Updated: Feb 26, 2021
With the South African teams no longer taking part in Super Rugby, SARU took the decision that the teams would head North this year and participate in what is being called “The Rainbow Nations Cup”.
“The Rainbow Nations Cup”
The tournament is essentially an expanded version of the current Pro14, which is familiar to the South
African audience, as both the Cheetahs and the EP Kings had been plying their trade there since their
Super Rugby exit.
The Rainbow Nations Cup is an experimental tournament to test the waters for a full blown expansion of
the tournament, should it be successful. The Sharks, Bulls, Stormers and Lions are set to join the
competition which will comprise of 16 teams in total, drawing on Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
The tournament is set to kick off on the 17 th of April 2021 and the South African sides will commence
their pre-season warm up games this weekend. Due to a lack of game time between the end of the
Currie Cup season and the start of the Rainbow Nations Cup, SARU has implemented the Franchise Cup.
The tournament features all the Currie Cup teams with the addition of the EP Elephants and will be
played out as a round robin.
The first game will kick off on the 26 th of February 2021 when the Lions play host to the Phakisa Pumas in
Johannesburg, followed by a clashes between the Stormers and Cheetahs, Bulls and Elephants and
Sharks and Griquas to round off the weekend.
The games will be played on a 10 day rotation, which will mean that week day games are on the cards
and it will allow players enough time to rest and train between hit outs. Sunday the 28 th brings an
interesting clash however as former World Cup winning coach, Jake White will face off with another ex-
Springbok coach, Pieter De Villiers as the Bulls host the Elephants at Loftus.
One can only hope to see an increase in attacking rugby from the South African sides in comparison to
what was on display in the Currie Cup, so that the teams can enter the Rainbow Nations Cup with
confidence and in form. Whilst the Bulls will be clear favorites, the Sharks, Stormers and Lions will all be
looking to put their hands up too.