On Monday, the President of Free State Rugby, Lindsay Mould, welcomed the national U13 (Craven Week) and U16 (Grant Khomo) weeks to Bloemfontein, by saying “Welcome to Currie Cup and Pro14 country”. Mould did, however, tell OFM Sport that at this stage it's all still speculation.
Last week the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings waved their rights from further competing in the Super Rugby after reaching an agreement with the South Africa Rugby Union.
Both teams are expected to be competing in the Pro12, which of course is set for expansion to include the two South African teams.
No official announcement has been made yet, however, according to the CEO of the Free State Rugby Union, Harold Verster, all could be confirmed as soon as Saturday, and this will be done by the competition itself.
Firstly Verster reiterated that they look forward to playing a part in a new era of South African rugby.
“It’s actually a big change in our life and our business, but we have opted to accept a settlement with SA Rugby, rather than fight the issue in court because we have a contract to play Super Rugby until 2020.
“We have negotiated an amicable solution and there is a wonderful opportunity for us up north, for the Cheetahs and Kings.
“It will be easier to travel and so on, so we’re excited about the new venture.
Verster added that at this stage they cannot elaborate too much, seeing that the tournament organisers want to make the announcement themselves.
“Unfortunately they have opted to make the release themselves once everything is in place.
“That will be around about the 15th of July, once their board is in place. It’s a company and SA Rugby will be joining and be a part of the company as shareholders.
“Once those things have settled they will make the big announcement as to exactly where, when and how it will work.
“It will be up north and it is very exciting for us.
“It will slot us out of Super Rugby, but I think that it will be very beneficial for us.
The first round of matches in the Pro14 kicks off on 2 September and the final will be contested at Cardiff Arms Park in Wales in May.
The teams that are already playing in the Pro12 are - Benetton Treviso, Cardiff Blues, Connacht, Dragons, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Leinster, Munster, Ospreys, Scarlets, Ulster and Zebre.
Morgan Piek/OFM Sport