Namibia’s second strings rugby fifteen, the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias as the team it affectionately known amongst its followers, have been pitted in the group of death, the North Pool alongside South African provincial powerhouses Vodacom Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, Falcons and Steval Pumas completing the five team region in the new SuperSports Rugby Challenge.
The competition replaces the traditional Currie Cup qualifier tourney, which itself replaced the Vodacom Cup, which was scrapped in 2015.
The Welwitschias Namibia reentered the tourney last season but the Namibian amateurs found the going tough in South Africa’s provincial second tier rugby competition – losing all their matches by large margins home and away.
The new tournament to be known as SuperSports Rugby Challenge will be officially launched next month in Johannesburg. Pay per view broadcaster Super Sport holds naming rights of the new South African rugby union competition.
The newly established Super Sport Rugby Challenge gets underway on the 22nd and 23rd of next month and sees all South Africa’s 14 provincial unions and guests entrants Namibia, playing under the assumed name of Welwitschias compete in the 13-week long tourney.
Plans are underway to have matches broadcasted live including triple-headers at single venues whilst the tourney will be divided into three different pools, namely north, south and central regions.
South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said the SuperSport Rugby Challenge is likely to propel professional rugby to places it has never been before, both literally and metaphorically.
The SuperSport Rugby Challenge Pools are as follows:
North: Welwitschias (Namibia) Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, Falcons and Steval Pumas.
Central: Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Down Touch Griffons, Tafel Lager Griquas, Leopards and Cell C Sharks XV.
South: Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, EP Kings, SWD Eagles and DHL Western Province.