Exclusive: Three teams to be cut from Super Rugby, including Southern Kings

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1 NEWS has been told three teams will be cut from the 2018 Super Rugby competition, including the Kings.

Waylon Murray of the Kings

Waylon Murray of the Kings

Source: Photosport

A source out of South Africa today told 1 NEWS that two teams from the republic, including the Port Elizabeth-based Kings, and one from Australia will be axed.

The other sides will be decided by the Australia and South Africa rugby unions.

Both unions are deliberating about which teams to drop, taking into consideration possible mergers.

Yesterday, following a SANZAAR meeting in London last week, the Free State Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster declared his side was safe, and that the competition would be reduced to 16 teams.

But the 1 NEWS source today confirmed three teams would be cut.

New Zealand Rugby had advocated at last week's SANZAAR meeting for three teams to be cut from the 18 team tournament.

The majority of South African and Australian sides have struggled financially and underperformed on the pitch, while the current conference system was confusing for fans.

Both South Africa and Australia have also been hit by significant player losses to Europe and Japan.

At this stage, the embattled Japanese Sunwolves will remain in the competition.

SANZAAR has put a May deadline to finalise which teams will be cut from the competition and to finalise the format for 2018.

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