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Provincial Women’s Rugby back with a Bang

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South Africa’s top domestic and international women’s rugby players will return to the field with a bang for the first time since 2019 when the Women’s Premier and First Divisions kick off in May and June respectively.The Premier Division, which features a bumper double round this season, will mark the launch of the annual provincial competitions with the first round starting on Saturday, 8 May.

The First Division – which is split into two sections – will follow, with Group 2 of the competition kicking off on Saturday, 12 June, and Group 1 starting on Saturday, 26 June. The Premier Division will see the top six teams in the country – Boland, Border, Blue Bulls, Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province – go head-to-head in a jam-packed 11-week competition, culminating in the final between the top two teams on the table on Saturday, 17 July.

Four teams will battle it out in Group 1 of the First Division – Free State, Griffons, Griquas and SWD – while Group 2 features five teams – the Leopards, Limpopo Blue Bulls, Lions, Valke and Pumas. These teams will go head-to-head over a single round. The top team in each group will advance to the final, which will be played as the curtain raiser to the Premier Division final on Saturday, 17 July.

“We are thrilled that our women’s players will be back on the field playing in competitions for the first time in over a year-and-a-half,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“And we are particularly pleased that the Premier Division will feature a double round for the first time in the competition’s history, so this is certainly an exciting season for SA Rugby and the players alike.” SA Rugby’s High Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby, Lynne Cantwell, added: “We have no doubt that this significant change in the Premier Division competition format will benefit the players from a physical and mental perspective as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand next year. “It will also offer the players more opportunities to stake a claim for places in Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer’s wider squad as the World Cup approaches. “It has been a long time since the players have been on the field and we cannot wait to see their eagerness and excitement to return to competition mode translate into top class rugby action.”

The first round of the Premier Division will feature three action-packed clashes, with 2019 runner’s up, Border, hosting the Blue Bulls, KwaZulu-Natal taking on Eastern Province, and defending champions Western Province going up against their Western Cape neighbours, Boland. The First Division will kick off an equally exciting note with the Limpopo Blue Bulls meeting the Lions, and the Valke taking on the Leopards in the opening round of Group 2 on Saturday, 12 June, while the opening Group 1 fixtures on Saturday, 26 June, will see the Griffons meet Free State and Griquas host SWD.

Women’s Premier Division fixtures:

Saturday, 8 May:
Border v Blue Bulls
KwaZulu-Natal v Eastern Province
Western Province v Boland

Saturday, 15 May:
Blue Bulls v Western Province
Eastern Province v Border
Boland v KwaZulu-Natal

Saturday, 22 May:
Border v KwaZulu-Natal
Boland v Blue Bulls
Western Province v Eastern Province

Saturday, 29 May:
Border v Boland
Eastern Province v Blue Bulls
KwaZulu-Natal v Western Province

Saturday, 5 June:
Blue Bulls v KwaZulu-Natal
Boland v Eastern Province
Western Province v Border

Saturday, 12 June:
Blue Bulls v Border
Eastern Province v KwaZulu-Natal
Boland v Western Province

Saturday, 19 June:
Border v Eastern Province
KwaZulu-Natal v Boland
Western Province v Blue Bulls

Saturday, 26 June:
Blue Bulls v Boland
Eastern Province v Western Province
KwaZulu-Natal v Border

Saturday, 3 July:
Blue Bulls v Eastern Province
Boland v Border
Western Province v KwaZulu-Natal

Saturday, 10 July:
Border v Western Province
Eastern Province v Boland
KwaZulu-Natal v Blue Bulls

Saturday, 17 July:
Final

Women’s First Division fixtures:

Group 1:

26 June:
Griffons v Free State
Griquas v SWD

Saturday, 3 July:
Free State v SWD
Griquas v Griffons

Saturday, 10 July:
Free State v Griquas
SWD v Griffons

Group 2:

Saturday, 12 June:
Limpopo Blue Bulls v Lions
Valke v Leopards
Bye: Pumas

Saturday, 19 June:
Leopards v Limpopo Blue Bulls
Pumas v Valke
Bye: Lions

Saturday, 26 June:
Limpopo Blue Bulls v Pumas
Lions v Leopards
Bye: Valke

Saturday, 3 July:
Pumas v Lions
Valke v Limpopo Blue Bulls
Bye: Leopards

Saturday, 10 July:
Lions v Valke
Leopards v Pumas
Bye: Limpopo Blue Bulls

Saturday, 17 July:
Final (Group 1 leader v Group 2 leader)

Note: All fixtures are subject to change; match venues and kick-off times to be confirmed in due course.

Source : Fatima Said and SA Rugby Communication


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