South African Super Rugby outfit the Cheetahs have been invited to join the Pro12.

With the Super Rugby league set to be reduced in size from 18 to 15 teams from 2018, there had been talk that the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings could join the Celtic League in an ambitious move that would open up the competition spectacularly.

According to BBC Scotland, the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs have now been formally approached by the league to make the move.

Last summer, The Pro12's managing director Martin Anayi  aired his belief that the American market could be more suited to joining northern hemisphere club competition, rather than the southern hemisphere's Super Rugby contest.

Anayi also called for a solution to the global l fixture pile-up conundrum to free up Test players for further club appearances.

"You've got to talk about why it is that we're losing a huge proportion of international players not week-in and week-out, but in big chunks of the season," he said.

"Intersperse that with European club rugby as well and you get quite a disjointed season.

"We think there's a simple solution, which is to push the Six Nations back and finish the club season in before the Six Nations.

"We'll be really really sure about our future and how successful club rugby can be globally if we can just get to the point where we get our international players playing in a consistent fashion."