Rainbow Cup showcases South Africa’s top four Super Rugby sides

Premier Sports live TV coverage of the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup in South Africa kicks off on Saturday (May 1st) with two big clashes – firstly in Cape Town as the DHL Stormers take on the Cell C Sharks followed by the Vodacom Bulls against the Emirates Lions at Lofus Versfeld. 

This weekend’s live southern hemisphere rugby is sure to excite rugby supporters across the UK as fans eye up and analyse the best South African rugby talent that will encounter the British and Irish Lions squad on tour this summer.

After six fast, furious and highly entertaining games across Italy, Scotland, Ireland and Wales to open the Rainbow Cup competition last weekend with an average of 7 tries a game – there will be plenty for rugby supporters to feast their eyes on this weekend as the best players in South Africa showcase their style.

This weekend’s coverage of South Africa’s Rainbow Cup opening fixtures are both live and exclusive in the UK on Premier Sports: 

Sat 1 May                 DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks: Live on Premier Sports 2 from 12.55pm (KO 1pm UK)

Sat 1 May                 Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions: Live on Premier Sports 1 from 5.55pm (KO 6pm UK)

On Saturday afternoon, The Sharks will be looking to maintain their recent run of form against The Stormers, having won the last two clashes between the franchises, most recently picking up a 24-14 victory at Jonsson Kings Park in March 2020. The Stormers will be hoping it’s third time lucky for them in their new home having moved to the new Cape Town Stadium earlier this year while it is the first outing to the Cape Town Stadium for the Sharks. In their head-to-head records, the Sharks have won 17 games to the Stormers 14. 

The Bulls then bring a formidable home record to their clash with The Emirates Lions on Saturday evening, having won their last 11 matches at Loftus Versfeld since Jaguares won there in Super Rugby in February 2020. The hosts have also won their last 5 matches against the Lions in all tournaments. In heads-to-heads against these two franchises, the Bulls have 15 victories to the Lions 6.

With the British and Irish Lions squad announced next week, this will be a great opportunity and insight for rugby supporters to see what the tourists will be up against - with the top players in South Africa going head-to-head with spots in the Springbok national team up for grabs.

Premier Sports TV rugby analyst Sean Holley said: “These will be important matches for them - the South Africans haven’t played test match level for a while, so these Rainbow Cup games are a big opportunity and Springbok trial matches for their national team. I think we can expect some fireworks, it’s not all about the power of their big forwards, there’s some athletic back rowers, they have quick, fleet-footed back three players - guys with serious gas, they can run, they want to go.  I’d implore all PRO14 rugby fans to watch to see what’s coming. It will be fascinating.” 

Wales and British and Irish Lions rugby legend Shane Williams said: “These South African teams will be fantastic to watch, they are tough, aggressive, have great skill and play with such pace and tempo. There are some really good individuals - world-class players who will be on show.  We will see what lies ahead for the Lions tour – it will be exciting to watch and it’s great to have these games available in the UK on Premier Sports.”

Premier Sports as host broadcaster of the Guinness PRO14 will bring every second of the Rainbow Cup action to its TV screens throughout May and into June with the Rainbow Cup Final being held on June 19th.

The four South African ‘Super’ clubs had been due to form part of a mixed 16-team format but were unable to travel to the UK and Ireland due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rainbow Cup is now a dual tournament with no cross-hemisphere fixtures. Every game in the Rainbow Cup in both hemispheres will be shown live on Premier Sports channels.

The Rainbow Cup SA tournament will adopt normal PRO14 rules with regards to 4 match points for a win and try and losing bonus points, however, theWorld Rugby Law Variation Trials will not be implemented for the games with the South African teams.

Next weekend (Fri May 7 – Sun May 9) will see all 16 clubs in action in the Rainbow Cup with eight live rugby games on Premier Sports with six fixtures across Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales plus two in South Africa.