Johannesburg - South African rugby fans are known for their unwavering support for their provincial sides and that is exactly what they have been urged to provide at Thursday's launch of the 72nd Absa Currie Cup.
The Absa Currie Cup Premier Division kicks off on Friday, 15 July when the MTN Golden Lions host the Ford Pumas at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg. The final is scheduled for Saturday, 29 October.
“This season’s Absa Currie Cup will call on fans to show their passion for their teams in the oldest provincial competition in world rugby,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux.
“Our campaign, ‘My team, my passion’ encapsulates the essence of being a South African rugby fan, as everyone has their favourite side. Passion is a powerful feeling and an undeniable emotion and as South African rugby supporters, we share that passion, never mind which team you support.”
Roux said the Absa Currie Cup remains a vital cog in South African rugby, as it is one of the toughest stepping stones to Springbok honours.
“Just look at the new breed of Springbok players who are emerging. Guys such as Pat Lambie, Elton Jantjies, Bjorn Basson, Flip van der Merwe and Coenie Oosthuizen all made a big impression playing in the Absa Currie Cup and we’re expecting more of the same this season,” Roux said.
“The Absa Currie Cup is where passion, skill and teamwork meet. There is nothing to compare to the thrill of seeing legends in the making as our top provincial sides battle it out to be crowned kings of the South African rugby landscape.”
Happy Ntshingila, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Absa, reaffirmed Absa’s commitment to rugby in South Africa.
“As the longest standing supporter of rugby in the country and the team sponsor of the Springboks, we remain committed to developing the game at all levels and contributing to sustaining the depth of rugby in South Africa,” said Ntshingila.
”Sponsorship plays a strategic role in Absa’s overall marketing mix and helps drive brand favourability and our business imperatives. Through the years our Absa Currie Cup sponsorship has continually created opportunities for SA’s rugby loving public to interact with the Absa brand. This year the Absa Card division will be aligning with the ’my team my passion’ campaign by utilising the competition platform to showcase their Union affinity cards while Absa Savings and Investments will let customers know that their goals are worth saving for,” Ntshingila added.
The defending Absa Currie Cup champions, The Sharks, have a tough opening fixture, against the Vodacom Blue Bulls, champions in 2009, at Mr Price Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, 16 July.
In the Absa Currie Cup First Division, the Eastern Province Kings host neighbours South Western Districts Eagles also on Friday, 15 July.