Planet Rugby

All systems go for new CC format

23rd July 2014 12:40

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Jurie Roux at a press conference

Excited: Jurie Roux

The new Currie Cup Premier Division format, featuring eight teams, will come into play on August 8 in a fresh start to SA's top domestic competition, with newcomers the EP Kings taking on Western Province in the opening match in Port Elizabeth.

The official launch of the 2014 Currie Cup competition was hosted by the South African Rugby Union and the tournament sponsor on Wednesday at Jeppe High School for Boys in Johannesburg where the new format was explained and the 2014 marketing campaign revealed.

The Premier Division of the Currie Cup was expanded from six teams to eight following a decision by SARU's General Council in February.

This format ensures that the six anchor unions in South African rugby (the Blue Bulls, Sharks, Western Province, Free State Cheetahs, Golden Lions and the EP Kings) will be guaranteed their places in the Currie Cup Premier Division for the next two seasons.

First Division champions, the Pumas, meanwhile, gained entry into the Premier Division after winning the promotion-relegation matches against Griquas at the conclusion of last season, while Griquas booked their spot in a thrilling qualifying series which ended last weekend.

SARU CEO Jurie Roux was excited about the new competition format and said it would be beneficial for South African rugby, especially with the EP Kings featuring alongside the other core unions.

"The Eastern Cape region is a rugby stronghold in SA so it is fitting that they receive the opportunity to compete regularly with the other franchise unions," explained Roux.

"This will also assist the EP Kings in their preparation for their inclusion in Super Rugby in 2016, so we are excited to see what they have to offer.

"I have no doubt the tournament will continue to generate the excitement it has in the past with a tight race for semifinal places and a few upsets throughout the season."

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Leinster vs Munster18:30
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Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
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Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
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Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
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Sharks vs LionsSharks vs Lions Preview
Pumas vs Blue BullsPumas vs Blue Bulls Preview
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Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
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Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 WaikatoAuckland vs Waikato Report
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Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
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Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
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Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
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Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
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Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
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Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
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Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
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1Saracens418
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4Exeter414
5Wasps411