Gold Cup gets underway!
NEWS: The Gold Cup kicks-off on Saturday with eight eagerly-awaited first round matches being hosted across South Africa.
The three-nation championship comprised of non-university clubs.
The Gold Cup format is simple and identical to that of the Rugby World Cup. 20 clubs are divided into four pools of five, with each team playing two home and two away matches over a five-week period from September 10 to October 8.
The top two clubs in each pool advance to the quarter finals, scheduled for October 15. All knockout matches, including the televised semi finals (October 22) and final (October 29) will be hosted at participating clubs.
For the first round in the Western Cape, all roads will lead to the Cape Winelands town of Worcester, where a capacity crowd is expected at Boland Park for the official opening match between Boland champions Worcester Villagers and Griffons title-holders Welkom Rovers.
In other first round action, Pool A’s other match sees Durbanville-Bellville open their title defence at home against Border’s Old Selbornians.
In Pool B, Golden Lions representatives Pirates host Namibia’s top non-university club, Wanderers Windhoek, in the first-ever international match in the Gold Cup, while the Limpopo town of Setaria will host the 'Platinum derby' between Rhinos and 2014 Gold Cup champions Rustenburg Impala.
False Bay, who are unbeaten this season having won their first Western Province Grand Challenge title since 1972, will host KZN Murray Cup champions Durban Collegians in Constantia in a heavyweight Pool C clash. In the Pool’s other match, Zimbabwe champions Old Georgians make their historic Gold Cup debut in Mpumalanga against White River.
And in Pool D, three of the group’s four Police sides are in action, with Pretoria Police travelling to the Northern Cape town of Kathu to face Griquas champions Belaz Sishen. And a thousand kilometres away in Port Elizabeth, home side PE Police face Bloemfontein Police in the first of a number of intriguing Police derbies.
Round one fixtures:
Worcester Villagers v Welkom Rovers (Boland Park, Worcester, 14.45)
Durbanville-Bellville v Old Selbornians (Durbell Rugby Club, Cape Town)
Pirates v Wanderers Windhoek (Pirates Rugby Club, Johannesburg)
Rhinos v Rustenburg Impala (Recreation Club, Setaria)
False Bay v Durban Collegians (Phillip Herbstein Field, Constantia, Cape Town)
White River v Old Georgians Harare (White River Rugby Club, Mpumalanga)
Belaz Sishen v Pretoria Police (Sivos Stadium, Kathu)
PE Police v Bloemfontein Police (Kemsley Park, Port Elizabeth)
*All matches kick-off at 15.30 unless otherwise indicated