The Border Bulldogs will participate in this year’s Rugby Challenge despite being put into administration because of financial problems in October.
The decision to include the Bulldogs in the competition was taken after funding was made available by the Eastern Cape Department of Sport.
The community-centred element of the tournament – which kicks off in Nelspruit on Friday and concludes with the final on Sunday 30 June – will again feature a number of televised match-ups at the Sunday Rugby Festivals.
In a change of competition format from previous years, the Rugby Challenge will this year be split into two sections – North and South – with the top two teams from each section progressing to the semi-finals.
The first of the Rugby Festivals – where communities across the country will be able to enjoy top-class provincial action – takes place this weekend in Mdantsane.
In a double header of provincial action, Western Province and SWD will open the first of eight Rugby Festivals, with Border and newcomers, the Zimbabwe Academy, rounding off the weekend’s start to the competition.
Round 1 fixtures:
Pumas vs Vodacom Blue Bulls (Friday 7pm)
Boland vs EP Elephants (Saturday 2pm)
Griquas vs Valke (Saturday 2:30pm)
Free State Cheetahs XV vs Sharks XV (Saturday 3pm)
Griffons vs Leopards (Saturday 4pm)
Namibia vs Golden Lions XV (Saturday 4pm)
SWD vs Western Province (Sunday 12:30pm)
Border vs Zimbabwe Academy (Sunday 2:30pm)
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo