Watch South Africa’s finest rugby union teams battle in the Currie Cup, one of the oldest rugby tournaments in existence. Contested annually, this competition features teams that represent regions and provinces from across the country. With a history that spans more than 130 years, the Currie Cup’s golden trophy is South Africa’s most coveted rugby prize.
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The History of the Currie Cup
Although the first tournament was played in 1892, the foundations of the Currie Cup can be traced back to 1889. This was the year that the competition’s first matches took place. However, the actual ‘Currie Cup’ name wasn’t used for a further three years. These initial games were organised by the South Africa Rugby Board in a bid to create a national competition that represented regions from across the country.
Despite a history that can be traced to the 19th century, the Currie Cup didn’t become an annual tournament until 1968. Prior to this, the competition was often played every two to three years, with longer gaps during World War I and II.
The next big change came between 1996 and 2015, when the tournament expanded to include 14 teams. By 2019, 15 teams battled for supremacy. Then, in 2023, the Currie Cup took its current form.
Currie Cup Format Updates
The Currie Cup previously utilised two divisions: the top seven teams competed in the Premier Division to win the Currie Cup, while the remaining teams played in the First Division and battled for promotion.
This was changed in 2023, when the competition structure was revised to include a Premier Division, a First Division and the Mzansi Challenge. Today, the Premier Division is contested by eight teams and the First Division is contested by six teams. These First Division teams are then joined by five international sides to compete in the Mzansi Challenge.