GEORGE will be the setting when two community clubs with a combined 200 years of history and tradition clash in the televised opening match of Cell C Community Cup 2015, SARU confirmed on Friday.
In what promises to be a vibrant Western Cape derby, SWD champions Evergreens, who finished eighth in the inaugural Community Cup last year, will host Boland champions United Bulk Villagers Worcester when the third edition of the national championship for non-Varsity clubs kicks off on 21 February.
The match, which will take place at the Pacaltsdorp Sports Ground in George, will be broadcast live on television on SuperSport 1 & HD (kick-off 14h30) and on radio on Eden FM (87.8-103.6 FM in the Southern Cape and worldwide on www.edenfm.co.za).
“With club rugby experiencing a renaissance, George is the perfect place to kick off the 2015 Community Cup as it’s one of our most important rugby heartlands,” said SARU CEO, Jurie Roux. “Evergreens and Villagers Worcester epitomise what the Community Cup is all about. They are true community clubs who play a vital role within their communities, while their players are local heroes and role models.
“Evergreens were founded in 1932 while Villagers Worcester, established in 1883, are one of the oldest clubs in the country and have a proud record of producing legendary national players over the past 132 years,” Roux said. “This match will showcase to a national audience just what community rugby is all about and the vital role that club rugby plays in towns across the land and especially on the platteland.”
The Evergreens vs Villagers Worcester Pool C encounter is the first of 40 group matches to be hosted at clubs across the length and breadth of the country from 21 February to 21 March, as the 20 participating sides vie for the eight Easter play-off spots on offer.
George apart, a number of other intriguing tussles are scheduled for the opening weekend in six of South Africa’s nine provinces.
SA’s oldest club, Hamiltons, bronze medallists in this year’s Community Cup, will kick off their landmark 140th anniversary season with an arduous away trip to the Northern Cape mining town of Kathu to face Aveng Moolmans Sishen in the weekend’s other Pool C match.
In Pool A, champions Rustenburg Impala open their title defence at home to newcomers Port Elizabeth Police, while the Clive Solomon Stadium in Heidedal will see Free State’s top open club, Bloemfontein Crusaders, welcome their Golden Lions counterparts Raiders in Pool B.
And in Pool D, 2013 champions GAP Management Despatch face a tough away opener in the northern Free State against Rovers Welkom, while Pumas champions Shumba Ferros and Boland qualifiers Wesbank resume their rivalry of 2014, this time in another quintessential rugby heartland – the Swartland town of Malmesbury.
The Easter play-offs, which will feature the two highest-placed teams from each Pool, will take place from 2-6 April, with the prized Gold Cup once again up for grabs on Easter Monday. All 12 Easter matches will be televised live on SuperSport.
2015 Fixtures (Home team first, Pools in brackets, all k/o times TBC):
Round 1 – Sat 21 February:
Kempston Old Selbornians vs Durbanville-Bellville (A)
Rustenburg Impala vs Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police (A)
Bloemfontein Crusaders vs Raiders (B)
Pretoria Police vs BB Truck & Tractor Noordelikes (B)
Aveng Moolmans Sishen vs Hamiltons (C)
Evergreens vs United Bulk Villagers Worcester (C)
Rovers Welkom vs GAP Management Despatch (D)
Wesbank vs Shumba Ferros (D)
Byes: Springs (A), College Rovers (B), Wanderers (C), Durban Collegians (D)
Round 2 – Sat 28 February:
Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police vs Kempston Old Selbornians (A)
Durbanville-Bellville vs East Rand Cranes Springs (A)
Jonsson College Rovers vs BB Truck & Tractor Noordelikes (B)
Bloemfontein Crusaders vs Pretoria Police (B)
United Bulk Villagers Worcester vs Aveng Moolmans Sishen (C)
Hamiltons vs Vaseline Wanderers (C)
GAP Management Despatch vs Wesbank (D)
SA Home Loans Durban Collegians vs Rovers Welkom (D)
Byes: Rustenburg Impala (A), Raiders (B), Evergreens (C), Ferros (D)
Round 3 – Sat 7 March:
East Rand Cranes Springs vs Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police (A)
Kempston Old Selbornians vs Rustenburg Impala (A)
Pretoria Police vs Jonsson College Rovers (B)
BB Truck & Tractor Noordelikes vs Raiders (B)
Evergreens vs Vaseline Wanderers (C)
United Bulk Villagers Worcester vs Hamiltons (C)
Wesbank vs SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (D)
Shumba Ferros vs GAP Management Despatch (D)
Byes: Durbanville-Bellville (A), Bloemfontein Crusaders (B), Sishen (C), Rovers Welkom (D)
Round 4 – Sat 14 March:
Rustenburg Impala vs East Rand Cranes Springs (A)
Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police vs Durbanville-Bellville (A)
Raiders vs Pretoria Police (B)
Jonsson College Rovers vs Bloemfontein Crusaders (B)
Vaseline Wanderers vs United Bulk Villagers Worcester (C)
Aveng Moolmans Sishen vs Evergreens (C)
SA Home Loans Durban Collegians vs Shumba Ferros (D)
Rovers Welkom vs Wesbank (D)
Byes: Old Selbornians (A), Noordelikes (B), Hamiltons (C), Despatch (D)
Round 5 – Sat 21 March:
Durbanville-Bellville vs Rustenburg Impala (A)
East Rand Cranes Springs vs Kempston Old Selbornians (A)
BB Truck & Tractor Noordelikes vs Bloemfontein Crusaders (B)
Raiders vs Jonsson College Rovers (B)
Hamiltons vs Evergreens (C)
Vaseline Wanderers vs Aveng Moolmans Sishen (C)
Shumba Ferros vs Rovers Welkom (D)
GAP Management Despatch vs SA Home Loans Dbn Collegians (D)
Byes: PE Police (A), Pretoria Police (B), Villagers Worcester (C), Wesbank (D)