“I think it’s a bit of a setback not to be able to compete with the teams from overseas,” said the former Bok skipper about the likely cancellation of the competition.
SA Rugby will now have to come up with a “Plan B” following the likely cancellation of the Rainbow Cup, said former Springbok captain Jean de Villiers.
De Villiers, who played 109 Tests, believed Rassie Erasmus, the national body’s director of rugby, and Bok coach Jacques Nienaber would come up with suitable alternatives.
“It is a setback, there is no doubt about that, but we have learned from guys like Rassie and Jacques that they will do their utmost to put things in place,” said De Villiers on Monday.
“I think they will plan well in order for the Boks to be the best prepared as they can be for the Lions tour.”
It was hoped the Rainbow Cup would serve as preparation for the British and Irish Lions tour (in July), with De Villiers conceding playing against some of the best players in Europe would have been excellent preparation.
“Unfortunately they couldn’t get this one over the line and now they will have to look at alternatives,” said De Villiers.
“I think it’s a bit of a setback not to be able to compete with the teams from overseas. It’s just always nice to be able to compare yourself with what is happening elsewhere.”
De Villiers said he had no idea what alternative competition could be put on the table, but believed Erasmus and Nienaber would leave no stone unturned.
“What that next competition could be I have no idea, but what we do know is that they (Erasmus and Nienaber) will explore all avenues and options.”
SA Rugby have yet to make an official announcement about the Rainbow Cup, which was unveiled to be a competition between Europe’s ProRugby teams and the four local Super franchises, the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.