Rugby fans to pick a team from Currie Cup players for a one-off 'champions match'

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

Carling Black Label have announced a historic “champions match” where rugby fans will pick a team of Currie Cup players to play against strong opposition still to be determined.

The match, to take place on November 6, falls in the international window and a break in the United Rugby Championship, ensuring that players from the four franchises will be available.

“This is a brilliant and innovative concept and will give supporters an unprecedented voice as they will ultimately pick the players for this combined team,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fans were not allowed to attend matches, but their voices were still heard in this era of digital connectivity, and the ‘Champions Match’ will take this up a notch.

“We’ve been involved from the get-go with Carling Black Label, and we are in the process of procuring the opponent, which has unfortunately been complicated by the pandemic. SA Rugby will also provide the coaching and medical teams for the champion team.

“The Carling Currie Cup is underpinned on the heritage of the competition, and an almost tribal passion that spans generations. I’m sure our most fervent rugby fans will enjoy getting involved on a level they’ve never experienced before.”

Carling Black Label brand director Arné Rust said: “When we first announced our sponsorship of the Carling Currie Cup, it was very well received by fans and the sporting community at large.

“Carling Black Label is not just a sponsor, we strive to amplify the experience of being a champion fan by seeking more innovative and exciting ways to engage with fans. Now more than ever, it is of paramount importance for us to bring fans closer to the game, having played the past two seasons without fans in the stands.”

Rust said they are very excited to tap into the huge levels of support for the seven Premier Division teams and the Carling Currie Cup in general, and to see how supporters will react to this special exhibition match.

Supporters of the Bulls, Sharks, Lions,  Western Province, Cheetahs, Griquas and the Pumas can select the players they would like to see play for the team by voting on their mobile phones, on Facebook or on the Carling Currie Cup website.