- The Rainbow Cup SA competition will kick off next weekend, SA Rugby has confirmed.
- The Stormers host the Sharks in Cape Town and the Bulls will entertain the Lions in Pretoria.
- Teams will receive four points for a win, bonus points for scoring four or more tries, or for losing within a margin of seven points or fewer.
The revised schedule for the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA will see three consecutive "Super Saturdays" of top-class local rugby action, starting next weekend on 1 May with encounters in Cape Town and Pretoria.
SA Rugby and PRO14 Rugby announced the amended fixtures and kick-off times for the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA on Friday.
The opening match is a coastal clash between the Stormers and Sharks at Cape Town Stadium (14:00), followed by the Jukskei derby between the Bulls and the Lions at Loftus Versfeld (19:00).
"It's a pity we could not have the competition as we first envisaged it, but to see these four teams slug it out over seven weeks is sure to bring out the best in South African rugby," SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said in a statement.
"We are very grateful to SuperSport for being so accommodating in the late changes, and to our friends in Europe for allowing our teams to continue in the competition they've been preparing for."
Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby's director of rugby, said it would have been good to see the South African teams take on the might of European club rugby as the British & Irish Lions series moves closer.
"We'll have to wait a bit longer to face the best club sides of Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, but in the meantime we've got a tough competition that will hopefully prepare our players for what promises to be a massive series against the British & Irish Lions," said Erasmus.
"The rugby we saw when the season restarted last year was hot and cold, but it got better and in the 2021 kick-off pools (preparation series) the teams were looking much better, and hopefully they can take that form and intensity into the Rainbow Cup SA.
"It was also good to see a number of younger players putting their hands, while our established and experienced players underlined their class. The PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA provides another opportunity for players to stake claims for higher honours and I’m excited to see what our teams can conjure up in the next few weeks."
The normal PRO14 points' system will be used - four points for a win, bonus points for scoring four or more tries, or for losing within a margin of seven points or fewer, and two points to each team for a drawn match.
Rounds four to six will see a reverse of the first rounds of fixtures between 22 May and 12 June, with a bye for all four teams, details of the kick-off times which will be confirmed in due course.
PRO14 RAINBOW CUP SA FIXTURES - ROUNDS 1-3
Saturday 1 May
14:00 - Stormers v Sharks (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
19:00 - Bulls v Lions (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Saturday 8 May
16:00 - Sharks v Lions (Kings Park, Durban)
18:15 - Stormers v Bulls (Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town)
Saturday 15 May
KO TBA: Lions v Stormers (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
18:15 - Bulls v Sharks (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
ROUNDS 4-6 (home teams named first, kick-off times TBA)
Weekend 21/22 May
Sharks v Stormers
Lions v Bulls
Weekend 4/5 June
Lions v Sharks
Bulls v Stormers
Weekend 11/12 June
Stormers v Lions
Sharks v Bulls