South African teams will not compete as planned in the Rainbow Cup however there will be a “dual tournament” that sees them play a series of games against each other.
The news emerged on Wednesday morning following no formal approvals in place to allow the South African teams to enter the UK and Ireland for their fixtures.
PRO14 Rugby and SA Rugby will operate dual tournaments with no cross-hemisphere fixtures.
The South African teams were not granted permission to travel in time to allow the competition to be played, with all options for the South African teams to travel to Europe safely being explored and exhausted by the league.
The ‘northern’ Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will still take place on the dates previously published.
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 Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions, and Vodacom Bulls with full details to be confirmed shortly. These games will be available in the UK and Ireland with PRO14 Rugby’s current TV partners.
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 2021/22 season onwards will be made public shortly.