|Full name||Border Bulldogs|
|Union||Border Rugby Union|
|Region||Eastern third of the Eastern Cape, South Africa|
|Ground(s)||Buffalo City Stadium (Capacity: 16,000)|
|2015 Currie Cup First Division||6th|
The Border Bulldogs are a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup competitions. They are governed by the Border Rugby Union (BRU) and are based in East London.
The Border Rugby Football Union governs rugby in the eastern third of the Eastern Cape province, including two former African homelands, Transkei and Ciskei. The team is based in East London and play at the Buffalo City Stadium. They form part of the Southern Kings Super Rugby franchise.
Border were one of the founding members of the Currie Cup, having been established in 1891, but have only won the prestigious competition twice, in 1932 and 1934. They also won the Vodacom Shield in 2003.
In 1995, following the introduction professionalism in rugby, the team adopted the nickname the Bulldogs. The team have struggled since they were relegated to the Currie Cup First Division in 2000, never being promoted to the Premier Division. They average crowds of 3,500 to Currie Cup first division games, however they can attract much larger crowds when they take on their fiercest and closest rivals, the Eastern Province Kings.
In-fighting and financial crisis
In 2013, a dispute arose between the Border Rugby Union and the Border Rugby (Pty) Ltd, the professional arm of the BRFU which administers the Bulldogs. The dispute was in relation to a perceived lack of transformation at the Bulldogs, who claimed local amateur black players were not good enough for the professional side. As a result, in June of that year, the BRFU refused to release any of their club players to play for the Bulldogs. In September and October, television broadcasting money paid by SARU to the BRFU was not given to the Bulldogs, resulting in players' salaries not being paid, coach Paul Flanagan leaving and the Border Academy being shut down. At the start of 2014, the BRFU announced that it was bankrupt. In March 2014, the South African Rugby Union withdrew their financial support due to a lack of audited financial records. It culminated in the South African Rugby Union taking control of the team's financial and administrative affairs in December 2014, with the intention of handing control back to BRFU officials once the situation has been normalised.
The following players are contracted by the Border Bulldogs for 2016:
|2016 Border Bulldogs squad|
|(c) denotes team captain.|
- "Border rugby in civil war". SA Rugby Mag. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Border crisis hits players hard". SA Rugby Mag. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Bankrupt BRFU can’t pay staff". Daily Dispatch. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Border rugby cars repossessed". Dispatch Live. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "SARU takes administrative control of Border's affairs". South African Rugby Union. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Brave intake for Bulldogs squad". Daily Dispatch. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.