Return to Rugby: Future stars in action in Joburg
SPOTLIGHT: The 2020 SA Rugby Under-21 Championship, featuring five provincial sides will be played at one venue in Johannesburg – SA Rugby announced.
The Lions Under-21 side will welcome their counterparts from the Sharks, Free State, Western Province and Blue Bulls to their iconic stadium for this exciting, action-packed and streamlined tournament starting on October 4.
All teams will play each once, with semi-finals and a final to conclude this showpiece of the best emerging South African rugby talent, with two matches to take place every four days.
The hosts will take on Free State in their opening match on Sunday, October 4, a couple of hours after the North-South derby between Western Province and defending champions, the Blue Bulls. The Sharks have a bye in the first round.
— Junior Springboks (@JuniorBoks) March 13, 2020
SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, expressed his excitement with the tournament.
“The Under-21 competition provides an important pipeline in our player development and scouting set-up, as well as a showcase for unions in terms of contracting senior players,” said Erasmus.
“Traditionally, some exciting players emerged from this tournament and this time it will be no different. It will be great to see this age group showcasing their talents.
“A lot of the players have already been spotted in our Elite Player Development structures, and we will be monitoring their progress with keen interest.”
All five teams will be based in Johannesburg for the duration of the tournament. Current COVID-19 regulations will be in effect, with no spectators allowed and limited working personnel allowed in the stadium on match days.
The SA Rugby U21 Championship fixtures for 2020 are (kick-off times to be confirmed):
Sunday, October 4 (Round One)
Western Province v Blue Bulls
Free State v Lions
Thursday, October 8 (Round Two)
Blue Bulls v Free State
Lions v Sharks
Bye: Western Province
Monday, October 12 (Round Three)
Western Province v Sharks
Lions v Blue Bulls
Bye: Free State
Friday, October 16 (Round Four)
Western Province v Free State
Sharks v Blue Bulls
Tuesday, October 20 (Round Five)
Free State v Sharks
Lions v Western Province
Bye: Blue Bulls