Currie Cup fixtures for 2014 announced

The South African Rugby Union have announced the fixtures for the Currie Cup Qualifying Competition and the new eight-team Premier Division which starts in August.

The Qualifying Competition, which will be contested by Griquas, the Leopards, SWD Eagles, Boland Cavaliers, Griffons, Border Bulldogs and Valke, will kick off on the first weekend of June and run until 19 July, when the top team on the log will be granted entry into the Currie Cup Premier Division.

The start of the eight-team Currie Cup Premier Division – contested by the Sharks, Western Province, EP Kings, Free State Cheetahs, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, Pumas and the winner of the Qualifying Competition – is scheduled for the weekend of 8/9 August, a week after the Super Rugby Final.

It will run until the final weekend of October, when the final will take place.

The eight teams will be divided into two sections on 2013 log positions: Section X (Western Province, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, EP Kings) and Section Y (Sharks, Free State, 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 fixtures for the Currie Cup First Division, which kicks off in the last weekend of August and runs until the second week of October, will be finalised at the conclusion of the Qualifying Competition.

In 2015, the Currie Cup Premier Division will consist of the six franchise teams plus two non-franchise teams, which will be determined as follows:

— If the two non-franchise teams finish 7th and 8th in the 2014 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 Currie Cup Premier Division they will automatically qualify for the 2015 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 Currie Cup Premier Division, they will automatically qualify for the 2015 tournament and there will be no qualifying tournament in 2015.

Currie Cup Qualifying Competition (home teams named first, final dates and kick-off times TBC):

Round 1 – 6/7 June
Leopards v SWD Eagles
Griffons v Boland Cavaliers
Griquas v Border Bulldogs
Bye: Valke

Round 2 – 13/14 June
SWD Eagles v Griffons
Boland Cavaliers v Griquas
Valke v Leopards
Bye: Border Bulldogs

Round 3 – 20/21 June
SWD Eagles v Valke
Border Bulldogs v Boland Cavaliers
Griquas vs Leopards
Bye: Griffons

Round 4 – 27/28 June
Boland Cavaliers v SWD Eagles
Griffons v Griquas
Valke v Border
Bye: Leopards

Round 5 – 4/5 July
Leopards v Griffons
Border Bulldogs v SWD Eagles
Valke v Boland Cavaliers
Bye: Griquas

Round 6 – 11/12 July
Boland Cavaliers v Leopards
Border Bulldogs v Griffons
Griquas v Valke
Bye: SWD Eagles

Round 7 – 18/19 July
Leopards v Border Bulldogs
SWD Eagles v Griquas
Griffons v Valke
Bye: Boland Cavaliers

Currie Cup Premier Division (home teams named first, final dates and kick-off times TBC):

Round 1 – 8/9 August
Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions
EP Kings vs Western Province
Pumas vs Free State Cheetahs
Qualifier vs Sharks

Round 2 – 15/16 August
Western Province vs Blue Bulls
Golden Lions vs EP Kings
Sharks vs Pumas
Free State Cheetahs vs Qualifier

Round 3 – 22/23 August
Blue Bulls vs EP Kings
Western Province vs Golden Lions
Sharks vs Free State Cheetahs
Pumas vs Qualifier

Round 4 – 29/30 August (Currie Cup First Division starts)
Blue Bulls vs Western Province
EP Kings vs Golden Lions
Pumas vs Sharks
Qualifier vs Free State Cheetahs

Round 5 – 5/6 September
Western Province vs

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