ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Wednesday Apr 21, 2021

New Rainbow Cup format changed as South African teams won't be allowed to travel

It’s been announced today that the upcoming Rainbow Cup has had to be amended to allow for restrictions due to Covid-19, the Guiness PRO14 announced today. South African teams will bot be able to enter the UK&Ireland, so dual tournaments will be operated. 

ADVERTISEMENT

With no formal approvals in place to allow the South African teams to enter the UK & Ireland for their Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup fixtures, PRO14 Rugby and SA Rugby will operate dual tournaments with no cross-hemisphere fixtures.

Despite a colossal effort, the South African teams were not granted the permission to travel in time to allow the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup to be played as originally planned. Such challenges are not unique to rugby as many international sports have found the Covid-19 pandemic a difficult landscape to plan for.

All options for the South African teams to travel to Europe safely were explored and exhausted by the league, this is due to the heightened restrictions caused by South Africa’s presence on the red list of the territories involved.

DUAL TOURNAMENTS

The ‘northern’ Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will still take place on the dates previously published as teams from across Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales aim to take upset eight-time title winners Leinster Rugby. The fixtures for Rounds 4, 5 and 6 had already been scheduled and provided to clubs, but will now have the South African teams removed and kick-off times may be modified ahead of publishing.

The ‘southern’ tournament will be called Rainbow Cup SA and will include the very best of what South African club rugby has to offer; Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls, whose World Cup winning Springboks are priming themselves for the arrival of the British & Irish Lions.

These games will be available in the UK and Ireland with PRO14 Rugby’s current TV partners and full details of this competition will be confirmed by SA Rugby shortly.

ALL AVENUES EXHAUSTED

A wide stakeholder group, led by a working group between the tournament team at PRO14 Rugby and SA Rugby, produced a long list of various options for entry of the teams, base camps and high-standard medical protocols across the past four months to cater for different scenarios.

In total, 12 venues across the UK, Ireland and Europe were considered as base camps for the South African teams to operate out of or to use as a quarantine destination before entering the UK and Ireland. SA Rugby also explored another four locations separate to this. Further, destinations in the Middle East were also explored as potential hosts for fixtures involving South African teams.

ADVERTISEMENT

This process produced project plans for each venue to include suitable training and accommodation facilities and charter travel schedules under the constant guidance of a Medical Management Committee, consisting of the PRO14 medical consultant, tournament staff and union Chief Medical Officers. This group tracked the status of Covid-19 in the various territories and advised on the strategic approach to governments at all times.

Throughout this process, PRO14 Rugby has had great support of governments and health authorities in all jurisdictions.

NO IMPACT ON LONG TERM PARTNERSHIP

This decision will have no impact on the long-term partnership between PRO14 Rugby and SA Rugby and more details about those plans and league structure for the ground-breaking 2021/22 season onwards will be made public shortly.

Martin Anayi, CEO of PRO14 Rugby, said: “A staggering volume of work has been undertaken to provide a number of proposals and options to accommodate this – all as we navigated the challenges of the second and third waves of Covid-19 as well as the South African variant which constantly changed the landscape we were operating in.

“Among our unions, our own staff and SA Rugby there is no more that could have been asked in terms of designing plans that were medically sound, however, there has been no perfect solution found in time to allow for South African teams’ entry into our territories.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Whilst the outcome is clearly different from what we had intended, our relationship and partnership with SA Rugby has been greatly strengthened and enhanced by this experience. We are looking forward to the two Rainbow Cup competitions and in due course sharing our intentions about our future partnership that will be boosted by the experiences and project-planning involved to this point ahead of the 2021/22 season.

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said: “This is a huge disappointment, but time had simply run out.”

“No stone was left unturned to try and find a solution to the challenges – including basing our teams for 10 days in locations in the Middle East or Europe. But the pieces of the jigsaw would not fall into place in time to allow us to put those plans into action.”

The full fixture schedule for the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup, including kick-off times and broadcaster information, will be released shortly.

RELATED VIEWING:

Video Spacer

Related Articles

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    The Haka evolution at Rugby World Cups always...

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Beale names Russell in Top 5 flyhalves he's...

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    'I haven’t seen some of the players since...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    No other player has mastered intercepts like Bryan Habana could

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: French flair lights up Brisbane with EPIC coast-to-coast try

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Watch how Marcus Smith lit up Twickenham on England debut vs USA

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Extended highlights show why Josh Adams could be a Lions Test starter

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Aphelele Fassi: The debut Springbok that could change Warren Gatland's Lions selection

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Lewis Ludlow received a four match ban for this knee to the face

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Controversial Marika Koroibete red card not upheld

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Wallabies will contest controversial red card after French player 'milked it'

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Wallabies fans raging after questionable early red card for Marika Koroibete

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Sharks scrum half suspended after that silly elbow against the British & Irish Lions

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 18 HOURS AGO

    Awesome Daly kicking montage shows just how deadly his left boot really is

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Players channel inner Lebron with incredible 'basketball' passes

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Damian McKenzie's outstanding try-saving tackle

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: TEN TRIES between 3 hookers in one weekend

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The moment Marcus Smith found out about his Lions call up

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    New compilation of rare Nigel Owens footage is comedy gold

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    The moment Ellis Genge soaks Ugo Monye live on TV is simply priceless

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Inside the Quins changing rooms after winning AWESOME Prem final

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    'I don't know what I'm saying!', Joe Marler's brilliant interview after EPIC Prem win

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Joe Marler elated in special interview as fans return to The Stoop

View All

Amateur

  • 38 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 28 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 34 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

View All