The unsurprising news that the Rainbow Cup is under threat will come as a big blow not only to the cash-strapped SA rugby franchises but also potentially to the Springboks heading into the series against the British and Irish Lions in just a few months.

It is understood travel restrictions and the reluctance of the Irish and Scottish governments have potentially scuppered the plan to have the four top local franchises — the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions — join the 12 PRO14 teams in a competition that would have been the forerunner to the SA involvement in the PRO16...

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