CAPE TOWN - The Lions have been relegated from the 2013 Super Rugby completion, the South African Rugby Union (Saru)'s General Council said on Thursday.
This after the body voted in favour of a promotion/relegation system for the Southern Hemisphere competition.
The Johannesburg-based side finished last during the 2011 season.
As a result, the Southern King's will now play in the next Super Rugby tournament.
At the end of next season, the team at the bottom of the South African conference will play the Lions in a promotion/relegation play-off.
Eyewitness News understands that 23 votes were in favour of the system and six against.
Meanwhile, Lions President Kevin de Klerk feels Saru has let the franchise down.
Southern Kings President Cheeky Watson said he was delighted with the outcome, but with only a guarantee of one season, it was not enough time for the side to firmly establish itself.
The team will now undergo a frantic recruitment process as they look to get themselves ready.