SA teams won't play in Rainbow Cup - report

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SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux talks to the media after France was announced as the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup at Royal Garden Hotel in London on 15 November 2017 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux talks to the media after France was announced as the host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup at Royal Garden Hotel in London on 15 November 2017 (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon

South Africa's "Big Four" rugby franchises have been dumped out of this month's Rainbow Cup, according to a newspaper report, exerting a huge blow to SA Rugby.

The Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions were meant to participate in a rejigged PRO14 tournament with 12 European sides from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy starting on 24 April.

But, as according to Sunday weekly newspaper Rapport, SA Rugby informed the four franchises last Friday their participation in the Rainbow Cup had been pulled.

Rainbow Cup stakeholders allegedly decided in a virtual meeting that South African teams could no longer participate because of "the forces outside rugby".

South Africa's axing would deal a huge financial blow to SA Rugby, who will lose out on potential television rights revenue as a result.

Rapport also wrote that SA Rugby is working towards hosting a domestic Franchise Cup after the failed entry into the Northern Hemisphere competition.

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