Stormers from Super Rugby to the expanded competition.
SA Rugby said it would now consult with PRO Rugby on the way forward.
It also confirmed talks regarding a new SANZAAR-backed competition that would see the Cheetahs put forward as the first South African representation.
It effectively means the end of the road for the Cheetahs in the PRO14‚ despite the fact that they have an agreement in place to play in that competition until at least 2022-23.
The Southern Kings‚ who were also part of that competition‚ have suspended on-field operations.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby said the COVID-19 pandemic had been a factor in the decision, as had New Zealand’s plans to proceed with a trans-Tasman Australasian version of Super Rugby.