Cape Town - The Currie Cup First Division will feature added beef in the form of Argentinean outfit,
the Jaguares XV, when it kicks off this weekend with a full round of matches.
The South Americans will play in the Currie Cup First
Division for the first time after a similar sortie in the Vodacom Cup a couple
of years back. They are based in Potchefstroom and will face a short, but tough
trip to Welkom, where they will face Griffons, in their tournament
The Argentineans could again prove a handful. Coach Ignacio
Fernandez Lobbe himself is a well-known figure in world rugby, having played
for the Pumas in three Rugby World Cups, while they have some notable players
in their squad as well.
Gonzalo Bertranou (scrumhalf), who played for the Jaguares
in the Super Rugby tournament this year, is returning from injury and
will be a boost to the squad.
The arrival of two of their junior stars at the recent World
Rugby Under-20 Championship, will also add to their backline stocks - Juan
Pablo Castro (fullback and centre) captained his country and the speedy Mateo
Carreras scored against the Junior Boks in their bronze final in Rosario last
Defending Currie Cup First Division champions, the SWD
Eagles, start their campaign away from home, against the Valke in Brakpan. The
same two sides contested the final last year, with the Southern Cape side
The Potchefstroom rugby public will still see some action
though, as home team the Leopards host EP Elephants at Olën Park. The Leopards have returned to their
old stomping ground and will hope this will give them an edge in what promises
to be a very competitive tournament.
Boland, one of the surprise
packages of the recently completed SuperSport Rugby Challenge, will be keen to
continue with that form as they take on Border. The match takes place at King Edward Sports Ground in Montagu
and should be well supported by the locals.
Boland last year took their games to venues
such Robertson, Bredasdorp and Lamberts Bay, and now can add the Little Karoo
town to that.
Currie Cup First Division Fixtures - Round 1:
Saturday, July 6
Boland Cavaliers v Border Bulldogs
Venue: King Edward Sports Ground, Montagu
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Leopards v EP Elephants
Venue: Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Referee: Egon Seconds
Griffons v Jaguares XV
Venue: HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom
Referee: Stuart Berry
Valke v SWD Eagles
Venue: Bosman Stadium, Brakpan
Referee: AJ Jacobs