Fri. Aug 23rd, 2019

SA Rugby confirm 2019 competition structures

SA Rugby Currie CupThe Currie Cup Premier Division has been moved to a July to September window by SA Rugby to avoid a clash with the World Cup.

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SA Rugby have confirmed the structure of the domestic season including an earlier slot for the Currie Cup and a remodelled SuperSport Rugby Challenge.

South African rugby has reaffirmed its commitment to their SANZAAR ally Argentina, revealing that a team from the South American nation will be joining the Currie Cup first division.

SA Rugby has also found ways to include neighbours Zimbabwe and Namibia. Namibia will field a team in the Currie Cup first division and in the Supersport Rugby Challenge’s North section. Zimbabwe will take a place in the SRC’s South Section alongside WP, the Boland Cavaliers, SWD Eagles, Eastern Province, the Sharks and Free State Cheetahs.

Completing the North section of the SRC are the Leopards, Valke, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, Pumas, Griffons and Griquas.

The Currie Cup Premier Division will move to an earlier time-slot in the season with the Blue Bulls, Golden Lions, Defending champions the Sharks, Western Province, Free State Cheetahs, Pumas and Griquas competing for the title.

The Premier Division of the Currie Cup has been moved to an earlier time slot in the season , from 13 July to 7 September, which means that it will not overlap with the Rugby World Cup, Super Rugby or the Guinness Pro14.

“The introduction of the Argentina XV and the return of Namibia to the Currie Cup First Division will add an exciting element to the competition in 2019 and we have no doubt that it will boost the tournament,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“The Argentineans are former Vodacom Cup champions and they have proven in Vodacom Super Rugby and on the international circuit that they are a force to be reckoned with. We expect nothing different from them in the Currie Cup First Division.

“We are also excited to welcome back Namibia, who have delivered a number of competitive performances in the competition in the past.”

Defending Currie Cup champions, the Sharks, will meet Griquas in Durban in the opening match of the Premier Division on Friday, 12 July, while the Golden Lions will take on the Pumas at Ellis Park, an Western Province host the Blue Bulls in Cape Town on Saturday, 13 July.

Amateur provincial rugby will also feature on the local landscape with a pilot project in SWD, where eight municipally-based representative teams will be chosen from within the borders of the union, divided into two divisions, namely the Cup and Shield.

The Pilot Project will be played over seven weeks, commencing on 28 September and concluding on 9 November.

The SA Rugby U19 Championship will be played over a week in a similar format to the SA Rugby Youth Weeks.

Of the change to the SA Rugby U19 Championship, Roux said: “The revised SA Rugby U19 Championship will serve as a top-class festival of the best junior talent, which will be particularly appealing to the Junior Springbok coaches with an eye on the annual World Rugby U20 Championship.

“The potential of discovering new talent is also fantastic, as several quality players who missed out on selection for the U18 SA Rugby Youth Week teams will have an opportunity to make their presence felt.”

2019 SA Rugby Competition dates (fixtures TBC):

26/27 April to 29 June – SuperSport Rugby Challenge

5/6 July to 31 August – Currie Cup First Division

12/13 July to 7 September – Currie Cup Premier Division

6/7 September – Currie Cup Promotion-Relegation

21/22 June to 7 September – SA Rugby U21 Championship

12/13 July to 31 August – SA Rugby U20 Championship

21 to 29 September – SA Rugby U19 Championship

28 September to 9 November – Amateur Provincial Pilot Project

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