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Georgians among three international sides to join Currie Cup

By AAP
(Photo by Francois Nel/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Trending on RugbyPass

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Updated 16.24pm: Kenya, Zimbabwe and a Georgian XV will take part in South Africa’s domestic Currie Cup tournament from April, offering an opportunity for more regular competition ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

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The three countries are in contention for a place at next year’s tournament in France and have been added to the participants in the second tier of the competition between April and June, SA Rugby said on Monday.

Kenya and Zimbabwe are both playing in the last phase of African World Cup qualifiers in July while Georgia could have their qualification wrapped up next month as they look to top the Rugby Europe Championship for a second successive year.

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In the Currie Cup First Division, the trio of international participants will join defending champions Leopards along with Griffons, South Western Districts, Boland, Eastern Province, Border and the Valke over a single round of matches, with the final scheduled in June.

South Africa’s top domestic teams are playing in the United Rugby Championship, against Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh opposition, as well as in the Currie Cup Premier Division.

“Understandably, it has been very difficult to plan for the new season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while a number of variables may yet change our plans, we are pleased to announce these competitions, ranging from the Carling Currie Cup First Division and women’s leagues down to provincial age-group rugby,” said SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux.

“I’d like to commend the union CEOs and coaches for working so hard on numerous calls with our Rugby Department to produce a workable schedule despite all the challenges, which includes a very full roster for the remainder of the season, as well as our broadcast partner for getting on-board with these plans in an extraordinary season.”

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Carling Currie Cup Premier Division

Participating teams: Vodacom Bulls (defending champions), Cell C Sharks, Tafel Lager Griquas, DHL Western Province, Airlink Pumas, Toyota Cheetahs, Sigma Lions
Opening round: 14/15 January (double round of matches)
Final: 25 June

Carling Currie Cup First Division

Participating teams: Leopards (defending champions), Griffons, Valke, Boland Kavaliers, Eastern Province, Border Bulldogs, SWD Eagles, Georgia, Kenya, Zimbabwe
Opening round: 1/2 April (single round of matches)
Final: 24/25 June

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UPDATE: RugbyPass sought clarification over which Georgian side will be entering the competition and SA Rugby confirmed it would be a Georgian XV.

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