The PRO14 Rainbow Cup is a brand new rugby union tournament that will see some of rugby’s finest sides battle for supremacy. Although it’s new for 2021, fans and players alike are already eager to see how this exciting tournament will take shape.
Read on to discover everything there is to know about the PRO14 Rainbow Cup. On this page, you can see all the latest news, results and fixtures for the tournament, as well as information on its history and format.
The PRO14 Rainbow Cup was born when the impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant that many teams could not travel internationally to compete in the PRO14 tournament and South African sides were forced to withdraw from the competition.
This change then caused a rethink of how the PRO14 competition operates. As a result, at the end of 2020, PRO14 Rugby announced that South Africa’s Super Rugby sides would join the competition at the conclusion of the 2021 season. To introduce them to the tournament, the PRO14 Rainbow Cup was created.
The tournament is scheduled to take place between April and June 2021. A total of six rounds of fixtures will take place between the 16 sides involved and the teams will be ranked using a single league table.
The competition will begin with three rounds of local derbies, with fixtures between Scottish and Italian clubs considered derbies for the purposes of the competition. Following this, in rounds four to six, the South African sides will travel to Europe for their away fixtures (no European sides will travel to South Africa for the tournament).
At the end of these six rounds of fixtures, the top two league sides will face each other in the final and the winner will be crowned as the PRO14 Rainbow Cup champions.
During the tournament, a number of innovative rules will also be trialled. For example, players who receive a red card can be substituted after 20 minutes and each side will have a captain’s challenge where they can dispute a call made by a referee during a game.