Leopards (rugby team)

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Leopards
Leopards (rugby team) logo.gif
Full name Leopards
Union Leopards Rugby Union
Founded 1920
Region North West Province
Ground(s) Olën Park, Potchefstroom (Capacity: 22,000)
Coach(es) Robert du Preez
(Currie Cup)
Chaka Willemse
(Vodacom Cup)
League(s) Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup
2014 Currie Cup First Division 1st
(Losing semi-finalists)
Official website
www.leopardsrugby.com
Rugby current event.svg Current season

The Leopards are a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup tournament, currently playing in the First Division. Their home ground is Olën Park in Potchefstroom. They draw all their players from the North West Province.

The union was formed in 1920 and the team was originally called Western Transvaal.[1]

For most of their history they've played in the second tier of the Currie Cup, but they were promoted to the Premier Division for the 2009 season after defeating the Falcons in a promotion-relegation playoff in October 2008. They remained in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup until the end of 2011 season after beating the SWD Eagles from the Southern Cape in promotion/relegation matches at the end of 2009 and 2010. However, the decision of Saru to reduce the number of teams in the Premier Division of the Currie Cup as from 2012, saw the Leopards moving down to the First Division.

They became the first black-owned rugby team in South Africa, after securing sponsorship from Royal Bafokeng Sports Holdings in October 2007.[2]

André May was elected as the new president of the Union on the 29 April 2010 and was re-elected unopposed for a third two year term during November 2013. May is a former player of Western Transvaal with 75 matches for the Union. The CEO is Louis du Plessis who replaced Eugene Hare, who is also the most capped player in the history of the Union.

The North West Leopards, previously known as Western Transvaal, average crowds of 11,000 at home Currie Cup games in Potchefstroom and Rustenburg. Their traditional rivals are the Blue Bulls, the Golden Lions, the Pumas, the Griffons and the Falcons.

Current squad[edit]

Vodacom Cup team[edit]

The following players were named in the Leopards' squad for the 2015 Vodacom Cup:

Props

Hookers

Locks

 

Loose Forwards

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

  • South Africa Schalk Hugo
  • South Africa Kerneels Swart
 

Centres

Wingers

Fullbacks

  • South Africa Myburgh Briers
  • South Africa Kobus du Plessis

Other players[edit]

Several Leopards players would play for NWU Pukke in the 2015 Varsity Cup competition rather than in the Vodacom Cup. Players included in the NWU Pukke squad that represented the Leopards in 2014 are:

Props

Hookers

Locks

 

Loose Forwards

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

 

Centres

Wingers

Fullbacks

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leopards". sarugby.net. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Leopards become first black-owned rugby franchise in SA". Mail & Guardian Online. 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 

External links[edit]