Rainbow Cup: Chances of SA teams playing games at home look slim

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Cornal Hendricks goes on a run. (Gallo Images)
Cornal Hendricks goes on a run. (Gallo Images)

South African teams taking part in the Rainbow Cup later this year could find themselves based in either Dublin, Dubai or perhaps London for the competition.

According to Rapport, that's the reality facing the Sharks, Stormers, Lions and Bulls should Covid-19 restrictions not allow opposition teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy to play in South Africa.

The Rainbow Cup will see the four South African franchises face off against PRO16 opposition and was announced late last year.

It is set to kick-off in April.

The 16 teams taking part in the competition will be divided into two pools of eight: made up of two Irish, two South African, two Welsh, one Italian and one Scottish club.

Each team will play one game against each pool opponent and the sides that finish top of their pools will face off in a final on 19 June.

"The inclusion of South Africa's 'Super' Teams in the Rainbow Cup is a step in a new direction for us," said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby when the competition was announced back in December.

"After so much turmoil and uncertainty in 2020, the prospect of a return to top-flight international domestic competition is one to which we all can all look forward with real excitement."

But with Covid-19 restrictions still in place in South Africa and with the country featuring in travel bans from many overseas governments, it seems that the South African franchises will need to find a new base to play the competition from.

According to Rapport, over and above Dublin and Dubai, London has also been suggested as a base as well but nothing is yet concrete and the planning is subject to change.

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