It's official: Leopards set to replace Kings
NEWS: It has been formally proposed that the Leopards replace the Eastern Province Kings in South Africa's premier domestic competition, the Currie Cup.
SA Rugby revealed on Monday that the Kings' Currie Cup status will be confirmed on Tuesday.
The Kings - who are facing bankruptcy - will be relegated to the First Division, if a proposal by SA Rugby is approved by members of the General Council.
The proposal has been circulated to the 13 provincial unions.
They have until close of business on Tuesday to provide their response.
If it is approved the Leopards - who finished fourth in the qualifying competition - will replace the EP Kings and join the other qualifiers (Griquas, Boland and the Pumas) in the Currie Cup Premier Division this season.
The Kings would join the Griffons, South Western Districts, Border, Falcons and Welwitschias in the First Division.
"We realise the situation is not ideal, but unfortunately we had little other option than to make this proposal," said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
"The Currie Cup remains a massively important part of the local rugby landscape and the solution for this year is the best for the competition while allowing the EP Kings to continue their participation."
The change - if approved - would mean the Currie Cup Premier Division would be contested by the defending champion Golden Lions, Western Province, Blue Bulls, Sharks, Free State Cheetahs, Griquas, Boland, the Pumas and the Leopards.
SA Rugby confirmed that following the Lions' qualification for the Super Rugby Final on Saturday - where they will play the Hurricanes in Wellington, New Zealand - their provisional Currie Cup schedule has been revised and the Golden Lions will have a bye this weekend.
Confirmed Currie Cup fixtures for this week:
Friday, August 5
Blue Bulls v Western Province - Pretoria (Kick-off: 17.10)
Pumas v Sharks - Nelspruit (Kick-off: 19.20)
Saturday, August 6
Boland v Free State Cheetahs - Wellington (14.00)
The Griquas v Leopards match is provisionally scheduled for Friday in Kimberley.