The PRO 12 league is set to expand to 14 teams from next season with South Africa regional teams Cheetahs and Kings confirmed to be part of the tournament.
The tournament which is renamed to Guinness PRO14 Championship will now be played in both Southern and Northern hemisphere making it a global event.
The new format will see the 14 teams divided equally into two Conferences A and B with each group containing two teams each from Wales, Rugby and one from Scotland, Italy and now South Africa.
Conference A will feature Munster, Ospreys, Glasgow Warriors, Cardiff Blues, Connacht, Zebre and Toyota Cheetahs while Conference B will see Scarlets, Leinster, Ulster, Edinburgh, Benetton Rugby, Dragons and Southern Kings.
Every team will play a total of 21 games in the season which includes home and away fixtures while sides from Italy, Scotland and South Africa will play an additional Derby fixture to even out the schedule.
Top three teams from each conference will make it to the knock out stage of the tournament. The six teams will also make it to the European Champions Cup while the team with the highest points outside the six teams will claim the final place from PRO14 in the top tier European tournament.
|Conference 1 Teams||Union||Conference 2 Teams||Union|
|Cheetahs||SA Rugby||Kings||SA Rugby|