Independent Online

Monday, June 27, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Kenya, Zimbabwe and Georgia to play in Currie Cup first division as SA Rugby confirm expanded calendar

The Blue Bulls players celebrate with the Currie Cup trophy after beating the Sharks in the final at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane last year. Photo: @BlueBullsRugby/Twitter

The Blue Bulls players celebrate with the Currie Cup trophy after beating the Sharks in the final at Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane last year. Photo: @BlueBullsRugby/Twitter

Published Feb 21, 2022

Share

Cape Town — SA Rugby has announced the confirmed competition structure for the remainder of the 2022 rugby season, which will see an expansion of the Currie Cup First Division as well as the Women’s Premier Divisions and more provincial age-group rugby.

The South African franchise teams – the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions – are currently playing in the United Rugby Championship which culminates in the final on 18 June. The Currie Cup Premier Division final will take place one week later on 25 June.

Story continues below Advertisement

In the First Division, seven local provincial teams will be joined by Georgia, Kenya and Zimbabwe in a brand-new competition.

The trio of international participants will join the defending champions, the Leopards, Griffons, South Western Districts, Boland, Eastern Province, Border and the Valke over a single round of action, with the final scheduled for the final weekend of June.

Last December, the General Council of the South African Rugby Union approved a motion that the top South African team in the First Division be automatically promoted to the Premier Division at the end of the 2022 Currie Cup season, creating an eight-team Premier Division.

Plans on a competition for the First Division sides in the last quarter of the year are also underway and will be confirmed in due course.

On the women’s front, the Golden Lions Women will join the six teams from the 2021 Women’s Premier Division – defending champions, the Border Ladies, as well as Western Province, EP Queens, Boland Dames, Blue Bulls Women and Sharks Women – in a new-look competition played over a single round from 23 April, with the final scheduled for 30 July.

The Women's First Division, featuring eight teams – Leopards, Valke, Limpopo, Pumas, Free State, Griffons, Griquas and SWD – commences on 11 June, with the structure of the competition to be confirmed in due course.

Story continues below Advertisement

First up though will be the provincial Under-20 sides. The SA Rugby U20 Cup competition will be contested over a single round by the Vodacom Bulls, Toyota Cheetahs, Eastern Province, Leopards, Lions, Cell C Sharks and DHL Western Province, with the first round of fixtures on 25/26 February and the final on 16 April.

Six teams will contest the U20 Shield, from 9 April. The teams will be split in two groups, North (Limpopo, Pumas and Valke) and South (Boland, Border and SWD), with the group winners squaring off in the final on 28 May.

The newly introduced U21 Cup and Shield competitions start simultaneously on 20 August and after a single round fixtures, the two top sides will battle it out for the title on 15 October.

Story continues below Advertisement

The U21 Cup will see the Bulls, Free State, Eastern Province, Leopards, Lions, Sharks and Western Province battle it out, while the U21 Shield will be contested by Boland, Border, Griffons, Griquas, Limpopo, Pumas and Valke.

All fixtures will be confirmed in due course on the SA Rugby website.

2022 SA Rugby Competition structure

Story continues below Advertisement

Currie Cup Premier Division

Participating teams: Bulls (defending champions), Sharks, Griquas, Western Province, Pumas, Cheetahs, Sigma Lions

Opening round: 14/15 January (double round of matches)

Final: 25 June

Currie Cup First Division

Participating teams: Leopards (defending champions), Griffons, Valke, Boland Kavaliers, Eastern Province, Border Bulldogs, SWD Eagles, Georgia, Kenya, Zimbabwe

Opening round: 1/2 April (single round of matches)

Final: 24/25 June

Women’s Premier Division

Participating teams: Border Ladies (defending champions), Western Province, EP Queens, Boland Dames, Blue Bulls Women, Sharks Women, Golden Lions Women

Opening round: 22/23 April (single round of matches)

Final: 30 July

Women’s First Division

Participating teams: Leopards, Valke, Limpopo, Pumas, Free State, Griffons, Griquas, SWD

Opening round: 10/11 June (competition structure to be confirmed)

Final: 16 July

SA Rugby Under-20 Cup

Participating teams: Lions (defending champions), Western Province, Vodacom Bulls, Sharks, Leopards, Free State, Eastern Province

Opening round: 25/26 February (single round of matches)

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

Related Topics:

Rugby

Share