The long and unexpected rugby season will now be in history, as the SA Rainbow Cup kicks off this weekend. The four major franchises of rugby in South Africa; The Blue Bulls, The Lions, The Sharks and The Stormers will all be competing to see which South African team will outgrow by June 12, 2021.
Evidence of light at the end of a dark tunnel, Rugby in South Africa has faced much uncertainty due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The traditional Super Rugby Championship eliminated South African teams from the tournament last year, leading to a lot of uncertainty. However, with the Pro 14 opening the doors to the major franchises in South Africa, a brand new competition saw the participation of the main South African teams in the competition.
Unfortunately due to the global pandemic, continental travel has banned flights between South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe respectively, resulting in two separate Pro16 Rainbow Cup tournaments.
SA Rainbow Cup what to expect:
Rainbow Cup SA offers a long-awaited return to rugby for Team Springbok. Many 2019 stars like; Damien De Allende, Fave de Klerk and Cheslin Colby play rugby for their overseas clubs with respect. However, most South African players have not been able to play a full season due to the pandemic, leaving extremely dark times for the Springboks.
This weekend, we are all ready to witness the exciting SA Rainbow Cup rugby as World Cup winners such as Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am and Bongi Mbonambi compete. Rainbow Cup SA would be the perfect setting for the confirmed Lions Tour later this season.
Can you believe the Springboks’ last game was when they beat England in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final?
SA Rainbow Cup Tournament Format:
For the SA Rainbow Cup, the four major franchises will be competing for the Inaugural Cup. Each team will play with each other twice in the home and away matches. Once the tournament ends, the top team will be crowned Rainbow Cup champions. The point system will remain the same as the traditional group point system; Teams awarded four points for a win, two for a draw and none for a loss. Bonus points will be awarded to the team that scores four attempts in a match and the side that loses with less than seven points.
SA Cup Rainbow Fittings First Round:
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Stormers v Sharks: 14:00 (CAT) – Cape Town, South Africa
Bulls v Lions: 19:00 (CAT) – Pretoria, South Africa
This new tournament brings a lot of excitement to loyal rugby fans in South Africa and looks like the perfect experiences for the upcoming Lions Series later this year. Once teams can travel between continents, Springbok markers can use this tournament to benchmark overseas players against their local talent. Ironically, once the Rainbow Cup has resumed for all 16 teams, the best Rainbow Cup teams will qualify for the European Champions Cup. This is the South African rugby game that needs to continue as a strong rugby country!
Will we see South Africa win the European Cup in the near future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!