Cape Town - Varsity Cup organisers have confirmed the tournament's transformation policy for the 2019 edition.
The organisers said that the nine participating universities "must embrace the diversity challenge and do their utmost to create opportunities to advance players of colour".
As such, there must be eight "black persons" in each match-day squad of 23 (35%), of which five must be in the starting line-up (33%).
The organisers have defined black persons as: "African, Coloured or Indian persons who are natural persons and are citizens of the Republic of South Africa".
They added that non-South African black players who are registered students of any member university shall not be treated as "black persons" for the Varsity Cup competitions (Cup, Shield, Young Guns and Res).
Non-South African black persons have been defined as: "African, Coloured or Indian persons who are natural persons and are not citizens of the Republic of South Africa."
Also, somewhat confusingly, universities will be allowed to field four first-year students in their 23-man match-day squads.
However, those players have to be 21 years or younger (they may turn 22 in the year they play), on the condition that "only one of these students may not be a black person".
It's unclear what the ratio is if fewer than four first-year students are selected.
Varsity Cup universities will furthermore be allowed to select an additional three first-year students, on the condition that these additional first-year students must have been in Grade 12 (matric at school) in one of the previous two years.
There will be no restrictions on the first-year students that were in Grade 12 in the previous two years, playing in the Varsity Shield.
Meanwhile, the organisers also announced that the scoring system will be the same for all competitions and that they will revert back to the current, normal, rugby scoring system.
The only exception is the Point of Origin Try (POR) that is only applicable to Varsity Cup.
In this scenario, a seven-point try will be awarded for a try which originated in a team's own half.
The nine-point try - which came into place when teams scored from a move that started in their own 22m area - has been scrapped.
The 2019 Varsity Cup will run from Monday, February 4 until Monday, April 15.
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