With 2018 being a promotion/relegation year for Varsity Cup and Varsity Shield, teams will be out to prove themselves.
FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International and Varsity Shield will go into a promotion and relegation year in 2018 with the lowest placed Varsity Cup teams facing relegation while Varsity Shield teams have the opportunity to try their hand in the higher echelons of the competitions.
Every second year, the team that finishes last in the Varsity Cup competition will automatically be relegated to the Varsity Shield competition, while the team that finishes first in the Varsity Shield gains automatic promotion to Varsity Cup. The Varsity Cup team finishing second from the bottom will play a promotion/relegation match against the Varsity Shield team that finishes second from the top.
FNB Wits are an example of a side excelling after their promotion. After an amazing run in the 2016 Varsity Shield they were promoted to the Varsity Cup and just missed out on the semi-finals in 2017 after finishing fifth on the table.
The nine university teams competing in the Varsity Cup this year are University of Pretoria (FNB UP-Tuks), University of Free State (FNB Shimlas), University of Johannesburg (FNB UJ), University of Stellenbosch (FNB Maties), Nelson Mandela University (FNB Madibaz), University of Cape Town (FNB UCT), Wits University (FNB Wits), North West University (FNB NWU) and Central University of Technology (FNB CUT).
While seven teams will battle it out in the Varsity Shield with Cape Peninsula University of Technology (FNB CPUT), Rhodes University (FNB Rhodes), University of the Western Cape (FNB UWC), Tshwane University of Technology (FNB TUT), Walter Sisulu University (FNB WSU), University of Fort Hare (FNB UFH) and University of KwaZulu-Natal (FNB UKZN).
Varsity Cup will kick-off on the 29th of January 2018, when title-holders FNB UP-Tuks take on FNB UFS Shimlas at Tuks Stadium.
While the Varsity Shield will begin when Varsity Shield champions FNB UWC host FNB WSU at the UWC Sports Grounds. Runners-up of 2017 FNB UFH take on FNB UKZN at the Davidson Stadium and FNB Rhodes will look to get their season off to a winning start when they host FNB TUT at the Rhodes Great Field, all taking place on February 19th at 18:30.