Days after claims the competition was in jeopardy, Rainbow Cup chiefs have this afternoon have issued the fixture list for the first three rounds of the competition.
Though question marks remain over whether or not the South African teams will be allowed to travel to Europe to compete, organisers are driving ahead with getting the tournament up and running and then hoping that details for Rounds 4-6 will follow once PRO14 Rugby has received all necessary approvals and permissions from the relevant governments and health authorities for the South African teams to travel.
Ulster will face Connacht on the opening night of action (Friday, April 23rd) with Leinster hosting Munster on Saturday, April 24th at the RDS (7.35pm).
Earlier this morning South African Rugby president Mark Alexander rubbished reports that their top four rugby franchises have been dumped out of the competitions. South African media reported Sunday that the Sharks, Stormers, Lions and Bulls had already been informed the competition would not be going ahead and that players were told to halt their visa applications.
“No one has cancelled the Rainbow Cup,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander “We are looking at every possible scenario to stage the SA teams’ overseas matches. We are in negotiations with all authorities, locally and in the UK, to have the games take place as scheduled. We are fighting hard for the Rainbow Cup to go ahead. But at the moment, the decision is really outside rugby’s remit. It is at government level, as there is currently a travel ban on South Africans entering the UK. They have said they are monitoring the situation here.”
All games will be available live across the Guinness PRO14 network of broadcasters: Premier Sports, Super Sport, eir Sport and DAZN with S4C and TG4 showing selected live free-to-air matches, deferred coverage and highlights throughout.