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Jurie RouxSARU CEO Jurie Roux believes that club rugby is on the brink of a new era with the inaugural Community Cup set for kick-off next month.

The country’s best non-university clubs are hard at work preparing for the new 20-team tournament which kicks off on February 16 and culminates in a week of finals in George at Easter.

The winners will play the Varsity Cup champions for the overall national title, on a date yet to be confirmed.

College Rovers of Kwa-Zulu Natal will have the honour of hosting the opening match in Durban after winning the last-ever National Club Championships in Rustenburg last September.

Rovers will play Despatch in a heavyweight Pool A clash – just one of eight first-round matches taking place around the country that weekend.

The Community Cup is identical in format to that of the World Cup, with the 20 teams divided into four pools of five. A total of 40 pool matches will be played over the five-week period from 16 February to 16 March, with each club playing four matches – two home and two away.

The top two sides from each pool will then advance to the play-offs, which will be held at Outeniqua Park in George over the Easter Weekend.

The quarter and semifinals will take place on 28 and 30 March respectively, with Shield, Bowl, Plate and Cup finals to be contested on Easter Monday, 1 April.

“We’re on the brink of a new era in club rugby,” said Roux. “The Community Cup has been on the drawing board for a number of years and now it’s about to finally become a reality.

“There is a buzz around the country; competing clubs have been training hard since before the Christmas break and all are reporting large attendances at practices, which bodes well,” he said.

Roux added that a major sponsorship announcement would be made before the tournament kicked off, while SuperSport will broadcast live selected matches during the pool and play-off stages.

3 Responses to Club Rugby on the brink of a new era

  • 1

    I wonder if this guy was a Real Estate Agent or a used car salesman in his previous occupation, because all that he spews forth is utter gobshyte.

    A very wise person once told me “Don’t tell me what you’ve done for Rugby, tell me what you haven’t done yet!”.

    Now I’m sure Mr Roux thinks that having a competition for the clubs who are wealthy enough to travel to the competition is a great idea, but I ask him, “What about the clubs that have players that have to walk > 5km to practice and the same home again on a freezing cold night in the same clothes they practiced in because there are no changing and showering facilites? What about the clubs whose players can’t finish getting ready for their game which is about to start because they have to wait until their mate has finished so that they can borrow a pair of socks and boots? What about the clubs that would dearly love to take their youth sides (> 350 players) to the games at the centralised venues, but can’t because they need to hire 6 busses at R 1700 a shot to get the kids there? What about the clubs who have to rig up 3 temporary spotlights onto a field to enable them to practice after dark in the middle of the season? What about the clubs who have to survivr on a total allowance of R 15000 per year? What about the clubs” Ah FFS I can go on all night.

    Mr Roux, get the flock out of your air conditioned office and get down to some real grass roots development clubs and see what the real needs of community Rugby players are you prat.

    I would love to take SARU’s smoke and mirrors, break the mirrors and shove the pieces sideways where they fit best and make you breathe the smoke for 30 minutes. You make me sick.

  • 2

    @ Scrumdown: to an extent you are right, and I really like your passion. However my team, Durbanville, is part of this comp an we will be supporting them as much as possible.

  • 3

    @ Loosehead:
    And so you should.

    I’m not having a go at the teams competing, but rather at SARU (and all the Provincial Unions) that play lip service to Rugby development at club level.

    In the 6 years I was involved with a “previously disadvantaged” club in JHB not 1 cent of assitance was received from either the GLRU or SARU.

    That (and many others in JHB) survives in < R 15k / year that the GLRU gives to all of it's clubs.

    Whilst I will applaud any initiative in club Rugby, I just get the feeling that, like everyday life in South Africa, the gap between the clubs with money, and those without is widening alarmingly quickly, and SARU don't give a tinker's cuss about it.


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