Dates confirmed for opening Rainbow Cup rounds but no indication the filler tournament can be played to a conclusion
Guinness PRO14 officials have confirmed the dates and kick-off times for the opening three rounds of the schedule filling Rainbow Cup, but this confirmation has arrived with no guarantee that the four South African sides will be allowed to fly to Europe in May and complete the latter rounds of the tournament.
Plans to base the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers and Lions in England during their European tours were kicked back by UK Government officials last week due to concerns over the South African Covid-19 variant, leaving the plans for rounds four to six undecided as well as the June 19 finals weekend.
In the meantime, the organisers will pressed ahead with the series of locally based matched they have arranged for the opening three rounds. A statement read: “Kick-off times and dates for the first three rounds of the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup can now be confirmed with the opening game kicking off in South Africa.
“Confirmation for rounds four to six will follow once PRO14 Rugby has received all necessary approvals and permissions from the relevant governments and health authorities for the South African teams to travel.”
Friday, April 23: Stormers v Sharks (19:00 RSA), Ulster v Connacht (20:15), Edinburgh v Zebre (20:15)
Saturday, April 24: Benetton v Glasgow Warriors (14:00 ITA), Bulls v Lions (16:00 RSA), Ospreys v Cardiff Blues (17:15), Leinster v Munster (19:35)
Sunday, April 25: Dragons v Scarlets (13:00)
RAINBOW CHAOS: “We have little information at this stage, but it seems to be the case that the Rainbow Cup will be cancelled”
Could Bok trial matches and ad-hoc Test fixtures be on the cards? ??https://t.co/M4Qv4dA8kA
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 11, 2021
Friday, April 30: Sharks v Lions (19:00 RSA)
Saturday, May 1: Stormers v Bulls (17:00 RSA)
Friday, May 7: Zebre v Benetton (19:00 ITA), Munster v Ulster (20:15), Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh (20:15)
Saturday, May 8: Connacht v Leinster (19:35), Scarlets v Ospreys (19:35)
Sunday, May 9: Cardiff Blues v Dragons (KO 13:00)
Saturday, May 8: Lions v Stormers (16:00 RSA), Bulls v Sharks (18:15 RSA)
Friday, May 14: Munster v Connacht (18:00), Leinster v Ulster (20:15)
Saturday, May 15: Scarlets v Cardiff Blues (TBC), Benetton v Zebre (18:15 ITA), Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors (19:35)
Sunday, May 16: Dragons v Ospreys (13:00)
Round Four: Weekend of May 29
Round Five: Weekend of June 5
Round Six: Weekend of June 12
Final: Weekend of June 19
With 2017 Lions staff Howley, Borthwick, Rowntree and Farrell all unavailable, Gatland has shaken up his 2021 staff line-up https://t.co/P2ngCbbxel
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 13, 2021
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