Currie Cup sold for 30 pieces of silver

Written by Morné Nortier (Morné)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 13 Sep 2010 at 12:49
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If Currie Cup is your thing, then I have some bad news for you. You are about to witness the long, and painful death of the world’s oldest and most fierce domestic rugby competition.

The new Super rugby draw recently released by SANZAR for 2011 basically kills off any possibility for South Africans to see their top players in the oldest domestic competition in the world, the Currie Cup.

In fact, if you love Currie Cup rugby, the new, revamped Super rugby competition is anything but ‘super’.

Firstly, I expect that the usual squad numbers for teams given the crazy demands of the new competition to increase from its traditional number of 30 members per squad. Even so, if we consider that a total of 150 players from South Africa will be involved in the Super rugby competition from middle of February, to possibly middle July (if they make the finals) and the international schedule to follow that, the Currie Cup will be nothing more than a glorified Vodacom Cup.

The finals or last match of the new Super rugby competition will conclude on the 9th July 2011, two weeks later, South Africa kicks off their Tri-Nations campaign in Sydney when they face the Wallabies. South Africa’s final match of the 2011 Tri-Nations will take place in Port Elizabeth on the 20th August 2011, three weeks before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in New Zealand where South Africa will play Wales on the 11th September.

In layman’s terms this means that our top 150 players (minimum) will be unavailable until the 9th July for domestic competitions of which 30 (minimum) will be unavailable until the end of the Rugby World Cup.

I however suspect that given injuries, conditioning programs and general player availability will see this number of 30 increase to a more realistic figure of between 45 and 50.

We have to remember that the format of this new Super rugby competition will also change in 2012 since next year is a Rugby World Cup year.

From 2012 and beyond there will be a blanket break of about 3 to 4 weeks for all teams in the Super rugby competition to make way for the traditional June incoming tours. In fact, in a non-World Cup year the new Super rugby competition’s tournament length will increase by 50% compared to the 31% increase next year…

Unfortunately, the Currie Cup fixtures for 2011 has not been released yet.

Regardless of this however, it becomes quite clear to see that we can basically forget about ever seeing our top rugby players, or Springboks, play Currie Cup ever again given that from 2012, the Tri-Nations will also undergo a complete change with the addition of Argentina to the competition which will increase its length in which its played.

I imagine New Zealand’s ITM Cup will suffer a similar fate as South Africa’s Currie Cup, while Australia is smiling from ear to ear having now established a brilliant domestic competition involving 5 teams who will play each other twice each year under the guise of a fully SANZAR sponsored new Super 15 competition – this after they failed miserably in trying to establish a domestic competition years ago on their own…

SA Rugby will have you know that they have increased their revenue by selling the rights to their domestic competition for the next 5 years and that they are the winners out of this new SANZAR brokered deal – not considering the long term damage this will have on the Currie Cup, while Australia’s John O’Neil is just happy to sit back and think; ‘As long as they keep on believing that, all is good…’


  • Yep will b sad 4 sa

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.09.10 13:00:10 by RuckingFun Reply
  • At least in 2012 da argies join, should b interesting

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.09.10 13:02:24 by RuckingFun Reply
  • I like the sarcasm :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.09.10 13:19:41 by Jarson Reply
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  • I’m a big Currie Cup fun and would hate to see the tournament die off. If it can be used as a competition to showcase and develop new provincial talent (which it does to a degree at the moment anyway) it may however still have a place in future.

    The Currie Cup organisers and sponsors should look at America’s college football for inspiration. If I’m not mistaken college football enjoys a larger viewership than the NFL.

    The Currie Cup should become synonymous with innovative gameplay and exciting young rugby players.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.09.10 13:25:47 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • On the plus side it might give even more young guys an opportunity to come through the ranks . . .

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.09.10 13:25:54 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @vanmartin (Comment 4) : @Original Pierre (Comment 5) :

    If the Currie Cup makes the step down (which it inevitably will) from its current level to Vodacom Cup level (which is just above the utterly useless mark) I don’t see much this as a positive in any way.

    Firstly not much talent really steps up from VC level to Super rugby level, it is like a midway point being neither here nor there where more talent is discovered at Varisty Cup than VC cup!

    Also, this will not help small unions as the VC is basically dominated by the same teams that dominate CC…

    I think the negative spin-off might be far worse than what I stated above, for when a player does not make a Super rugby team, he will accept the first offer from Europe.

    The Currie Cup needs a total revamp, and will require some out of the box thinking by administrators…

    One of which might be to implement a similar ‘conference’ based system as in the Super rugby comp to include and even widen the ‘base’ of the competition ensuring a broader spectator interest in the game, and with that sponsor buy-in…

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.09.10 13:32:45 by Morné Reply
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 2) :

    Interesting? Yes
    Even Longer season? Yes
    More time for top players away from the CC? Yes

    🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.09.10 13:42:53 by KSA Pink Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 5) :

    If that was the case then the VC would have been doing that for some time. I’m afraid the VC un-earths VERY little if any new talent.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.09.10 13:46:01 by KSA Pink Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @Morné (Comment 6) : Morne, perhaps the trick is to sell the Currie Cup broadcasting rights to someone other than SuperSport? Top TV perhaps? Rugby at the moment is only accessible to those lucky enough to able to afford DSTV’s premium package. Give Currie Cup rugby back to the SA public and the uptake may surprise all of us? (Our PSL being as dull as it is)

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.09.10 13:47:07 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • You`re right this doesn`t bode well . ..

