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PRO14 season will start with 12 teams as Kings shut up shop for 2020

Organisers of the Guinness PRO14 have confirmed that the 2020-21 season will begin as a twelve-te...

Organisers of the Guinness PRO14 have confirmed that the 2020-21 season will begin as a twelve-team competition. 

The news follows Southern Kings' announcement that they are suspending activities for the remainder of 2020.

The South African side cited financial difficulties, and the continuing difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kings have also withdrawn from all domestic competitions, including a planned tournament involving the Super Rugby and PRO14 franchises.

The PRO14 say that due to travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic, they don't foresee cross-border travel involving South African sides occurring before 2021.

They add that they remain in consultation with SA Rugby regarding the future participation of their sides in the PRO14, and when it can resume.

The Southern Kings and the Toyotah Cheetahs joined the then PRO12 in 2017.

Kings chairman Andre Rademan said, "It became apparent that we would, for want a better phrase, be throwing good money after bad in the current global environment.

"We now have time to consider what is the best way forward for rugby in the Eastern Province in this fluid and financially challenging environment."

The PRO14 say that work is already underway to concentrate the opening 2020/21 fixtures among the 12 European-based clubs.

It's hoped that the 2020-21 season can begin on the weekend of October 3.

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Guinness Pro14 Pro 14 Pro14 Rugby SA South Africa Southern Kings