Representatives from the Celtic Unions and SA Rugby today announced their agreement for the exciting new Celtic-Italy-South Africa Cup competition, with a working title, the Rainbow Cup.
The new competition will commence no later than the 2006/7 season conditional upon certain criteria being met and will initially be played for a minimum of five seasons.
It will encompass a 24 team, seven-week competition to be played in the September/October window between teams from Wales (4), Ireland (4), Scotland (3), Italy (4) and SA Rugbys nine top provincial teams.
This will be the first structured professional club/provincial rugby union competition between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. All parties agreed that this is a fresh and commercially attractive opportunity, which has great rugby development benefits.
Brian van Rooyen, President of SA Rugby, stated that he was pleased with the discussions held between the parties as the competition has many benefits for SA Rugby. He confirmed that he would report back to SA Rugbys Presidents Council.
John Hussey, Celtic League Chairman, stated both the League and the Celtic Unions are very excited about the opportunity. This coupled with everyones commitment to realise the full potential of the competition has made this a good day for world rugby.