The length of the Currie Cup tournament is set to be reduced from 2018.
This year’s Currie Cup overlapped with the Super Rugby playoffs and will also overlap with the first six weeks of the Pro14. The Golden Lions, Sharks and Western Province were therefore forced to field their Provincial Rugby Challenge teams at the beginning of the Currie Cup, while the Cheetahs’ Pro14 commitments mean they are likely to select a B team for the latter stages of the Currie Cup.
‘The reality of the Currie Cup is that it’s the oldest competition in the world,’ said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux. ‘We are seriously considering the future of it and how to structure it in between these other competitions that we have.
‘If you go global and to other continents in terms of your competitions there are always going to be sacrifices, so possible sacrifices would be not having a double round, but strength versus strength for a single round.
‘It will be an interim period … the global calendar is changing in 2021. There will be a massive change to the calendar in terms of how we are able to play and structure our competitions.’
Meanwhile, Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli said he hoped the Currie Cup would be a better tournament next year.
‘The competition structure is important in South African rugby,’ he said. ‘We’ve had a few meetings and we’re trying to get it right, especially now with the Pro14 and an opportunity for two teams to go up north.
‘We’ve got to make sure that our Super Rugby and our Currie Cup don’t overlap. We need to make sure that we’ve got enough time, and that Super Rugby finishes early, and then incoming tours and then we have the Currie Cup.
‘It’s not good for sponsors, it’s not good for commercial and it’s not good for the players.’
Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images