PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 14: Carl Wenger of the Cheetahs takes the ball in the lineout during the Super Rugby match between Southern Kings and Toyota Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 14, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images)

South African rugby teams, the Kings and the Cheetahs, who have both been axed from the Super Rugby competition, will join the expanded Pro14 European competition.

SANZAR announced earlier this year, it would be returning to 15 teams from 18, with three teams facing the chop. Two South African teams and one Australian team.

The Cheetahs and the Kings have already been cut from South Africa, with one of the Melbourne Rebels or the Western Force set to be axed from Australia.

The Pro14, which will expand from the Pro12, also features teams from Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and will be played under a two conference model for the first time.

“The arrival of the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings marks a bold and exciting new chapter for the Pro14 as a global rugby championship,” Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi said.

“As a country, South Africa is a rugby powerhouse of over 55 million people.

“These teams already operate to the high standards demanded by Super Rugby and they will add to the quality of our tournament.”