Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


OPINION: Is there still a place in SA rugby for the Currie Cup?

One option is try and strike a deal with the top South African universities and try to collaborate with the Varsity Cup.


The once great Currie Cup competition kicks off this weekend with eight provincial sides from across the country set to battle it out over the next few months for the country’s oldest rugby trophy. The competition has however fallen on tough times, and what used to be the premier competition in South Africa that used to feature the best rugby players in the country, is now a shadow of its former self. ALSO READ: Currie Cup 2023 player to watch - Lubabalo Dobela Last year’s Currie Cup final, which was battled out between teams you would consider as minnows in…

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The once great Currie Cup competition kicks off this weekend with eight provincial sides from across the country set to battle it out over the next few months for the country’s oldest rugby trophy.

The competition has however fallen on tough times, and what used to be the premier competition in South Africa that used to feature the best rugby players in the country, is now a shadow of its former self.

ALSO READ: Currie Cup 2023 player to watch – Lubabalo Dobela

Last year’s Currie Cup final, which was battled out between teams you would consider as minnows in comparison to the big four (Western Province, Bulls, Sharks and Lions), saw the Pumas and Griquas fight out a thrilling finale at a packed Griqua Park.

It was a firm signal of where the competition has headed, and although it was a breath of fresh air to see a first time winner in the Pumas, and to see a full stadium for the final, it showed that the previous prestige of the tournament was gone.

With the big four prioritising the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions now, and SARU seemingly not interested in assisting the smaller teams, something has to change.

Breeding ground

They could turn the Currie Cup into an amateur competition and make it the breeding ground for young players to impress the bigger unions.

Or they could try and strike a deal with the top South African universities and try to collaborate with the Varsity Cup.

Another option is turning the competition into a knockout tournament, featuring home and away ties leading up the grand finale.

There are a number of options and SARU just needs to make a decision and back it, because maintaining the status quo just isn’t going to work.

The Currie Cup in its current form is generating absolutely no interest, and people will likely only take notice when the competition reaches the knockout phase.

The Currie Cup First Division, which is the lower division of the competition has been largely forgotten and has almost become a pointless tournament, battled out between minnows who have no future.

So what can be done and where can the tournament go from here? That is the question that should be asked.

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