The Rainbow Cup tournament which was due to get under way on Friday, 23 April, will be scrapped.
Official confirmation of the fact is expected later today from SA Rugby.
The Rainbow Cup was due to kick off with three rounds of South African derbies followed by three rounds in Europe against as yet unidentified opponents.
After just six matches in a 16-team tournament, two finalists were due to fight it out for the title in the final.
However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as several other “factors”, the four South African teams won’t be travelling to Europe.
With the South African teams already having played each other THREE times in the last six months in some form or guise in Super Rugby Unlocked, the Currie Cup and the Kick-Off Pools preparation series, those local derbies will also be laughed off – mercifully so.
The Stormers were due to host the Sharks at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday, 23 April in the tournament opener, while the Bulls were scheduled to welcome the Lions to Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 24 April.
The Lions have already released their only Springbok player, Elton Jantjies, to play in France.
Meanwhile, the Bulls were due to be without Duane Vermeulen, Gio Aplon, Walt Steenkamp, Travis Ismaiel and Trevor Nyakane.
This all leaves South African-based players well short of match practice at any decent level ahead of the British & Irish Lions series which is due – at this stage – to kick off in a little over 10 weeks on July 3.
Unless something drastic changes in the coming weeks, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber may have to rely more heavily than initially expected on his overseas-based options.