SARU Gold Cup

SARU Gold Cup
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016 SARU Gold Cup
Sport Rugby union
Founded 2013
Inaugural season 2013
No. of teams 20
Country South Africa
Most recent
TV partner(s) Supersport
Sponsor(s) Cell C

The SARU Gold Cup is the premier rugby union club competition in South Africa for non-university teams.[1]

The competition was launched as the SARU Community Cup in 2013 to replace the existing SARU National Club Championships and renamed to the SARU Gold Cup for 2016, when teams from Namibia and Zimbabwe were also included in the competition.


The SARU Community Cup logo

On 20 September 2012, the South African Rugby Union announced the launch of the SARU Community Cup to replace the National Club Championships. The inaugural edition started in February 2013. Several rugby union clubs in South Africa are affiliated to universities, which can play in the annual Varsity Rugby tournaments. The Community Cup was created for the non-university clubs to run in parallel with Varsity Rugby.

After three seasons during which the matches were played over the Easter Weekend, it was rebranded as the SARU Gold Cup, moved to a timeslot later in the year and also included teams from Namibia and Zimbabwe.[2]


Each season, twenty teams qualify for the Gold Cup from the club leagues of the fourteen provincial unions in South Africa. In addition, the Blue Bulls Limpopo sub-union also entered a team every year and from 2016 onwards, the champions of the Namibian and Zimbabwean club competitions would also enter. The defending champions of the Gold Cup would automatically qualify to the next edition. Each of the provincial unions would nominate a team which would automatically qualify for the competition – it is dependent on the rules of the individual league whether this will be the team that finishes top of the log during the round-robin stage of the competition or the title play-off winner. All university teams are ineligible and would be excluded from participation.

In addition to the automatic qualifiers, the remainder of the participating teams would consist of wildcard entries. For 2013 and 2014, teams were nominated to enter a wildcard draw, but from 2015 onwards a play-off competition was introduced, where the second-best eligible teams from the provincial unions could play off for the remaining spots.

The format of the Gold Cup is the same as the Rugby World Cup. The teams are divided into four pools, each containing five teams. They then play four pool games, playing every other teams in their respective pools once. Each team plays two home games and two away games.

The winner and runner-up of each pool enter the play-off stage, held at a neutral venue over the Easter long weekend each year. The play-offs consist of quarter finals, semi-finals and the final. The winner of each pool meets the runner-up of a different pool in the quarter final. The winner of each quarter-final goes on to the semi-finals and the semi-final winners to the Cup final. The losing semi-finalists play each other in the 3rd-place play-off. The losing quarter finalists meet in the Plate semi-final, the winners of which will play in the Plate final, with the losers playing in the 7th-place play-off.


The sponsored version of the logo

In February 2013, it was announced that mobile phone provider Cell C would sponsor the SARU Community Cup for three seasons, with the tournament being known as the Cell C Community Cup.[3]


For a complete list of all South African rugby union teams, see List of South African rugby union teams.

The teams that participated in the SARU Gold Cup and their finishing positions are as follows:

SARU Community / Gold Cup participants
Team Union Community Cup Gold Cup
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
African Bombers Eastern Province 12 N/A N/A N/A
Bloemfontein Crusaders Free State 15 10 15 N/A
Bloemfontein Police Free State 20 N/A N/A 18
Boksburg Falcons N/A 15 N/A N/A
Brakpan Falcons 3 9 N/A 4
Bridgton SWD N/A 17 N/A N/A
Centurion Blue Bulls N/A 7 N/A N/A
College Rovers Kwa-Zulu Natal 2 4 6 6
Despatch Eastern Province 1 5 4 N/A
Durban Collegians Kwa-Zulu Natal N/A N/A 9 14
Durbanville-Bellville Western Province 5 N/A 1 3
East London Police Border N/A N/A N/A 16
Evergreens SWD 8 N/A 12 7
False Bay Western Province N/A N/A N/A 2
Hamiltons Western Province N/A 3 3 N/A
Mossel Bay Barbarians SWD N/A 14 N/A N/A
Noordelikes Limpopo Blue Bulls 19 19 19 N/A
Northam Rhinos Limpopo Blue Bulls N/A N/A N/A 17
Old Georgians Zimbabwe N/A N/A N/A 13
Old Selbornians Border 10 8 10 11
Pirates Golden Lions N/A N/A N/A 10
Port Elizabeth Police Eastern Province N/A N/A 17 8
Pretoria Police Blue Bulls 6 N/A 5 5
Raiders Golden Lions 9 N/A 11 N/A
Roodepoort Golden Lions 7 2 N/A N/A
Roses United Boland 13 6 N/A N/A
Rustenburg Impala Leopards 4 1 2 1 (Q)
Sishen Griquas 17 11 16 9
SK Walmers Western Province 11 N/A N/A N/A
Spring Rose Eastern Province N/A 12 N/A N/A
Springs Falcons N/A N/A 18 N/A
Villagers Worcester Boland 16 N/A 13 19
Wanderers Golden Lions N/A N/A 7 N/A
Welkom Griffons N/A 20 N/A N/A
Welkom Rovers Griffons 14 13 20 15
Wesbank Boland N/A 18 8 N/A
White River Mpumalanga 18 N/A N/A 20
Windhoek Wanderers Namibia N/A N/A N/A 12
Witbank Ferros Mpumalanga N/A 16 14 N/A


  1. "Club rugby in South Africa receives a major boost". South African Rugby Union. 20 Sep 2012. Retrieved 20 Sep 2012.
  2. "Club rugby revival enters new 'Golden' era" (Press release). South African Rugby Union. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  3. "Cell C named as Community Cup sponsor". South Africa Rugby Union. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.

See also

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