    Hopefully we can win the Currie Cup this year . . . might be the last ” real ” currie cup!! 🙁

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.09.10 13:48:43 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) :

    Good idea that, but I am afraid that ship has already sailed until 2014 if I am not mistaken…

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.09.10 13:49:31 by Morné Reply
  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : @Original Pierre (Comment 10) :

    I suggested this when news of the new comp first came out.

    For my money the domestic comp needs to be split into a league competition, decided on final points standings at the end of the season including all unions (no finals).

    Then a cup competition decided within the Super 15 competition between the top 5 franchises (who represents or, is supposed to represent all of SA…) with a final being played.

    Only problem given the calender, is when to play that final…???

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.09.10 13:52:06 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 11) : Damn, thought that was only for the SANZAR competitions.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.09.10 13:53:37 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Go super 15!At least I no longer have to watch the Pumas and Leopards anymore for heavens sake.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.09.10 13:53:38 by frikkie se broer Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 12) : December is always a slow month for me rugby wise :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.09.10 14:00:00 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : Great idea!

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.09.10 14:38:54 by CS Reply

  • Why is the Currie Cup along with the ITM Cup not played during and after the Tri Nations, with the International players filtering in and out as required (as we have seen this year in the ITM Cup). The big names get a bit of a rest after the last Tri Nations match then filter back for the concluding rounds and the finals, before the National sides are named for the EOYT.

    There is no way all the 30 Contracted AB will be allowed to blanket sit out the ITM Cup. If that was the case their form could not be guaged against other aspiring players.

    Internationals – Super Rugby – National Provincial Rugby

    Just because you play at one level does not exclude you from playing at another ….however it does mean you play less of the level below !

    Hopefully all players still play the same amount of games each year, it is just a case of what level they are at !

    Granted 2011 is slightly different with the RWC being a priority.

    …and 2012 will see the introduction of Argentina to the Tri Nations.

    I still belive that the ITM Cup will flourish with plenty of big names having to protect their top tier international status…..don’t you ?

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.09.10 15:45:18 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 17) :

    ITM maybe but not the CC. Our Boks are mainly chosen on S14/15 performance and VERY seldom will a guy get the call to the boks because of a good CC.

    Maybe a backup slot on a EOYT or something but also only if the big names are injured or rested.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.09.10 16:07:48 by KSA Pink Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Good write agree 100%. Throw in the youth CC leagues and its obvious Marinos has sold our rugbys heart.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.09.10 16:14:09 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @KSA Pink Shark © (Comment 18) :

    Well so are ours but they are not excused from playing ITM Cup totally.

    It is a cycle…. 150 players are Super Rugby contacted players then you pick your best 30 as Test players for the Tri Nations…. they then depending on thier level of involvement in the Tri Nations play what ever ITM Cup they can……then the EOYT Squad is picked…..then they filter back into Super Rugby when they are ready. Guys like McCaw will not play close to the first 4 Rounds maybe more of the new Super Rugby season., but bet he plays the semi final and final of the ITM Cup if required.

    ….and it all starts again. Giving you Top 30 Players the entire ITM Cup off….would be madness, plus half of the 30 are lucky to be there in the first place.

    I like what the AB coaches did this year with who was in the playing 22 week in week out….a littl bit of rotation worked well keeping everyone fresh and on their toes !

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.09.10 16:18:04 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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  • I am not that worried about the structure upwards from S15. Its the lower levels that worries me. We have our U19s and U21s playing CC rugby. Provide our youngsters the career from schoolboy to Super Rugby level. If they start tampering with the CC structure we’r dead meat taking our current qouta system into account.

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.09.10 16:23:49 by PaarlBok Reply

  • Someone suggested using the SA conference and letting it double as the CC.

    That can’t happen.
    1) it will limit the CC to S15 teams only.
    2) If not limited with the other teams playing AFTER we have finished the S15 then how will that affect the regionality of teams?
    3) Who will sponsor the Lions’ S15/CC team?

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.09.10 16:39:03 by KSA Pink Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I wrote a similar piece months ago and you all thought i was batshit crazy*

    * a common reaction


    Nice piece Morne

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.09.10 17:02:17 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • i dont know about you guys, but i quite like the idea of this new format.

    i say this because, it limits the team rotations when the bok players coming in and disturb the current team settings in the latter stages of the Currie Cup, thus allowing the guys who have carried the team that far, to continue on and grow in stature and gain confidence.

    this alone will provide SA Rugby a bigger pool of players who can steak claim to being in the bok squad thus increasing the depth of players in certain positions.

    either way, the CC will still be with us for a long time to come, even tho we wont be seeing all the bok superstars (and lets face it, if they play 2 or 3 rounds then thats a lot for them) it will still be a great foundation block for SA Rugby!

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.09.10 17:29:43 by richzed Reply

  • @richzed (Comment 24) : Currie Cup is toast – no one cares about it until the Boks join the competition – Thats not going to happen anymore.

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.09.10 18:52:28 by Worcestershire Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • I will cry many tears when they kill the Currie Cup. It’s still my favourite competition

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.09.10 20:28:36 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) : mine too, I would rather they kill super rugby but I guess it’s all about the money 👿

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.09.10 21:04:46 by war1 Reply
  • I was happiest in the early daysa of the Super 12. Those first few years dished up such awesome rugby. The Currie Cup was strong too. Just a great time.

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.09.10 21:59:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • This might sound crazy…but I’d rather us miss out on Super rugby than Currie Cup…if we cannot have both…

  • Comment 29, posted at 14.09.10 00:08:05 by Hmmm Reply


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