Champs vs whipping boys

The South Eastern Cape face a brutal introduction to Absa Currie Cup rugby when they face the champion Cheetahs in the opening fixture of next year’s campaign.

Saru have confirmed next year’s fixtures for the competition which reverts back to a strength vs strength format after this year’s watered down Qualifying Round provided more irritation than entertainment.

Two qualifiers from the Vodacom Cup, the South Eastern Cape and the Big Five (Cheetahs, Bulls, Lions, WP and Sharks) will contest the Currie Cup.

Whilst the shambles that is the Eastern Cape’s effort to setup a new franchise shows scarily little progress, in coach Peter de Villiers they have a man who will stay the course. If he was going to jump, he would have by now.

De Villiers can draw some solace from the fact that the Currie Cup kicks off over the same weekend that the Boks take on France in their third home international of the season, thus denying Rassie Erasmus a first choice squad.

The Boks take on Scotland on two consecutive Saturdays to kick off their season.

2006 ABSA CURRIE CUP FIXTURE LIST

23/24 June

Free State vs SEC, ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Qualify 1, ABSA Currie Cup, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Qualify 2 vs Western Province, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Natal vs Lions, ABSA Currie Cup, ABSA Stadium, Durban

First A vs First G, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First B vs First F, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First C vs First E, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

1/ 2 July

Western Province vs Natal, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Lions vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
Qualify 1 vs Free Sate, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
SEC vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First D vs First C, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First E vs First B, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First F vs First A, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

3 – 7 July

U-13 Coca Cola Craven Week, Oudtshoorn

7/8 July

Free State vs Lions, ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Western Province, ABSA Currie Cup, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Natal vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, ABSA Stadium, Durban
Qualify 1 vs SEC, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First A vs First E, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First B vs First D, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First G vs First F, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

9 – 15 July

U-18 Coca Cola Craven Week, Johannesburg

14/15 July

Lions vs Qualify 1, ABSA Currie Cup, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
SEC vs Natal, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Qualify 2 vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Western Province vs Free State, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

First C vs First B, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First D vs First A, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First E vs First G, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

21/22 July

Free State vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Natal, ABSA Currie Cuo, Premier, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Lions vs SEC, ABSA Currie Cup, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
Qualify 1 vs Western Province, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First A vs First C, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First F vs First E, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First G vs First D, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

28/29 July

Blue Bulls vs SEC, ABSA Currie Cup, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Western Province vs Lions, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Qualify 1 vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Natal vs Free State, ABSA Currie Cup, ABSA Stadium, Durban

First C vs First G, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First D vs First F, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First B vs First A, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

4/5 August

Free State vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Lions vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
SEC vs Western Province, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Qualify 1 vs Natal, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

11/12 August

First B vs First G, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First C vs First F, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First D vs First E, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

SWD vs Falcons, Under 21, Under 19 B, Outeniqua Stadium, George
E.P. vs Pumas, Under 21, Under 19 B, EPRU Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Griffons vs Boland , Under 21, Under 19 B, North West Stadium, Welkom

18/19 August

Lions vs Natal, ABSA Currie Cup, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
Western Province vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Qualify 1 vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
SEC vs Free State, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
First E vs First C, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First F vs First B, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First G vs First A, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

Lions vs Natal, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
Western Province vs Griquas, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Leopards vs Blue Bulls, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Boland vs E.P., Under 21 + Under 19 B, Boland Stadium, Wellington
Pumas vs SWD, Under 21 + Under 19 B, @lantic Park, Witbank
Falcons vs Border, Under 21 + Under 19 B, Bosman Stadium, Brakpan

25/26 August

Free State vs Qualify 1, ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Lions, ABSA Currie Cup, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Natal vs Western Province , ABSA Currie Cup, ABSA Stadium, Durban
Qualify 2 vs SEC, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First A vs First F, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First B vs First E, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First C vs First D, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

