Rainbow Cup in jeopardy
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South African rugby is bracing itself for the bad news that the Rainbow Cup is likely to be called off later today.
The Sharks are scheduled to visit the Stormers on Friday night and the Bulls were to host the Lions but yesterday it was reported on a rugby website that travel arrangements had not been confirmed for the Durbanites as they awaited the outcome of a meeting yesterday afternoon between the organisers of the Rainbow Cup.
A press release from SA Rugby later today is expected to confirm that the weekend’s matches are called off and the whole competition — featuring four SA teams and the PRO 14 teams — is on pause.
Last week, it was speculated in the media that the Rainbow Cup had been canceled only for SA Rugby to deny this and fixtures for the first three rounds of the competition were duly released.
For the South African sides, the first three rounds comprised domestic derbies and then they were to head to the UK to play the overseas sides, from the security of a bio bubble.
It is understood that a failure to gain permission from the UK and Ireland governments for the visit of the South Africans is the stumbling block that at this point cannot be hurdled.
It is certainly a chaotic time for South African rugby, and there will be a scramble to organise a new competition or to find a way to revive the Rainbow Cup, because time is running out for our players to ready themselves for the tour of the British and Irish Lions in July.