Currie Cup: South African Championship to start in January, sticks to 7-team Premier Division format for 2022

  • The 2022 Currie Cup Premier Division will kick off in January, SA Rugby has confirmed.
  • Seven teams will compete in the Premier Division, with EP’s proposal to gain direct entry rejected.
  • However, the top team in the First Division will be automatically promoted to the top-flight, leaving an eight-team Premier Division from 2023.

SA Rugby confirmed on Friday that the Currie Cup Premier Division will kick off in January, with seven teams participating.

This follows an online meeting of the General Council of the country’s rugby governing body.

SA Rugby said in a statement that the council rejected a proposal from Eastern Province to be incorporated into the top-flight.

The council did, however, approve a motion that the top South African team in the First Division be automatically promoted to the Premier Division at the end of the 2022 Currie Cup season, creating an eight-team Premier Division the following season.

SA Rugby added that the promoted team would be entrenched for two seasons (until the end of the 2024 Currie Cup season) when the bottom team in the Premier Division will be automatically relegated in favour of the top South African team in the First Division, which will also be entrenched for two seasons before promotion/relegation at the end of the 2026 season.

The teams competing in the Premier Division are the Bulls, Sharks, Western Province, Lions, Cheetahs, Griquas and Pumas, while the First Division comprises the Leopards, Griffons, Valke, Boland, Eastern Province, Border and South Western Districts.

The 2022 competition will kick off on the weekend of 14/15 January.

The unusual kick off is due to the realignment of the South African domestic rugby calendar to dovetail with the northern hemisphere season following the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and Lions being granted entry into the United Rugby Championship.

The change means that the Currie Cup final will be played on 25 June, which will mark the end of the season for senior professional players appearing in the Currie Cup and the United Rugby Championship.

SA Rugby added that the Currie Cup First Division fixtures would be confirmed early next year.

Currie Cup Premier Division 2022 (all fixtures are subject to change; venues and kick-off times to be confirmed)

Friday/Saturday, 14/15 January

Western Province v Lions

Cheetahs v Griquas

Pumas v Bulls

Wednesday, 19 January

Western Province v Bulls

Sharks v Griquas

Lions v Pumas

Wednesday, 2 February

Sharks v Western Province

Bulls v Cheetahs

Griquas v Pumas

Friday/Saturday, 18/19 February

Lions v Sharks

Griquas v Western Province

Pumas v Cheetahs

Friday/Saturday, 4/5 March

Cheetahs v Lions

Griquas v Bulls

Pumas v Sharks

Wednesday, 16 March

Bulls v Sharks

Cheetahs v Western Province

Griquas v Lions

Wednesday, 23 March

Western Province v Pumas

Sharks v Cheetahs

Lions v Bulls

Wednesday, 6 April

Bulls v Western Province

Griquas v Sharks

Pumas v Lions

Friday/Saturday, 15/16 April

Western Province v Cheetahs

Sharks v Bulls

Lions v Griquas

Friday/Saturday, 6/7 May

Sharks v Pumas

Lions v Cheetahs

Bulls v Griquas

Friday/Saturday, 13/14 May

Bulls v Lions

Cheetahs v Sharks

Pumas v Western Province

Friday/Saturday, 27/28 May

Lions v Western Province

Bulls v Pumas

Griquas v Cheetahs

Friday/Saturday, 3/4 June

Western Province v Griquas

Sharks v Lions

Cheetahs v Pumas

Friday/Saturday, 10/11 June

Western Province v Sharks

Cheetahs v Bulls

Pumas v Griquas

18 June

Currie Cup Semi-Finals

25 June

Currie Cup Final

2 July

Champions Match


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