Cheetahs celebrate 2023 Currie Cup title win Photo via SA Rugby website

Cheetahs celebrate their 2023 Currie Cup title win. Photo: Via SA Rugby website.

Currie Cup, domestic rugby set for ‘major revamp’

The Currie Cup has been given a makeover that will allow all 14 unions to play for the coveted gold trophy from 2025 onwards

Cheetahs celebrate 2023 Currie Cup title win Photo via SA Rugby website

Cheetahs celebrate their 2023 Currie Cup title win. Photo: Via SA Rugby website.

The Currie Cup Premier and First Divisions will be moved to a new window next year, to avoid clashing with European competitions, following feedback from member unions, broadcast, and commercial partners.

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As a result, the Currie Cup competitions – to be contested in 2024 by the same eight Premier Division teams and six First Division sides from this year – will be played from July to the end of September. The qualification process will also change from 2025 to provide more opportunity for all member unions to contest South Africa’s premier competition.

The Premier and First Divisions will be preceded by a local competition featuring 10 provincial sides (Toyota Cheetahs, Windhoek Draught Griquas, Airlink Pumas, NovaVit Griffons, Boland Kavaliers, Border Bulldogs, SWD Eagles, Eastern Province, Valke and Leopards), but will exclude the four Vodacom United Rugby Championship franchises (Vodacom Bulls, Emirates Lions, Hollywoodbets Sharks and DHL Stormers).

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This “SA Cup” (working title) competition, which will kick off the senior local calendar next year, is scheduled to be played over a single round from March to June, with semi-finals and a final determining the winner. Players will then enjoy a break before the Currie Cup starts.

In 2025, the top four teams from the “SA Cup” competition will join the four Vodacom URC franchises in the Currie Cup Premier Division, with the remaining six teams contesting the First Division. Both competitions will culminate in semi-finals and a final.

And in another major boost for the local game, SuperSport have committed to broadcast all the matches, either through their linear offering on DStv or on their various streaming platforms.

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Key notes as Currie Cup gets a makeover

  • Currie Cup to be played from July to September
  • New qualification competition introduced from 2025
  • All provinces given shot at Premier Division status
  • Free State promoted to Women’s Premier Division

Other decisions

It’s also worth noting there will be a re-introduction of a single round competition for U19 teams, and a double-round competition for U21s (Cup and Shield), while the U20 competition will be discontinued. The time frame for the U19 and U21 competitions will be confirmed in due course.

Furthermore, the dates and structure of the two women’s provincial competitions (Premier and First Division) will be similar to the 2023 season, while the Free State Women’s side – winners of the First Division – were promoted to the Premier Division for the next two years.

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