Professional rugby 10s competition, the Rugby Tens Championship (R10C) has announced that it will be returning this October (2022). The competition, which provides equal opportunities for men, women and U18 boys and girls, will host back-to-back legs in Pretoria [October 7 at the Harlequin Club and October 8 at the Loftus Versfeld] and Stellenbosch [October 14 – 15 at Danie Craven Stadium]. Tickets are R50 at the gate.
Each of the five franchises competing this year – Balkans Honey Badgers, Blue Bulls Rugby Union, Cape Town Wild Dogs, San Clemente Rhinos, and Serengeti Elephants – has a men’s, women’s, U18 boys and U18 girls’ teams. It’s the Blue Bulls first year in the series, with the historic province giving its female athletes the opportunity to compete at a professional level for the first time in its history.
“R10C is an exciting concept in sport. It brings equality for Men and Women at various levels including compensation structure, it’s a unique development pathway for Boys and Girls and it creates opportunities for diverse competition with players from countries such as New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, USA, Ireland, Kenya, Portugal, Sweden, South Africa and more” said R10C co-founder and president of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, Willem Strauss.
These teams will not only compete for Tournament Cups, but each side’s ranking in their division will contribute to the Championship Franchise title. Similar to the Constructors’ Championship in Formula One, the Championship Franchise Title will mean that by the end of a series, any franchise should have a chance of lifting the prized trophy.
Priding itself on being driven by “Rugby. Equality. Entertainment”, the Rugby Tens Championship has an inclusive culture throughout the organization and offers men, women, and youth players the chance to develop alongside people from diverse backgrounds across the world.
“We had an extraordinary representation of 30 countries at the R10C event in Portugal in 2021, with numerous players going on to sign for professional terms or achieve international honors. We are very excited to see rugby players from all over the world come together in South Africa to build on the success of the European event. And we continue to promote equality and positive social impact through sport with meaningful assignments such as Frankie Horne and Cecil Afrika, Blitzbokke Legends, in charge of coaching Women’s teams”, shared Andreea Trufasu, co-founder and CEO of the Rugby Tens Championship.
Having been born in South Africa, the Rugby Tens Championship’s co-founder Derek Nellmapius is looking forward to bringing the competition to his home country. “South Africa has a strong and proud rugby heritage, and they will be a great host to the R10C. After our experiences in Portugal and the feedback we have received, we are confident that there is a very bright future for the Rugby Tens Championship. I look forward to bringing such opportunities to my home country as well.”
Along with creating opportunities for players from developing rugby nations, notable stars of the global game will also be showcased. Among a string of high-quality players, there will be members of the New Zealand Black Ferns Sevens squad, Australia Sevens squad, Fiji Sevens and many more.