The Cheetahs will compete in the Toyota Challenge, new competition that includes the Sharks, Stormers and two overseas teams.
During a virtual media briefing on Friday to announce a new “rugby bonanza”, Cheetahs managing director Harold Verster unveiled the Toyota Challenge, a tournament which will take place in Bloemfontein from 13 to 26 November.
The two foreign club sides will come from Spain and Romania.
The tournament came to fruition after the Cheetahs challenged the Sharks, Stormers, Spanish club Diables Barcelona and Romanian outfit CSM Stiinta Baia Mare to compete in a series of matches.
Five teams will participate in the four-match Challenge with the winners of each set to bank R250 000 in prize money.
Additionally, players will be rewarded for “positive play actions” during the games, while fans will be rewarded for supporting their favorite teams in the stadium and online on various social media platforms.
Commenting on the new competition, Verster said:“Apart from dishing up running rugby against the old foes in the Stormers and the Sharks, the Cheetahs are excited to have two new rugby friends Diables Barcelona and CSM Stiinta Baia Mare in Toyota Stadium.
“We are particularly delighted that the Cheetahs will have the opportunity to show their mettle. This new rugby product promises to be very enticing and entertaining for the fans. Talking about fans, we are delighted that our supporters will be allowed in the stadium again, albeit limited to 2 000 at this stage.”
SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has also given his blessing for the competition, which he believes will add to the growth of the game in Spain and Romania.
“This is very exciting for all the teams involved and I’m sure we’ll see some open running rugby in Bloemfontein next month. It’s also great to see new sides in action, from Spain and Romania, two nations where the game is really growing, and their involvement will add something extra to the Toyota Challenge.”
This is good news for the Cheetahs, who were left in the rugby wilderness after their axing from the PRO14, along with the Kings, to make way for the four big local franchises to enter the European tournament.
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