SAA national club champions Hamilton of Western Province will begin the defence of their title against Limpopo champions Noordelike in the main match on the opening day of the 2010 tournament.
This year’s Club Champs takes place at the University of Stellenbosch from Saturday 18 to Friday 24 September and, in addition to Hammies and Noordelike, will feature the country’s 14 provincial champions in a 16-team first-round draw.
Hammies’ heroics in the 2009 final, when they beat Pukke 36-34 at Loftus Versfeld, sees them seeded first after SARU’s competitions committee decided for the first this year to automatically invite the defending champions – even if they had not won their respective provincial title. Pukke, as perennial Leopards champions, are seeded second, with last year’s losing semifinalist provinces KZN and Valke once again represented by College Rovers (for a fifth consecutive year) and Springs, who are ranked third and fourth respectively.
The full draw for the first round, with provincial seedings, is:
1 Hamilton vs 16 Limpopo – (Match A)
2 Leopards vs 15 Pumas – (B)
3 KZN vs 14 Griffons – (C)
4 Valke vs 13 SWD – (D)
5 WP vs 12 Griqualand West – (E)
6 Golden Lions vs 11 Blue Bulls – (F)
7 Boland vs 10 Cheetahs – (G)
8 Border vs 9 Eastern Province – (H)
The eight first-round winners will qualify for the Premier quarter-finals on Monday 20 September. The eight losers will battle it out for the Plate, with semi-finals in both divisions taking place on Wednesday 22 September. The Premier and Plate finals will take place at the Danie Craven Stadium on the Heritage Day public holiday, with kickoff times to be confirmed.
The draw for the quarter-finals is as follows:
Winner A vs Winner H (Match I)
Winner B vs Winner G (J)
Winner C vs Winner F (K)
Winner D vs Winner E (L)
Loser A vs Loser H (Match M)
Loser B vs Loser G (N)
Loser C vs Loser F (O)
Loser D vs Loser E (P)
The semi-final draw is as follows:
Winner I vs Winner L
Winner J vs Winner K
Winner M vs Winner P
Winner N vs Winner O
With the Club Champs kickoff just over three weeks away, there are only a handful of provinces who have yet to confirm their champions.
The 13 teams confirmed so far are Kimberley Police (Griqualand West), Springs (Valke), Noordelike (Limpopo), Bethlehem Oud Skoliere (Griffons), Hamilton (WP), University of Johannesburg (Golden Lions), Tuks (Blue Bulls), Mossel Bay Barbarians (SWD), College Rovers (KZN), Middelburg (Mpumalanga), Maties (WP), Shimlas (Free State) and Pukke (Leopards).
Issued by SARU Communications