Cape Town - The Currie
Cup - the world’s oldest domestic rugby championship - will have a new look in
2016 with more matches and a new entrant, following a decision by the General
Council of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) in Cape Town on Friday.
Cup competitors, Namibia, will join the 14 South African provincial unions in a
competition which was first contested in 1889. In those days the tournament was
played in one centre over the course of a week. The 2016 version will now run
in an expanded format from April until October.
means that more Currie Cup rugby will be played - 166 matches compared to 76 in
2015 - with every team facing every other team in the first stage of the
competition between April 9 and July 23.
Super Rugby unions will move on to the Premier Division with the three
non-franchise teams with the greatest number of log points. The remaining six
will contest the First Division title.
stage competitions will also be played over a single round. Points will not be
carried over from the first stage. Both the Premier and First Division will
have semi-finals while the final in both divisions will take place at the home
venue of whichever team was highest placed at the end of the second phase.
enthusiasm for the Currie Cup remains intense among our members and the new
format was driven by their desire to see all teams playing each other once
again,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of the South African Rugby Union.
will run in parallel to Vodacom Super Rugby with the second stage of the Currie
Cup only kicking off at the conclusion of the Super Rugby log stage. The
Vodacom Cup competition has been discontinued to create the space in the
that new formats had also been agreed for Under-19 and Under-21 competitions
for the six Super Rugby teams and the Leopards – in recognition of the strength
of the Pukke Rugby Institute – while the non-Super Rugby teams would contest
only an Under-20 competition.
“The Currie Cup will kick off earlier than for many years and will feature more
matches than ever and we hope that the heritage of the trophy will fire the
passion of supporters once more.
also retained the intensity of the contest for the trophy with the Premier
Division and First Division competitions in the second stage and I am sure the
battle for places in the top division will be feverish.”
Council also approved the SARU budget for 2016 and the model for distribution
of broadcast revenues. The provinces will receive 56% of broadcast income with
the balance attributed to the Springboks, competition expenses as well as rugby