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SA Rugby includes Georgia, Zimbabwe, Kenya in Currie Cup

SA Rugby has announced the confirmed league structure for the remainder of the 2022 rugby season, which will see the expansion of both the Currie Cup First Division and the Women’s Premier Divisions and more provincial age group rugby.

With the United Rugby Championship and Currie Cup Premier Division already in full swing, SA Rugby confirmed the competition structure for the rest of the local rugby calendar, which will be a Currie Cup First Division competition with 10 teams and eight teams in the Women’s Premier League.

The stormy 2022 season is set against the backdrop of the lingering uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, after the unusual January kick-off for the Currie Cup Premier Division was prompted by the realignment of the South African domestic rugby calendar to better serve to agree with each other. with the season in the Northern Hemisphere.

Four South African franchise teams – the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions – are currently involved in the United Rugby Championship, culminating in the final on June 18. A week after the URC showdown, on June 25, the culmination of the local season is the Currie Cup Premier Division final.

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In the Currie Cup First Division, seven local provincial teams will be joined by Georgia, Kenya and Zimbabwe in a brand new competition that kicks off the first weekend in April.

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

Last December, the General Council of the South African Rugby Union approved a motion to automatically promote South Africa’s top First Division team to the Premier Division at the end of the 2022 Currie Cup season, creating a Premier Division of eight teams are formed.

In addition, the promoted team will be barred for two seasons (until the end of the 2024 Currie Cup season) when the bottom team in the Premier Division is automatically relegated in favor of the top South African team in the First Division, which will also be for two seasons are entrenched before promotion/relegation at the end of the 2026 season.

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

Women’s competition

In addition, 2022 is also a significant year for women’s rugby, with the Rugby World Cup taking place in New Zealand in October, following last year’s postponement.

Vanir-exodusly, the Golden Lions Women will join the six teams of 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 competition played over a single round from April 23, with the final scheduled for July 30.

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

First, however, it will be the turn of the provincial Under-20 teams. The SA Rugby U20 Cup competition is contested over one round by the Bulls, Cheetahs, Eastern Province, Leopards, Lions, Sharks and Western Province, with the first round on 25/26 February and the final on 16 April.

Six teams will compete for the U20 Shield from April 9. The teams will be divided into two groups, North (Limpopo, Pumas and Valke) and South (Boland, Border and SWD), with the group winners coming out in the final on May 28.

The newly introduced U21 Cup and Shield competitions will start simultaneously on August 20 and after a single round of matches, the two top clubs will compete for the title on October 15.

The U21 Cup will see the Bulls, Free State, Eastern Province, Leopards, Lions, Sharks and Western Province face off, while Boland, Border, Griffons, Griquas, Limpopo, Pumas and Valke will face off in the U21 Shield.

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

2022 SA Rugby League Structure

Currie Cup Premier Division

Participating teams: Bulls (defending champion), sharks, griquas, western province, pumas, cheetahs, lions

Opening round: January 14/15 (double round)

Last: 25 June

Currie Cup First Division

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

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

Last: June 24/25

Women’s Premier Division

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

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

Last: July 30

First Division Women

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

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

Last: 16th of July

SA Rugby Under-20 Cup

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

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

Last: April 16

SA Rugby Under-20 Shield

Participating teams: North – Limpopo, Pumas, Valke; South – Boland, Border, SWD

Opening round: April 8/9 (two groups of three teams each, double competition round)

Last: the 28th of May

SA Rugby Under-21 Cup

Participating teams: Bulls, Free State, Eastern Province, Leopards, Lions, Sharks, Western Province

Opening round: August 19/20 (single round matches)

Last: October 15

SA Rugby Under-21 Shield

Participating teams: Boland, Border, Griffons, Griquas, Limpopo, Pumas, Valke

Opening round: August 19/20 (single round matches)

Last: October 15

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