Sport / Rugby

Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
27 Mar 2021
8:16 am

Sad the Pro14 teams won’t play in SA – Stransky

Rudolph Jacobs

The competition will kick off on 24 April with the four South African teams initially playing against each other before heading to Europe.

Thomond Park in Limerick, and home to Munster, will host some of the Rainbow Cup matches when the competition kicks off in April, but none of the European Pro14 teams will tour South Africa. Picture: Paul Faith / AFP

Confirmation that the Rainbow Cup will start in a month’s time is good news for South African rugby, but it is extremely disappointing that some of the elite of European rugby won’t play in South Africa, said former Springbok flyhalf Joel Stransky on Friday.

The six-round Rainbow Cup, including the four South African “Super teams” the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers, will get underway on 24 April. The first three rounds will comprise of local derbies only before the South African teams head to Europe for a further three matches against the Pro14 teams.

“It’s hugely positive that our teams will play against the best in Europe,” said Stransky, “but after all this great news it’s really sad that none of the Pro14 giants will tour locally.”

Because of Covid-19 concerns none of the Pro14 teams will travel to South Africa.

ALSO READ: Confirmed: Rainbow Cup to kick off on 24 April

Playing in Europe will be a new experience for many of the South African players and Stransky believed it would initially be a learning curve in terms of conditions and playing styles.

“With only the two top teams qualifying for the final, it will be vital to bag as many points as possible in the local derbies before our teams go over there,” said Stransky.

“And then it will be crucial to milk the so-called weaker opposition for bonus points before meeting the big guns like Munster and Leinster,” he said.

Stransky added the standard of rugby he saw in the earlier competitions, the Super Rugby Unlocked competition and the Currie Cup, didn’t make him very upbeat about the Rainbow Cup.

“I must say the standard of our rugby in the Currie Cup was not great at all,” he said. “But what I have seen in the Preparation Series makes me more hopeful, with the sides playing some really entertaining rugby.

“And the other good news is we’re heading into the European summer, which will help.”

Fixtures

Round 1

24 April: Bulls v Lions, Stormers v Sharks, Ulster v Connacht, Leinster v Munster, Benetton v Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh v Zebre Rugby Club, Ospreys v Cardiff Blues, Dragons v Scarlets

Round 2

1 May: Stormers v Bulls, Sharks v Lions,

8 May: Connacht v Leinster, Munster v Ulster, Zebre v Benetton, Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh, Cardiff Blues v Dragons, Scarlets v Ospreys

Round 3

8 May: Bulls v Sharks, Lions v Stormers

15 May: Munster v Connacht, Leinster v Ulster, Benetton v Zebre, Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets v Cardiff Blues, Dragons v Ospreys

Round 4: Weekend of 29 May
Round 5: Weekend of 5 June
Round 6: Weekend of 12 June
Final: Weekend of 19 June

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