Posted on Thursday, 14 Dec 2021
The Carling Currie Cup will kick off next month with a seven-team Premier Division, following an online meeting of the General Council of the South African Rugby Union on Friday.
The Council rejected a proposal from Eastern Province that they be incorporated into the top-flight immediately.
However, Council approved a motion that the top South African team in the First Division be automatically promoted to the Premier Division at the end of the 2022 Carling Currie Cup season, creating an eight-team Premier Division.
In addition, the promoted team will be entrenched for two seasons (until the end of the 2024 Carling Currie Cup season) when the bottom team in the Premier Division will be automatically relegated in favour of the top South African team in the First Division, which will also be entrenched for two seasons before promotion/relegation at the end of the 2026 season.
The 2022 competition will kick off on the weekend of 14/15 January. The unusual kick off has been prompted by the realignment of the South African domestic rugby calendar to dovetail with the northern hemisphere season following the expanded entry of four teams into the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The change means that the Carling Currie Cup final will be played on 25 June, which will mark the end of the season for senior professional players appearing in the Carling Currie Cup and the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The Carling Currie Cup First Division fixtures will be confirmed in the New Year.
Carling Currie Cup Premier Division 2022 (all fixtures are subject to change; venues and kick-off times to be confirmed)
Friday/Saturday 14/15 January
Wednesday 19 January
Wednesday 2 February
Friday/Saturday 18/19 February
Friday/Saturday 4/5 March
Wednesday 16 March
Wednesday 23 March
Wednesday 6 April
Friday/Saturday 15/16 April
Friday/Saturday 6/7 May
Friday/Saturday 13/14 May
Friday/Saturday 27/28 May
Friday/Saturday 3/4 June
Friday/Saturday 10/11 June