The Varsity Shield kicks off on Friday, 4 March and fans are in for a treat as most matches will be broadcast live. Seven teams will race for a place in the final on 22 April.
The format of the Varsity Shield tournament will differ slightly from Varsity Cup, as rounds one to six will be played over three bumper weekends at select venues, with the action kicking off at Rhodes University.
First up, defending champions CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) will play Rhodes at Rhodes Great Field (7pm kick-off), while 2015 Varsity Shield winners the UKZN Impi (University of KwaZulu-Natal) face a spirited WSU All Blacks (Walter Sisulu University) onslaught at 5pm. In the earlier kick-off, at 3pm, the UFH Blues (Fort Hare) play the TUT Vikings (Tshwane University of Technology), with DUT (Durban University of Technology) having a bye on day one.
“The return of Varsity Cup to the universities has been received really well, and through our amazing and excellent partnership with SuperSport every single match of the first six rounds of the Varsity Shield competition will be broadcast live,’ said Xhanti-Lomzi Nesi, Varsity Cup tournament manager. “We’re equally excited to welcome fans back in the stadiums and at our bumper weekends.”
At the end of the 2022 season, the team at the bottom of the combined 2021-22 Varsity Shield log will be relegated from the tournament altogether. The 2023 Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield titles will both be contested by eight teams.
At the end of the round-robin phase, the top-four teams on the log will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be played on 14 April, with the final on 22 April.
Ticketing and access-to-matches details will be released soon.
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Varsity Cup