South Africa Rugby have preferred joining Top 14 tournament in Europe over Super Rugby following a voting process by the provincial unions.
As the pandemic cornavirus had disrupted the 2020 Super Rugby competition, New Zealand and Australia went on to play their own local competition with South Africa expected to resume competitive rugby next month as the restrictions tend to ease.
The 13 provincial unions participated in the voting on Tuesday and have opted to favour Pro14 over Super Rugby which meant Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions will head to Northern Hemisphere for their domestic season competing with teams from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy.
An agreement between PRO Rugby Championship and South Africa Rugby is expected to be finalised as early as next year but it is understood that the Springboks will be competing with New Zealand, Australia and Argentina in the Rugby Championship at least for now.
“Our members are excited about the prospect of closer alignment with PRO Rugby Championship and seeking a northern hemisphere future, but we would not have been taking this decision but for actions elsewhere,” SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said.
“We will advise our SANZAAR partners of the general meeting’s decision.”
Earlier, Cheetahs confirmed that they will not be part of the 2020/21 season of Pro14 while the Southern Kings were liquidated by the South African board following the financial crisis created by the pandemic coronavirus.