SARU approves 8-team Currie Cup

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 13 Feb 2014 at 13:30
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It’s taken about 37 attempts (at latest count) but a SARU Special General Council finally agreed today to extend the Currie Cup Premier Division to eight teams this year, up from six.

The decision means automatic and guaranteed Currie Cup Premier Division rugby for the Sharks, Western Province, Blue Bulls, Golden Lions, Free State Cheetahs and EP Kings for the next two seasons. The Pumas, who qualified by virtue of winning a promotion battle last year, will be the seventh team in 2014, while a special qualifying competition, played after the Vodacom cup, will be sued to select the eighth team.

The full text of the SARU release follows:

Absa Currie Cup format amended for the ‘good of SA rugby’

The Absa Currie Cup will feature an eight-team Premier Division and a new qualification round, following the decision to expand the top flight the South African Rugby Union announced on Thursday.

A Special General Council meeting of the 14 member unions gave the required 75% majority to a resolution to go to an eight-team Premier Division and six-team First Division for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

The new structure will ensure that the six ‘anchor’ unions of South Africa’s Vodacom Super Rugby franchises (the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Cell C Sharks, DHL Western Province, Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Golden Lions and EP Kings) will be guaranteed their places in the Absa Currie Cup for the next two seasons.

The meeting also approved a resolution to do away with the Vodacom Super Rugby promotion and relegation mechanism. The effect will be that the current five franchises are entrenched for the 2015 season.

“It has been a thorough process with several false starts but we have reached a decision which is ultimately good for all our members and South African rugby,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, the president of SARU.

“It ensures all 14 provinces have an opportunity to play in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division while ensuring that our Vodacom Super Rugby franchises have a stable environment in which to prepare.

“The creation of the new qualifying competition also fills a space in the middle of the rugby season for our non-franchise teams that stretched between the end of the Vodacom Cup in mid-May and start of the Absa Currie Cup at the end of June.

“It also addresses the anomaly that we have been driving hard for a number of years for the Kings’ inclusion in Vodacom Super Rugby and yet we do not have a place for them in our premier domestic competition.

“This is a good decision for rugby – it gives the non-franchise teams two places in the Premier Division; it allows the Kings to prepare for Vodacom Super Rugby inclusion in 2016 in the top tier of our domestic competition and it removes the uncertainty of relegation from the teams currently playing in Vodacom Super Rugby.”

The approved format is as follows:

· 2014: Premier Division composition – The six franchise ‘anchor’ teams plus the Steval Pumas (qualifiers in 2013) and the winner of the new qualifying round, to be played after the Vodacom Cup final during June and July.

The teams will be divided into two sections on 2013 log positions: Section X (DHL Western Province, Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls, EP Kings) and Section Y (Cell C Sharks, Toyota Free State, Steval Pumas, Qualifier).

The teams will play home and away within their Sections followed by a single cross-conference round before semi-finals and final.

The qualifying competition will be contested by Griqualand West, Leopards, SWD Eagles, Boland Kavaliers, Griffons, Border Bulldogs and Valke. The teams will play a single round, with each team playing three home and three away matches.

· 2015: Premier Division composition – The six franchise teams plus two non-franchise teams.

They will be decided as follows:

If the two non-franchise teams finish 7th and 8th in the 2014 Absa Currie Cup Premier Division they will both play in a 2015 qualification round of eight teams.

If one non-franchise team finishes in the top six of the 2014 Absa Currie Cup Premier Division they will automatically qualify for the 2015 Absa Currie Cup. The other non-franchise team will play in a 2015 qualifying round of seven teams.

If both non-franchise teams finish in the top six of the 2014 Absa Currie Cup Premier Division, they will automatically qualify for the 2015 tournament and there will be no qualifying tournament in 2015.


  • CC going to suck now ..

