|Most recent season or competition:
2015 Varsity Cup
The current FNB Varsity Cup logo
|No. of teams||8 (Cup)
|Most recent champion(s)||UFS Shimlas (1st title)|
|Most titles||Maties (3)|
|Sponsor(s)||First National Bank
Varsity Rugby is a series of South African rugby union competitions that involve the top rugby playing universities in the country.
- 1 History
- 2 Player eligibility
- 3 Varsity Cup
- 4 Varsity Shield
- 5 Young Guns
- 6 Koshuis Rugby Championships
- 7 Controversies
- 8 Notable Players
- 9 Sponsors
- 10 External links
- 11 See also
- 12 References
The Varsity Cup tournament was founded in 2008, featuring the rugby teams of eight universities. At the same time, the Koshuis Rugby Championships was also launched. This is a competition where each of the eight universities is represented by the "koshuis" (university residence) that won their internal league.
In 2011, a second tier was added below the Varsity Cup tournament, called the Varsity Shield, which featured the rugby teams of a further five universities.
In 2012, an Under-20 competition was also added, called the Young Guns. The eight teams that took part in the first four editions of the Varsity Cup entered teams in this competition.
The Varsity Rugby competitions also implement rules which help to ensure that the majority of the players are bona fide students of the relevant universities.
In the 2012 season, Varsity Cup and Shield sides were required to have 16 full-time students in their 23-man squads. The Young Guns and Koshuis competitions were restricted to full-time students only.
In the 2013 season, Varsity Cup teams were required to have 18 full-time students in their 23-man squads. In addition, students needed to have passed at least 30% of their previous year's courses, and all players, even non-students, must have finished high school.
From the 2014 season, Varsity Cup teams were required to have 20 full-time students in their 23-man squads. It is intended that 2014 will be the last year in which non-students will be used. A 23-man squad of full-time students has been proposed from 2015 onwards.
The eight teams currently competing in the Varsity Cup are:
|Varsity Cup teams|
|CUT Ixias||Central University of Technology||CUT Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|Maties||Stellenbosch University||Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch|
|NMMU Madibaz||Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University||NMMU Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|NWU Pukke||North-West University||Fanie du Toit Stadium, Potchefstroom|
|UCT Ikey Tigers||University of Cape Town||UCT Rugby Fields, Cape Town|
|UFS Shimlas||University of the Free State||Shimla Park, Bloemfontein|
|UJ||University of Johannesburg||UJ Stadium, Johannesburg|
|UP Tuks||University of Pretoria||LC de Villiers Stadium, Pretoria|
The tournament begins with a round robin stage, in which all teams play each other once. The league scoring system follows that of Super Rugby in which 4 points are awarded for a win, and 2 points for a draw. Teams may also be awarded bonus points for either scoring 4 tries in a game, or for losing within 7 points of their opponents. At the end of the round robin stage, the top 4 teams go to the knockout stage with the top 2 teams being awarded home semi-finals.
|2008||Maties||16–10||UCT Ikey Tigers||NWU Pukke
|2009||Maties||11–6||NWU Pukke||UCT Ikey Tigers
|2010||Maties||17–14||UCT Ikey Tigers||NWU Pukke
|2011||UCT Ikey Tigers||26–16||UP Tuks||UFS Shimlas
|2012||UP Tuks||29–21||Maties||NWU Pukke
|2013||UP Tuks||44–5||Maties||NMMU Madibaz
|2014||UCT Ikey Tigers||39-33||NWU Pukke||Maties
|2015||UFS Shimlas||63-33||NWU Pukke||UCT Ikey Tigers
|2||UCT Ikey Tigers||2||2||2|
The five teams currently competing in the Varsity Shield are:
|Varsity Shield teams|
|TUT Vikings||Tshwane University of Technology||TUT Stadium, Pretoria|
|UFH Blues||University of Fort Hare||Davidson Rugby Field, Alice|
|UKZN Impi||University of KwaZulu-Natal||Peter Booysen Sports Park, Pietermaritzburg|
|UWC||University of the Western Cape||UWC Sport Stadium, Cape Town|
|Wits||University of the Witwatersrand||Wits Rugby Stadium, Johannesburg|
The tournament begins with a round robin stage, in which all teams play each other twice. The league scoring system follows that of Super Rugby in which 4 points are awarded for a win, and 2 points for a draw. Teams may also be awarded bonus points for either scoring 4 tries in a game, or for losing within 7 points of their opponents. At the end of the round robin stage, the top 2 teams go to the play-off final.