Free State vs Leopards, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Lions, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Natal vs Western Province , Under 21 + Under 19 A, ABSA Stadium, Durban
Border vs Pumas, Under 21 + Under 19 B, ABSA Stadium, East London
SWD vs Boland, Under 21 + Under 19 B, Outeniqua Stadium, George
E.P. vs Griffons, Under 21 + Under 19 B, EPRU Stadium, Port Elizabeth

1/2 September

Western Province vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Qualify 2 vs Natal, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Lions vs Free State, ABSA Currie CUP, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
SEC vs Qualify 1, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First D vs First B, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First E vs First A, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First F vs First G, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
Western Province vs Blue Bulls, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Griquas vs Natal, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Absa Park, Kimberley
Lions vs Free State, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
Griffons vs SWD, Under 21 + Under 19 B, North West Stadium, Welkom
Boland vs Border Under 21 + Under 19 B, Boland Stadium, Wellington
Pumas vs Falcons Under 21 + Under 19 B, @lantic Park, Witbank

8/9 September

Free State vs Western Province ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Natal vs SEC, ABSA Currie CUP , ABSA Stadium, Durban
Qualify 1 vs Lions ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First A vs First D, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First B vs First C, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First G vs First E, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

Free State vs Western Province, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Blue Bulls vs Griquas, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Leopards vs Lions Under 21 + Under 19 A, Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Border vs Griffons Under 21 + Under 19 B, ABSA Stadium, East London
SWD vs E.P. Under 21 + Under 19 B, Outeniqua Stadium, George
Falcons vs Boland Under 21 + Under 19 B, Bosman Stadium, Brakpan

15/16 September

Western Province vs Qualify 1, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Qualify 2 vs Free State, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Natal vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, ABSA Stadium, Durban
SEC vs Lions, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First C vs First A, ABSA Currie Cup – First Div
First D vs First G, ABSA Currie Cup – First Div
First E vs First F, ABSA Currie Cup – First Div
Western Province vs Leopards, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Griquas vs Free State, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Absa Park, Kimberley
Natal vs Blue Bulls, Under 21 + Under 19 A, ABSA Stadium, Durban
E.P. vs Border, Under 21 + Under 19 B, EPRU Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Griffons vs Falcons, Under 21 + Under 19 B, North West Stadium, Welkom
Boland vs Pumas Under 21 + Under 19 B, Boland Stadium, Wellington

22/23 September

Free State vs Natal , ABSA Currie Cup, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Qualify 1 vs Qualify 2, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Lions vs Western Province, ABSA Currie Cup, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
SEC vs Blue Bulls, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC

First A vs First B, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First F vs First D, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div
First G vs First C, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

Free State vs Natal , Under 21 + Under 19 A, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
Leopards vs Griquas, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Olën Park, Potchefstroom
Lions vs Western Province, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Ellis Park stadium, Johannesburg
Border vs SWD, Under 21 + Under 19 B, ABSA Stadium, East London
Pumas vs Griffons, Under 21 + Under 19 B, @lantic Park, Witbank
Falcons vs E.P., Under 21 + Under 19 B, Bosman Stadium, Brakpan

29/30 September

Blue Bulls vs Free State, ABSA Currie Cup, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Western Province vs SEC, ABSA Currie Cup, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Qualify 2 vs Lions, ABSA Currie Cup, TBC
Natal vs Qualify 1, ABSA Currie Cup, ABSA Stadium, Durban

Semi- Final, ABSA Currie Cup, First Div

Blue Bulls vs Free State, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Natal vs Leopards, Under 21 + Under 19 A, ABSA Stadium, Durban
Griquas vs Lions, Under 21 + Under 19 A, Absa Park, Kimberley

6/7 October

Semi- Final, ABSA Currie Cup
First Division ABSA Currie Cup Final
Final, Under 21 + Under 19 B

13/14 Oct

ABSA Currie Cup Final
Under 21 & Under 19 A Finals