1. ITV Report

PRO12 to become PRO14 welcoming Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings to the tournament

Scarlets took the championship title last season, but now two South African teams are entering the mix for next season. Credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Wales' four rugby regions will face two more teams next season when two South African sides join the PRO tournament.

The PRO12 will become the PRO14 with the addition of the Toyota Cheetafs and Southern Kings for the 2017/18 season. The tournament will be split into two conferences of seven, with two Welsh and Irish sides and one each from Scotland, Italy and South Africa in each conference:

Here's how the teams will be split: Conference A

  • Munster
  • Ospreys
  • Glasgow Warriors
  • Cardiff Blues
  • Connacht
  • Zebre Rugby Club
  • Toyota Cheetahs

Conference B

  • Scarlets
  • Leinster
  • Ulster
  • Edinburgh
  • Benetton Rugby
  • Dragons
  • Southern Kings

Each team will play 21 regular season games,with each team playing each other at least once.

This is a natural evolution for the Championship and not only will the calibre of the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings grow audiences, interest and the commercial base for the tournament and our clubs, it is a move that also lays the foundations for years to come. The appeal of professional club rugby has never been greater and we aim to be at the forefront of the game’s growth around the world.

– Martin Anayi, PRO14 CEO