HomeSportJam-packed Currie Cup schedule for Zimbabwe

Jam-packed Currie Cup schedule for Zimbabwe

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

HE Sables can look forward to a jam-packed rugby calendar this year following the release of a busy schedule for the Currie Cup First Division ahead of their departure for France for the final round of qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup to be played between July 1-10.

Playing under the Goshawks banner, Zimbabwe will set up base in Cape Town for the duration of their participation in South Africa’s second tier domestic competition, which will be played in a round robin format from March 26 to June 18.

The Goshawks squad, which will be made up of a blend of young talent and experienced players set to form the backbone of the Sables squad, will play nine high profile matches in a space of 10 weeks against South African provincial teams as well as Kenya and Georgia.

Zimbabwe will be joined by Kenya and Georgia as the three international teams in this year’s Currie Cup First Division while the other participating teams include Griffons, Leopards, SWD Eagles, Eastern Province, Valke, Border and Boland.

Namibia, who are bidding to reach a seventh successive Rugby World Cup appearance, were initially scheduled to participate in the 2022 Currie Cup First Division, but withdrew last week due to the exorbitant costs.

The Namibians’ withdrawal is a big boost for the Sables, who are aiming to qualify for the global showpiece for the first time since 1991.

Zimbabwe are set to have a bye in the opening round of the competition on March 26 before getting their Currie Cup campaign with a date against Northern Free State Griffons at North West Stadium, Welkom on April 2.

The Goshawks will play each of the nine teams once with the top four placed teams after the round robin format set to meet in the semifinals on June 11.

The winners of the semifinals are set to clash in the final on June 18.

After their participation in the Currie Cup First Division competition, Zimbabwe are excepted to proceed to France for the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup, which doubles as the final round of Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying for teams on the continent.

The tournament will be held at Stade Maurice-David in Aix-en-Province and Stade Pierre-Delort in Marseille.

The winner of the eight-team knockout competition will book a return to France 14 months later as Africa 1 at RWC 2023. The Africa 1 qualifier has been drawn in Pool A alongside New Zealand, hosts France, Italy and Uruguay.

Whoever finishes as runners-up following the much-anticipated Rugby Africa Cup 2022 final on 10 July will still have a chance of qualifying for RWC 2023 through the Final Qualification Tournament.

Zimbabwe’s Currie Cup First Division Schedule

  • April 2: Griffons v Zimbabwe
  • April 9: Kenya v Zimbabwe
  • April 23: Georgia v Zimbabwe
  • April 30: Zimbabwe v Boland
  • May 7: Border v Zimbabwe
  • May 14: SWD Eagles v Zimbabwe
  • May 21: Zimbabwe v Leopards
  • May 28: Eastern Province v Zimbabwe
  • June 4: Zimbabwe v Valke

  • Semis June 11

  • Final June 18

 

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