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.02.14 13:39:29 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Cough cough joke cough cough….Best v Best is Best for Boks

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.02.14 13:40:46 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 1) : Oh grow up man

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.02.14 13:41:31 by Ludz Reply

  • I’m going to need a picture for the final cross conference round I think…

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.02.14 13:42:57 by Seaton Reply

  • Wait a minute…
    Section Y is literally us, the cheetahs and a bunch of nobodies, oh well, easy run in for the sharks I guess.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.02.14 13:44:34 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @Seaton (Comment 4) : from a Sharks perspective, it means we play once each against WP, the Bulls, the Lions and the Kings. 2 home, 2 away.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.02.14 13:45:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • So happy with the decision, atleast we can keep our young talent now and prove the naysayers wrong

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.02.14 13:47:25 by Ludz Reply

  • It has been a long time coming – let’s just hope that all 8 team will be pushing for a CC final win, and not merely a seventh spot in order to avoid promo-relegation, which was the case with the previous 8 team competition.

    There should be further incentives for performing in the CC, a reward in terms of SR participation. SA should actually just completely drop the franchise system for our 5 big union teams, as 99.38% (a wild guess on my part) of the teams consist of their own players.

    Maybe the sixth SR spot could be decided through CC performances. If you make the top 5 and you’ll be rewarded by being your own team in SR, fail to do so and you’ll be a merged franchise team for SR the next year.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.02.14 13:47:35 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 5) : Too easy! It’s watering down the Currie Cup.

    Why not just do a single round against all of the other teams. I’d love to see us against Kings, WP, Bull and Lions as well.

    What’s the point of the cross-conference game? How is your opposition for that round decided? Too many questions and not enough answers!

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.02.14 13:47:35 by StevieS Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Ok, that clears it up. I read it as a single cross-conference round.

    We played 10 league games in the old format, this format will see 10 games as well, so that’s good with regard to not increasing the number of games played.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.02.14 13:50:22 by StevieS Reply
  • Great

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.02.14 13:52:27 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • My mate Pete at the Griquas was hoping for this result – he will be happy……something to work towards

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.02.14 13:52:36 by Saffex Reply

  • They should have done this in 2005 when the kings were still an idea, would have liked it more if it were a itm cup format but this is not too bad

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.02.14 13:54:09 by BR Reply
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  • @Ludz (Comment 7) : Not sure CC premier and SR participation served the wp/streamers very well in this regard 😆

    Your team will find the going very tough, should they only focus on contracting and keeping local talent. Professional rugby has no loyalty other than career extension and monetary reimbursement. Just ask the bulls.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.02.14 13:58:32 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : how will they determine the single cross conference venue?

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.02.14 14:00:13 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • Was hoping to at least watch the Sharks play in PE for the next two years

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.02.14 14:01:35 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 15) : The SARU Special General Council will hold 9 more meeting to decide this exact issue and eventually just throw stadium names in a hat and pick.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.02.14 14:03:21 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @BR (Comment 13) : that would have given the first division guys some game time against the big unions(I know there would be some cricket scores at first but nz worked trough that and now the big teams can’t afford to send second stringers) it would also help with creating revenue for the smaller unions, the valke’s stadium was normally empty but when the bulls, sharks or Lions played the place was packed , the pumas had the same situation when still in witbank and then there is the opportunity of bigger sponsorships as we’ll .

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.02.14 14:04:45 by BR Reply
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  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 15) : ja shit, don’t know mate. Maybe you get lucky and the Sharks will be in PE this year.

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.02.14 14:04:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : 😆

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.02.14 14:05:13 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : well they scheduled a friendly during June

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.02.14 14:06:36 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 21) : aaah – there you go 🙂

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.02.14 14:09:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 18) :

    the one difference is that the Sharks Bulls and Stormers will just continue to buy all the talent . NZL have central contracting 😉

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.02.14 14:20:26 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 23) : Ja daai is ‘n perd van ‘n ander kleur, but how many recognizable names were there in Tasman last year (only Tom Marshall what I recognized) and the curved up most of the teams beating 3 out of their 4 primiership division games

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.02.14 14:41:37 by BR Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 24) :

    The problem in SA is that once those ‘tasman’ players perform , they will be recruited by the big 3 . they have no incentive to stay there . think lourens adriaanse

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.02.14 14:57:44 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Finally back to 8. Me like

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.02.14 15:34:17 by Mutley Reply
  • If you look from a development perspective, having 8 premier teams is the best for SA, more players gets the oppertunity to ply against quality oposition and in the long run will increase the player deph of SA.

