With the focus on the Rainbow Cup and the Springboks Test season this year, SA Rugby have announced a number of preparation pictures for eight provincial teams.
These matches was designed to meet teams high performance needs to prepare for the upcoming season in the background of the pandemic.
The teams will play in a ten-day cycle and not one week to help manage COVID testing protocols.
The eight teams will consist of the seven team that competed in the 2020/21 Carling Currie Cup competition with the EP Elephants joining them.
The teams have been split into two groups and will play cross-pool matches between 27 February and 27 March making it four matches for each side.
Pool A will have the Vodacom Bulls, Xerox Lions, Tafel Lager Griquas and Toyota Cheetahs while Pool B will consist of the Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, NCC Pumas and Eastern Province Elephants.
“It’s imperative that we get the new season underway as soon as possible as we have a big year ahead, with preparing our players for the British & Irish Lions a top priority, but also providing opportunities for all teams to get match fit with an eye on entry into European competitions, and our planned local season,” said Rassie Erasmus, Director of Rugby.
“These matches will provide our top players with further opportunities to test themselves against the best in South Africa, while our match officials will also get some valuable game-time under the belt.”
Saturday 27 February
Vodacom Bulls v EP Elephants
Lions v NNC Pumas
Sunday 28 February
Cell C Sharks v Tafel Lager Griquas
DHL Stormers v Toyota Cheetahs
Tuesday 9 March
Toyota Cheetahs v Cell C Sharks
Tafel Lager Griquas v DHL Stormers
Wednesday 10 March
NNC Pumas v Vodacom Bulls
EP Elephants v Lions
Friday 19 March
Vodacom Bulls v DHL Stormers
Lions v Cell C Sharks
Saturday 20 March
NNC Pumas v Toyota Cheetahs
EP Elephants v Tafel Lager Griquas
Saturday 27 March
Toyota Cheetahs v EP Elephants
Tafel Lager Griquas v NNC Pumas
Cell C Sharks v Vodacom Bulls
DHL Stormers v Lions