Rainbow Cup final to be held at Treviso’s Stadio di Monigo

Match will be played on Saturday June 19th with organisers hopeful of a small crowd

Stadio Di Monigo will host the final of the Rainbow Cup. Photo: Elena Barbini/Inpho

Stadio Di Monigo will host the final of the Rainbow Cup. Photo: Elena Barbini/Inpho

 

Treviso’s Stadio di Monigo has been chosen as the venue to host the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup ‘North v South’ Final on Saturday June 19th with tournament organisers hopeful that a crowd of up to 1,000 will be able to attend the game.

“The support and encouragement received by the Italian Federation and from Italy’s Sport Department allowed Pro14 Rugby to put forward proposals to stage the game in Treviso in a short space of time,” read a statement from the tournament organisers, with a kick-off time for the final to be announced shortly.

“The venue was the clear choice in Italy as an existing Guinness Pro14 stadium that has tried and tested Covid-19 protocols and infrastructures in place. The proximity of local airports, and the European teams’ familiarity with the site, also favoured this selection.”

The choice of venue offers a further incentive for Benetton, the surprise pacesetters in the northern half of the competition after backing up an impressive 46-19 win over Glasgow with a double over Zebre. Victories in their concluding two games at home to Connacht on Saturday and away to the Ospreys a fortnight later will ensure them of a place in the final.

However, defeat in either game could open the door for any of the chasing half dozen teams on two wins heading into this weekend’s fourth round of games. They are separated by just a point, with Munster leading the posse as one of three teams on 10 points and Leinster also in the mix as one of a further three teams on nine points.

The Bulls are the leaders in the South African section of the tournament with three wins out of four as they lead the Stormers and the Sharks with two more rounds remaining.

Martin Anayi, CEO of Pro14 Rugby, said: “We are incredibly grateful to our friends and colleagues in Italian rugby for their role in creating this opportunity to host the North v South Rainbow Cup Final.

“In a very short space of time we have been able to find a terrific way to tie the two tournaments together as originally envisaged and provide a glimpse of the future as the top team from the existing Guinness Pro14 meets the best that South Africa has to offer.

“When the cross-hemisphere fixtures were removed from the original Rainbow Cup schedule due to travel restrictions our disappointment was matched by our clubs, their fans and our broadcasters. However, our team has worked hard to reconfigure the competition with this historic final and we can now deliver on the unique excitement that the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup originally promised. Once again, we offer our thanks to everyone in Italy and the FIR involved in making this possibility a reality and we look forward to what will be a truly unique occasion in the history of our league.”

Meanwhile, as expected, Dr Ciarán Cosgrave and Vinny Hammond have been named among Warren Gatland’s performance staff for the forthcoming British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa. Cosgrave is one of two doctors in a seven-strong medical team while Hammond will be part of a four-man analysis team.

“I am thrilled to have secured a world-class performance team,” said Gatland.

“For obvious reasons this summer’s Lions Tour to South Africa will be a bit different. It will present a number of unique challenges, not only for the players, but the staff too - who all work so incredibly hard behind the scenes.

“I feel reassured when I see the calibre and experience of each individual I have been able to assemble, and I know that whatever challenges we may face on Tour we’ll deal with them in the best way possible.

“I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the four home unions for the flexibility and cooperation they have shown in releasing their employees.”

Lions medical team

* Prabhat Mathema - Head of Medical (WRU)

* Dr Geoff Davies - Doctor (WRU)

* Dr Ciaran Cosgrave - Doctor (IRFU)

* Bob Stewart - Physio (RFU)

* John Miles - Physio (WRU)

* Ann-Marie Birmingham - Soft tissue therapist (RFU)

* Hanlie Fouche - Soft tissue therapist (WRU)

Lions strength & conditioning team

* Paul Stridgeon - Head of Strength & Conditioning (WRU)

* Jon Clarke - Strength & Conditioning Coach (RFU)

* Huw Bennett - Strength & Conditioning Coach (WRU)

* Brian Cunniffe - Sports Scientist (English Institute of Sport)

Lions analysis team

* Rhodri Bown - Head of Analysis (WRU)

* Vinny Hammond - Analyst (IRFU)

* Marc Kinnaird - Analyst (WRU)

* Gavin Vaughan - Analyst (SRU)

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