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.02.14 15:36:37 by Mutley Reply
  • @Mutley (Comment 27) : Im sorry but in my opinion i disagree. Strength v strength has always produced better quality rugby, better crowds and a better Bok side. Top players playing against sub standard guys bring down the top player and does nothing for them. Yes it may benefit the sub standard guy a bit but not if his team is getting smashed. The better players will always make their way to the bigger unions. The cream will always rise to the top.

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.02.14 15:53:20 by SheldonK Reply

  • attendance to the smaller games basically were non existent

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.02.14 16:08:12 by Dunx Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 28) :
    How exactly does the addition of these 2 teams weaken the CC?
    Didn’t the Pumas beat the Qwas in the playoffs? And the the Qwas beat us in the first round of the Currie Cup last year so no real drop in quality there.

    It could be argued that the Kings will be the weakest side but even they will run a few sides close.
    Nah, 8 teams in the CC is the perfect number.
    Just like 12 teams is the perfect number in Super Rugby.

  • Comment 30, posted at 13.02.14 16:21:57 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • As a Lion’s supporter, this is good news. A guaranteed place in Super Rugby in 2015 should mean that sponsors and players are more willing to commit to the union.

    Good luck to the Kings. Let’s hope that the next two years of Currie Cup is enough preparation for their eventual return to Super Rugby in 2016.

    Hopefully we can all put this whole promotion/relegation/Lions/Kings mess behind us, and just get on with the rugby and supporting our teams.

  • Comment 31, posted at 13.02.14 16:23:24 by 13 Reply

  • Only problem I have is with the Kings being guaranteed a spot for the next 2 years.
    They will end bottom in both years and yet still wont be relegated.
    Only in this wonderful country of ours.

  • Comment 32, posted at 13.02.14 16:25:25 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • @John Galt (Comment 30) : Well thats kinda my point- how poor were the Sharks in that game against Griquas, the players dropped to that level. And Griquas didnt win another game. Mayb Pumas will fare better but based on past years unlikely. Look if all Boks withdrawn then it becomes a second rate comp anyway so doesnt matter.

  • Comment 33, posted at 13.02.14 16:38:25 by SheldonK Reply

  • Interesting. Glad Griquas can still qualify, which they should. They would beat a depleted EP side any day in any case.
    But, I guess, that’s Rugby Politics.

  • Comment 34, posted at 13.02.14 16:41:39 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @SheldonK (Comment 33) :
    Yeah, your last sentence sums it all up really.

  • Comment 35, posted at 13.02.14 16:44:41 by John Galt Reply

    John Galt
  • Now the Kings are in the CC premier division, our first signing should be Tim Whitehead! Time for him to come home. We’ll also take Sbura, Tera and Wors :p

  • Comment 36, posted at 13.02.14 16:50:46 by Mpandla Reply

  • I like 😎

  • Comment 37, posted at 13.02.14 16:57:11 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @Mpandla (Comment 36) :

    Oh and the Greek as well ..

    no .. wait … he is a Lions product 😛

  • Comment 38, posted at 13.02.14 17:26:25 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Mpandla (Comment 36) : you can have Tim and Wors.

    Tera and Sbura are a big part of our plans going forward, so you can’t have them.

    I’ll make you a special deal… you can have Keegan Daniel too.

