Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Ellis Park to host SA Rugby Under-21 Championship

23 Sep 2020, 23:42 GMT+10

The 2020 SA Rugby Under-21 Championship will be hosted at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, SA Rugby confirmed in a press statement on Wednesday.

The event, featuring five provincial sides, will kick off on Sunday, 4 October, culminating in the final on 30 October.

The Lions Under-21 side will welcome their counterparts from the Sharks, Free State, Western Province and Blue Bulls to their iconic stadium for this exciting, action packed and streamlined tournament.

All teams will play each once, with semi-finals and a final to conclude this showpiece of the best emerging South African rugby talent, with two matches to take place every four days.

The hosts will take on Free State in their opening match on Sunday 4 October, a couple of hours after the north-south derby between Western Province and defending champions, the Blue Bulls. The Sharks have a bye in the first round.

SA Rugby's Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, expressed his excitement with the tournament.

"The Under-21 competition provides an important pipeline in our player development and scouting set-up, as well as a showcase for unions in terms of contracting senior players," said Erasmus.

"Traditionally, some exciting players emerged from this tournament and this time it will be no different. It will be great to see this age group showcasing their talents.

"A lot of the players have already been spotted in our Elite Player Development structures, and we will be monitoring their progress with keen interest," Erasmus said.

All five teams will be based in Johannesburg for the duration of the tournament, with current Covid-19 regulations in effect, with no spectators allowed and limited working personnel allowed in the stadium on match days.

The SA Rugby U21 Championship fixtures for 2020 are (kick-off times to be confirmed):

Sunday 4 October (Round 1)

Western Province v Blue Bulls

Toyota Free State v Lions

Bye: Sharks

Thursday 8 October (Round 2)

Blue Bulls v Free State

Lions v Sharks

Bye: Western Province

Monday 12 October (Round 3)

Western Province v Sharks

Lions v Blue Bulls

Bye: Free State

Friday 16 October (Round 4)

Western Province v Free State

Sharks v Blue Bulls

Bye: Xerox Lions

Tuesday 20 October (Round 5)

Free State v Sharks

Lions v Western Province

Bye: Blue Bulls

Semi-finals: Sunday 25 October

Final: Friday 30 October

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