Munster Rugby to face PRO14 final rivals Leinster in Rainbow Cup next month

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster Rugby to face PRO14 final rivals Leinster in Rainbow Cup next month

Guinness PRO14 final rivals Munster and Leinster will also face-off in the opening round of the new Rainbow Cup next month

THE Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup will kick-off on the weekend of April 24 with fixtures for the first three rounds now confirmed.

Munster Rugby will kick-off the tournament with an interprovincial derby away to their Guinness PRO14 final rivals Leinster before facing home home fixtures against both Ulster and Connacht.

Three weekends of derby action will be followed by cross-hemisphere fixtures where the existing Guinness PRO14 teams will face the Vodacom Bulls, the Emirates Lions, Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers for the very first time.

Ahead of the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa, these games should help to ignite the rivalries that will play out in the summer when the Lions and the reigning World Champion Springboks go head-to-head.

Changes to scheduling and format of the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup have been made to limit travel where possible with the opening three rounds accounting for derby fixtures across Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.

Rounds 4 to 6 will see the four South African ‘Super’ franchises play their away games in Europe and those fixtures will be confirmed once all appropriate travel approvals have been confirmed by the relevant authorities and governments. This format means that no teams from Europe will travel to South Africa for Guinness Rainbow Cup games.

A total of six rounds (eight games per round) will take place with all teams ranked in a single league table. The top two teams will then play each other in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup Final on June 19.

PRO14 Rugby is currently consulting with our broadcast partners to select kick-off times and will confirm the scheduling as soon as possible.

GUINNESS PRO14 RAINBOW CUP FIXTURES

R1 – Weekend of April 24

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

R2 – Weekend of May 1, 2021 (EPCR Semi-Final Weekend)

DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls

Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions

R2 – Weekend of May 8, 2021

Connacht v Leinster

Munster v Ulster

Zebre v Benetton

Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh

Cardiff Blues v Dragons

Scarlets v Ospreys

R3 – Weekend of May 8, 2021

Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks

Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers

R3 – Weekend of May 15, 2021

Munster v Connacht

Leinster v Ulster

Benetton v Zebre

Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors

Scarlets v Cardiff Blues

Dragons v Ospreys

Round 4: Weekend of May 29
Round 5: Weekend of June 5
Round 6: Weekend of June 12
Final: Weekend of June 19