SA Rugby has confirmed that two trophies will be up for grabs when the local rugby season kicks off in the coming weeks.
Seven franchises will battle it out for top honours in the first bit of top level rugby action in South Africa since the Super Rugby season was suspended in March.
Super Rugby Unlocked meets the Currie Cup
After both New Zealand and Australia staged successful domestic versions of Super Rugby, South Africa is set to follow suit with a local twist to the southern hemisphere’s premier franchise rugby competition.
From 10 October to 21 November, the seven teams will slug it out for Super Rugby Unlocked honours.
The winner of the groundbreaking competition will be determined by whichever team has the most log points at the end of the competition.
All points earned in the six weeks of competition will be carried over to a new-look Currie Cup, which kicks off on 28 November.
The round-robin stage of one of the world’s oldest sports competitions will be followed by the semifinals on 16 January, with the final taking place the following weekend.
“We are very grateful for the excellent cooperation we’ve had from our sponsors, broadcast partner, the unions and other stakeholders to get to a point where we can actually start looking forward to actual rugby matches on weekends again,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“Depending on our participation in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, we’ll see our top local Springboks in action in the coming weeks and months.
“The impact of the pandemic on the season has been extraordinary and we have had to come up with an extraordinary solution to be able to complete the Vodacom Super Rugby season and contest the Currie Cup. We believe that this is the best solution for everyone involved.
“All the teams will face each other home and away, and will enjoy two byes during the four months we believe will deliver top-class local rugby and unearth the next generation of stars for South African rugby.”
The teams that will be competing when rugby returns in South Africa are the four Super Rugby franchises, the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and the Stormers, as well as the Cheetahs, the Griquas and the Pumas.
The Cheetahs won the last edition of the Currie Cup, beating the Lions in the final.