The South African Rugby Union has fired a parting shot at its New Zealand counterparts after pulling teams out of Super Rugby to form a European alliance.
SARU's provincial unions voted in favour of a defection which could come into effect as soon as next year if an agreement is reached with PRO Rugby Championship, which runs the PRO14.
The top four teams in South Africa - the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions - would play domestic rugby against clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
The vote was dubbed one in favour of a "northern hemisphere future", ending a 25-year partnership with Australia and New Zealand's Super Rugby clubs.
"Our members are excited about the prospect of closer alignment with PRO Rugby Championship and seeking a northern hemisphere future, but we would not have been taking this decision but for actions elsewhere," SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said.
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SARU officials were disappointed with NZ Rugby's push for a trans-Tasman tournament in 2021. COVID-19 restrictions mean domestic competitions look likely for next year with a potential crossover finals series to crown a winner.
South Africa may still have one team in a reduced future Super Rugby tournament, with plans to negotiate with SANZAAR to put the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs in any new version of the tournament.
The Cheetahs have been part of the PRO14 since 2017 after being cut from Super Rugby but will go the other way and rejoin Super Rugby if an agreement is reached between SARU and SANZAAR.
There have long been rumblings about South African teams splitting to join a European competition, with no indication of a return to play against domestic rivals in Australia and New Zealand.
"I really didn't get to have a chance to play against South Africa, I was really looking forward to that tour during the Super season," ACT Brumbies and Wallabies flyhalf Noah Lolesio said.
"With them out it is disappointing, but we can strengthen the Australian comp and if New Zealand come join as well. It is disappointing but there are some other things we can focus on as well."
It marks the end of an era in the professional era in the southern hemisphere and South Africa's official exit from Super Rugby could have implications on the way the game is played.
But it could be a boost for fans in Australia and New Zealand, who will avoid unwelcome kick-off times in the early hours of the morning.