Five South African teams WILL compete in the Champions and Challenge Cup next season

Five South African teams WILL compete in next season’s Champions and Challenge Cup after being given the green light to take part in high-profile European tournaments in massive rugby club upheaval

  • South African teams have been allowed to participate in European tournaments
  • Stormers, Pretoria’s Bulls and the Sharks will take part in the Champions Cup
  • Lions and Cheetahs will be competing in the Challenge Cup from next season

South African teams will be allowed to participate in European tournaments from next season – turning the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup into cross-ball tournaments.

EPCR organizers have confirmed that the expected expansion plan has been ratified and finalized, which means the inclusion of five South African parties in the 2022-23 campaign.

Cape Town’s Stormers, Pretoria’s Bulls and Durban’s Sharks will take part in the Champions Cup as the top United Rugby Championship eliminators.

South African teams will be allowed to participate in European tournaments from next season

Stormers, Pretoria's Bulls and Durban's Sharks will take part in the Champions Cup

Stormers, Pretoria’s Bulls and Durban’s Sharks will take part in the Champions Cup

The Johannesburg Lions will compete in the Challenge Cup, as will the Bloemfontein Cheetahs – invited from outside the URC.

While the exact format of the tournaments will be revealed at a later date, this seismic development means they are no longer European events. But EPCR believes new players will provide strength on and off the pitch.

President Dominic McKay said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that South African clubs will be part of our extended tournaments from the start of next season.

Chairman Dominic McKay (pictured) believes these steps will help advance the tournament

Chairman Dominic McKay (pictured) believes these steps will help advance the tournament

“Stormtroopers, Bulls, Sharks and Lions will bring incredibly exciting rugby from the southern hemisphere, world-famous players and a wide new audience to our tournaments. We look forward to welcoming Cheetahs to the EPCR Challenge Cup.

“The steps we have taken ensure that the tournaments continue to develop as the pinnacle of the rugby club world.

“This is a key step forward in making our vision of developing the game and our tournaments a reality, bringing continued high returns to our leagues and creating an ever higher standard of delicious matches for our fans.”

Modified tournaments will be drawn at the end of this month.

The South African sides will try to threaten the present era of French domination

The South African sides will try to threaten the present era of French domination

The South African sides will try to threaten the present era of French domination.

La Rochelle won the Champions Cup last weekend and Lyon won the Challenge Cup – replacing Toulouse and Montpellier as title holders.

Further aligning South African rugby with the Northern Hemisphere will increase the sense of inevitability that Springboks will be welcomed to the Six Nations in the near future.

Leave a Comment