The Currie Cup is only two rounds away, but it is already proving to be a tournament with a rich history that still has a place in the modern playing schedule, according to MARK KEOHANE.
It’s been a brilliant and surprising start to rugby’s oldest competition in 2023, with the Vodacom Bulls conceding over 100 points in back-to-back home defeats, while unbeaten defending champions Pumas prove last season was no one-off.
Also, the new talent in SA is evident, none more so than when DHL’s young Western Province side beat a star-studded Vodacom United Rugby Championship Bulls side at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
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In his TimesLIVE In the column, Keohane suggests that the start of the Currie Cup season is a reason for fans to be excited, and that the competition will not be an “afterthought” for players and coaches.
“By default, more than design, the Kuri Cup has reclaimed its identity,” he writes. “The general interest is there because so many URC players stay involved when the tournament schedule doesn’t overlap.
“URC also finishes before the Currie Cup finishes, which makes for a stronger team in the play-offs.
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“In just two laps, the emerging talent is evident; a very young Western Province side beat a Bulls side with URC players and the Pumas – last year’s champions – went two-two against the Bulls and Lions who both play in Europe’s top competitions.
“That’s what makes the Currie Cup in its current structure so exciting; the top teams will have to stand up for the Currie Cup games, as it is no longer treated as a development tournament and the prospect of rugby threes is too tempting to ignore.
“The Kuri Cup is only two rounds away, but it has already been added to the South African rugby calendar. It shows the range of local talent in South Africa, challenging the current situation with a Bulls side that was so dominant just six months ago, and proving that a tournament with such a rich history will never fade into the archives, but be reinvented to suit the modern game and a modern playing schedule.”