Italians delay SA's Pro12 entry
NEWS: The Pro12's plans to include the Cheetahs and Southern Kings have hit another speed bump.
The formal announcement was set to occur this week after all documents have been finalised.
However, the recent Pro12 withdrawal of Italian franchise Zebre just introduced a new twist.
Zebre informed the Italian Rugby Federation that they do not wish to take part in next season's Pro12 competition.
The Italian Rugby Federation confirmed the news via a statement on their website, which read: "The Rugby Italian Federation has taken note of the communication received from Zebre Rugby in which they expressed their renunciation to participate in the Pro12 2017/18,"
It further explained that the federation are determined to hold up their end on the arrangement with the Celtic Rugby Board and will ensure that they have two teams in the league.
Thus, the establishment a new company namely Zebre Rugby Club Company under the control of the Italian Rugby Federation.
"Italian Rugby have appointed Andrea Dalledonne as the new director of the new company and Diego Rivetti as the only Mayor.
"The Federation and the new directors will meet on Monday 24 July in Parma to start the operating processes of the new "Zebre Rugby Club"."
The Italian Federations will draw up new contracts for athletes and staff.
Whether the new Italian team will be ready for the new Pro14 season remains to be seen. For now, the news does delay the whole process and place uncertainties among fans and players.
Source: federugby.it & walesonline.co.uk