SA Rugby has reportedly sent out a proposal to the various professional franchises suggesting the Currie Cup will start in October 2020.
According to the proposed return to play plans, the Currie Cup will kick-off on 3 October and stretch across the summer until a final on 16 January 2021.
The Currie Cup is set to be contested as a double-round tournament with the date fixed after SA Rugby got the greenlight to resume contact training last week.
Already well prepared for the Currie Cup
The franchises have been chomping at the bit to move to the next phase of the resumption and Sharks coach Sean Everitt said teams should all be raring to go.
Everitt is happy with the time frame after it had been suggested SA Rugby were keen to start the tournament in September.
“We are confident we have enough time to be ready to play matches,” Everitt told IOL. “We have done so much preparation already, albeit within the constraints of not taking contact, and now it will be a case of gradually hardening the guys up to play.
“We will stagger the contact load until the guys are ready to get fully stuck in,” Everitt said. “But we will be ready. Ideally, you need a minimum of three weeks to get ready to play and we have a month.”
Currie Cup leads the rugby restart
The four South African franchises were not able to stage a Super Rugby replacement tournament as were put on n Australia and New Zealand and will instead stage a full Currie Cup programme with the Springboks likely to be available for the bulk of the tournament.
SA Rugby has yet to confirm their plans for the end-of-year international window, with an offer on the table to join a once-off Eight Nations tournament in the northern hemisphere clashing with the planned staging of the Rugby Championship.
Super Rugby future uncertain
South Africa’s future participation in Super Rugby is up in the air with New Zealand and Australia agreeing the tournament might be better without the Lions, Sharks, Bulls and Stormers.
SA Rugby is exploring the option of entering four teams into an expanded Pro14. The Cheetahs have proposed that the Currie Cup serves as a qualifying event to determine which teams will be entered. That suggestion is being considered by the board of SA Rugby.
The Cheetahs are the Currie Cup’s defending champions having lifted the trophy last September.