There had been reports for weeks that the Pro12 was about to gain two new members. South African sides Cheetahs and Southern Kings had lost their Super Rugby status last week, with
South African sides Cheetahs and Southern Kings lost their Super Rugby status last week, with it being widely indicated that they would join the European league.
According to the BBC, the teams have struck a deal with Pro12 which will see them enter the league starting with next season.
The initial deal is apparently signed for six seasons, with the Pro12 becoming the Pro14 and receiving an extra £6,000,000 per season. That comes from the South African Rugby Union and additional television rights.
According to the BBC report, all elements of the deal have been agreed and, once the legal issues are ratified, will be announced at some stage next week.
It also means that there now has to be a league restructure.
There will be two conferences of seven teams. Scotland and Italy will have one representative in each, as will South Africa. Two Welsh and two Irish sides will complete each conference.
Scarlets are the current Pro12 champions, having beaten Munster in the Aviva Stadium 46-22.
The new season gets underway in the first week of September.