The Currie Cup will be back to normal this year, with South Africa’s 14 provincial unions contesting the Premier and First Divisions, while SA Rugby also confirmed new competitions for the provincial Under-20 teams after last year’s COVID-interruption.
SA Rugby announced the competitions structure for the remainder of 2021 on Thursday, along with other plans for the forthcoming season against the backdrop of on-going uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA and Women’s Premier Division already in full swing, the Women’s First Division starting in June, and plans for a two-Test series against Georgia, the Castle Lager Rugby Championship schedule and an Under-20 International Series already announced, SA Rugby has confirmed plans for the Carling Currie Cup and Provincial U20 competitions.
The Carling Currie Cup Premier Division will again feature seven teams over a double round of action, with a number of midweek games scheduled, while the First Division, also consisting of seven teams, returns the local rugby calendar after being cancelled last year. Both Carling Currie Cup competitions are scheduled to kick off on the weekend of 18/19 June.
The Carling Currie Cup Premier Division will see the Bulls defend their title against the Cell C Sharks, DHL Western Province, Lions, Toyota Cheetahs, New Nation Pumas and Tafel Lager Griquas. The top four teams on the log at the end of the league phase will qualify for the semi-finals, followed by the final on Saturday 11 September.
In the opening round, the Lions travel to Nelspruit to face the New Nation Pumas in Nelspruit, Tafel Lager Griquas and the Cell C Sharks clash in Kimberley, and the Vodacom Bulls host DHL Western Province in a North/South derby in Pretoria. The Toyota Cheetahs have a bye.
Boland, Border, Eastern Province, Down Touch Griffons, Leopards, South Western Districts Eagles and Valke will take each other on over a single round in the Carling Currie Cup First Division, and will culminate in the final on 14 August.
Eastern Province take on the Leopards, SWD face the Valke and Border start with a tough match against the Down Touch Griffons in the first round, while the Boland Kavaliers have a bye.
All fixtures are subject to change and when available