  • Comment 39, posted at 13.02.14 17:27:32 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 39) :

    any chance you can give willem alberts back then ? 😈
    now that we are assured of super rugby and all

  • Comment 40, posted at 13.02.14 17:49:21 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 40) : you can have him after 2016

  • Comment 41, posted at 13.02.14 17:53:11 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 41) :

    You drive a hard bargain ….. OK DEAL !!! :mrgreen: 😆

  • Comment 42, posted at 13.02.14 18:09:37 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 42) : best you perfect bionic shoulder replacement surgery before then.

  • Comment 43, posted at 13.02.14 18:26:14 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Zibbie (Comment 42) : go read the closing sentence of this article 🙂

  • Comment 44, posted at 13.02.14 18:30:40 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Kings won’t be last this year and they be semi-finalists next year. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!

  • Comment 45, posted at 13.02.14 23:13:48 by Ludz Reply

  • I wouldn’t disagree with me if I were you.

  • Comment 46, posted at 13.02.14 23:15:18 by Ludz Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 44) :

    was tong in the cheek 🙂 . im 100 % sure he will NEVER come back .. not sure being assured of super rugby status will change to much 🙂

  • Comment 47, posted at 14.02.14 06:12:33 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Zibbie (Comment 38) : I’d prefer Lionel Cronje….
    @robdylan (Comment 39) : We don’t want any divas, we already have Luke 😀

  • Comment 48, posted at 14.02.14 13:07:57 by Mpandla Reply

  • @Zibbie (Comment 47) :

    Imagine if the Lions had this team this year:

    15 Loius Ludik
    14 Bryan Habana
    13 Jacque Fourie
    12 Wylon Murray
    11 Wandile Mjekevu
    10 Elton Jantjies
    09 Rory Kockott
    8 Joe van Niekerk
    7 Willem Alberts
    6 Jean Deysel
    5 Franco vd Merwe
    4 Gerhard Morstert
    3 Brian Mujati
    2 Schalk Brits
    1 Heinke vd Merwe

  • Comment 49, posted at 14.02.14 13:21:32 by Mpandla Reply

  • @Mpandla (Comment 49) :

    sad times that .. you can even add Jaco Taute to that list

  • Comment 50, posted at 14.02.14 13:57:09 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Mpandla (Comment 49) : Waylon Murray is a WBHS old boy.

    Imagine if the Lions could get their house in order.

  • Comment 51, posted at 14.02.14 14:04:21 by Talent Reply
  • @Mpandla (Comment 49) : Frankly the Lions have shot themselves in the foot.

    They need the big sweep. Coaches and players are fine, but miss administration has really been the hole in their hull.

  • Comment 52, posted at 14.02.14 14:06:51 by Talent Reply
  • If I were the Lions id be saving bank for players next year.

    Players like Monde Hadebe, Ruan Botha, Wian Herbst, Sampie Mastreet, Tim Whitehead, Pat Howard, Steven Sykes and many others are class players who are under utilized at their respective franchises.

  • Comment 53, posted at 14.02.14 14:15:25 by Talent Reply
  • @Talent (Comment 52) :

    It’s actaully quite unbelievable that there isn’t an inter-franchise loan system in place (not just players from the relegated side). A guy like Sykes would add value at both the Lions and the Cheetahs. I remember back in 2003 Gary Botha turned out for Sharks because he couldn’t break into the Bulls side and he had an outstanding season.

  • Comment 54, posted at 14.02.14 15:12:37 by Mpandla Reply

  • @Mpandla (Comment 54) : Ye would benefit teams hugely. The problem occurs with player conditioning. To be honest If I were director of Rugby at the Sharks I wouldn’t want any of my players heading to the Lions on loan. You put time and effort into a player and he may get injured at a union other than yours, cant have that.

    The Lions have only themselves to blame for not cultivating the huge amount of schoolboy commodities at their disposal. They quite frankly are an abysmal union who need to get their house in order. No offense to the Leo fans on this site 😆

  • Comment 55, posted at 14.02.14 18:12:18 by Talent Reply

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