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SA Rugby releases new Rainbow Cup fixtures

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Sanele Nohamba of the Sharks picks up and passes the ball during a hard-fought tie against the Blue Bulls.
Sanele Nohamba of the Sharks picks up and passes the ball during a hard-fought tie against the Blue Bulls.
Image: Gallo Images

SA Rugby has released the revised schedule for the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA that will see three consecutive “Super Saturdays” from next weekend.

The opening match is a coastal clash between the Stormers and Sharks at Cape Town Stadium (2pm) to be followed by the Jukskei Derby between the Bulls and the Lions at Loftus Versfeld (7pm).

“It’s a pity we could not have the competition as we first envisaged it‚ but to see these four teams slug it out over seven weeks is sure to bring out the best in South African rugby‚” said SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.

“We are very grateful to SuperSport for being so accommodating in the late changes‚ and to our friends in Europe for allowing our teams to continue in the competition they’ve been preparing for.”

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said it would have been good to see the South African teams take on the might of European club rugby as the Castle Lager Lions Series moves closer.

“We’ll have to wait a bit longer to face the best club sides of Ireland‚ Italy‚ Scotland and Wales‚ but in the meantime we’ve got a tough competition that will hopefully prepare our players for what promises to be a massive series against the British & Irish Lions‚” said Erasmus.

“The rugby we saw when the season restarted last year was hot and cold‚ but it got better and in the 2021 kick-off Pools where the teams were looking much better‚ and hopefully they can take that form and intensity into the Rainbow Cup SA.

“It was also good to see a number of younger players putting up their hands‚ while our established and experienced players underlined their class. The PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA provides another opportunity for players to stake claims for higher honours and I’m excited to see what our teams can conjure up in the next few weeks.”

The normal Guinness PRO14 points system will be used – four points for a win‚ bonus points for scoring four tries or more‚ or for losing within a margin of seven points or fewer‚ and two points to each team for a drawn match.

Rounds four to six will see a reverse of the first rounds of fixtures between May 22 and June 12‚ with a bye for all four teams‚ with details of the kick-off times to be confirmed in due course.

PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA Fixtures -

Saturday‚ May 1: Stormers v Sharks (Cape Town Stadium‚ 2pm)‚ Bulls v Lions (Loftus Versfeld‚ 7pm)

Saturday‚ May 8: Sharks v Lions (Kings Park‚ 4pm)‚ Stormers v Bulls (Cape Town Stadium‚ 6.15pm)

Saturday‚ May 15: Lions v Stormers (Ellis Park‚ kick-off to be confirmed)‚ Bulls v Sharks (Loftus Versfeld‚ 6.15pm)