The Blue Bulls Rugby Union and UXi Sports International Rugby Institutes are excited to announce their partnership in creating the Cross-Border U20 Club Competition. The competition features 21 teams in three sections including North, South, and Central regions from the Blue Bulls, Lions, Pumas, Griquas, Valke, Leopards, and Western Province Rugby Unions.
The competition officially gets underway on Friday, 14 April with only the North Section teams in action, the following day it will be the South Section sides while the Central region will have its first round of matches on Saturday, 15 April. The final will be contested on Saturday, 30 September 2023, following the quarter-finals and semi-finals which will be played on the weekends of 16 and 23 September, respectively.
“At the BBRU (Blue Bulls Rugby Union) one of our strategic goals is to make club rugby relevant again,” said Willem Strauss, President of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union. “Research has shown that up to 93 percent (%) of rugby players stop playing when they have left school. “We hope that this competition will encourage more school leavers to join their local clubs and academies and that it will also be a pathway to provincial and even professional rugby for both players and coaches. The Cross-Border U20 Club Competition is an important addition to the rugby calendar. This competition will give our young club players the opportunity and platform to showcase their skills and talent.”
The sponsorship agreement allows for a hosting fee of R 50 000 for each participating club and R500 000 in prize money for the top-performing teams.
Strauss continues: “Without sponsors no competition is possible. We are delighted that the partnership with UXi Sport is making this tournament possible. I would like to thank UXi Sport for their involvement in the competition. The hope is that through the involvement of UXi Sport we can grow U20 club rugby in South Africa. The investment by UXI Sport in the young rugby talent of South Africa is massive and will contribute to growing the game at the U20 level. This tournament is aimed at growing the game at community level by creating opportunities for late bloomers and non-contracted junior players in South Africa.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this exciting new tournament,” Thea Miller, COO of UXi Sport, said. “Our aim is to create opportunities for young rugby players to develop their skills and fulfil their potential. The Cross-Border U20 Club Competition is a fantastic initiative that will enable us to do just that. Through this initiative, we support our local communities, who have been the backbone of club rugby talent, spectator support, and instrumental in the sports economy of South Africa.
“We dedicate this competition to every rugby player, especially those in the academy systems across the country, who have dreams and ambitions but are limited by not being afforded opportunities after school. My dream is that all Provincial Unions become part of this initiative.”
Some of these matches will be live-streamed on the SuperSport Schools platforms, more details on this will follow soon.