Leinster and Munster meet on the opening weekend.

Pro14 announces fixture details of Rainbow Cup with South African sides

Changes to the format and scheduling sees three rounds of derbies take place before the Lions, the Stormers, the Sharks and the Bulls arrive in Europe.

PRO14 RUGBY HAS announced fixture details of the new 16-team Rainbow Cup. 

South African franchises the Lions, the Stormers, the Sharks, and the Bulls will face the existing Pro14 clubs for the first time this year. 

In a change to the original format and scheduling, the tournament will start with three rounds of Irish derbies — beginning the weekend of 24 April — before the South African teams travel to Europe for rounds four to six (pending travel approvals by the relevant authorities and governments). 

No European clubs will make the trip to South Africa. 

After the six rounds are played, the sides ranked first and second in the table will meet in the Rainbow Cup final on 19 June. 

“Everyone is glad that we can now put some certainty into the rugby calendar in what has been an unpredictable period,” said David Jordan, Pro14 Rugby tournament director.

“Planning for a cross-hemisphere competition where the situation has been so fluid has provided many challenges, but we believe we have found a solution that is practical and safe to deliver a unique competition that supporters can get excited about.

“Throughout the Guinness Pro14 season, we have liaised with our unions and their governments to ensure we are meeting the conditions set out for elite sport to operate. We are very grateful for that support, without which a cross-border competition such as ours could not have taken place.”

Rainbow Cup fixtures 

Round 1 – Weekend of 24 April

  • Ulster v Connacht
  • Leinster v Munster
  • Benetton v Glasgow Warriors
  • Edinburgh v Zebre Rugby Club
  • Ospreys v Cardiff Blues
  • Dragons v Scarlets
  • Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions
  • DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks

Round 2 – Weekend of 1 May 

  • DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls
  • Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions

Round 2 – Weekend of 8 May

  • Connacht v Leinster
  • Munster v Ulster
  • Zebre v Benetton
  • Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh
  • Cardiff Blues v Dragons
  • Scarlets v Ospreys

Round 3 – Weekend of 8 May

  • Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks
  • Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers

Round 3 – Weekend of 15 May

  • Munster v Connacht
  • Leinster v Ulster
  • Benetton v Zebre
  • Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors
  • Scarlets v Cardiff Blues
  • Dragons v Ospreys

Round 4 – Weekend of 29 May

Round 5 – Weekend of 5 June

Round 6 – Weekend of 12 June

Final – Weekend of 19 June 

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

Murray Kinsella, Bernard Jackman and Gavan Casey field listeners’ questions about Ireland’s victory over England before turning their attention to the club game, and Super Rugby in the Pacific Islands, prospective law trials up north and, of course, this weekend’s Pro14 final between old rivals.

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