|2014||CUT Ixias||35–26||UKZN Impi||N/A||CUT Ixias|
The eight Varsity Cup teams will each enter a Young Guns (Under-20) team.
|2012||UP Tuks Young Guns||35–26||Maties Juniors||NWU Pukke Young Guns
UFS Shimlas Young Guns
|2013||UP Tuks Young Guns||50–21||Maties Juniors||UCT Trojans
UFS Shimlas Young Guns
|2014||UFS Shimlas Young Guns||17–171||UP Tuks Young Guns||UJ Young Guns
|2015||UP Tuks Young Guns||26–13||UFS Shimlas Young Guns||N/A|
Koshuis Rugby Championships
The eight Varsity Cup teams will each enter a Koshuis Rugby team.
|2008||Dagbreek, Maties||22–14||Maroela, UP Tuks||Dromedaris, UJ
|2009||Huis Armentum, UFS Shimlas||30–16||Dromedaris, UJ||Barbarians, NMMU Madibaz
Maroela, UP Tuks
|2010||Vishuis, UFS Shimlas||22–7||Dagbreek, Maties||Maroela, UP Tuks
Villagers, NWU Pukke
|2011||Patria, NWU Pukke||21–0||Simonsberg, Maties||Northernz, NMMU Madibaz
Tornadoes, UCT Ikey Tigers
|2012||Vishuis, UFS Shimlas||44–26||Dagbreek, Maties||Cobras, UCT Ikey Tigers
Patria, NWU Pukke
|2013||Vishuis, UFS Shimlas||20–16||Villagers, NWU Pukke||Bastion, UJ
|2014||Heimat, UFS Shimlas||20–12||Patria, NWU Pukke||Cobras, UCT Ikey Tigers
|2015||Mopanie, UP Tuks||29–23||Vishuis, UFS Shimlas||N/A|
The Rugby Transformation Coalition has called for a boycott of the Varsity Cup. This is due to the exclusion of formerly black universities, and the low representation of black players.
No private universities have been allowed to compete in the tournament, leading to complaints from Varsity College.
|Player Name||Varsity Rugby team||Springbok debut||Springbok no|
|Juan de Jongh||Maties||2010||806|
|Coenie Oosthuizen||UFS Shimlas||2012||824|
|Eben Etzebeth||UCT Ikey Tigers||2012||833|
|Arno Botha||UP Tuks||2013||843|
|Trevor Nyakane||CUT Ixias (Varsity Shield)||2013||850|
|Lood de Jager||NWU Pukke (Young Guns)||2014||856|
|Handré Pollard||UP Tuks||2014||857|
|Marcel van der Merwe||UFS Shimlas||2014||858|
|Oupa Mohojé||UFS Shimlas||2014||859|
|Damian de Allende||UCT Ikey Tigers||2014||862|
|Nizaam Carr||UCT Ikey Tigers||2014||865|
In addition to producing players for the national team, Varsity Rugby also established itself as the main development pathway for players playing in the domestic Currie Cup competition. Over 67% of the 88 players that were included in squads for the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division semi-finals played Varsity Rugby earlier in their careers.
The tournament is sponsored by:
- "Varsity Cup bigger and better". Sport24. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- "VC Competition Rules 2012". Varsity Cup. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- "Varsity cheat claims cleared up". Sport24. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Varsity Cup values restored". SA Rugby Magazine. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Varsity Cup eyeing full student ‘quota’". SA Rugby Magazine. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Threats of Varsity Cup boycott". City Press. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Rugby that Rocks, or Pops?". Rugga World. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Varsity Cup High Drama!". Front Row Grunt. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Tuks sidestep punishment again after player eligibility "oversight"". Die Matie. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "SMS campaign launched against Varsity Cup entrance fees". AfriForum Youth. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "No Varsity Cup/Shield for Durban until 2015". Durban Collegians. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "Varsity Cup to honour Boks that Rock". Varsity Cup. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- "Varsity Cup alumni rules Currie Cup". Varsity Cup. 16 October 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015.