Varsity Cup to return with thrilling opening round match-ups in 2018

FNB Varsity Cup

FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International returns to the rugby calendar, kicking off with four must-watch matches on 29 January 2018.

Nine of the country’s best universities will all be competing for top honours, bearing in mind that 2018 is a promotion/relegation year.

Every second year the team that finishes last in the Varsity Cup competition will automatically be relegated to the FNB Varsity Shield presented by Steinhoff International 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.

The nine university teams 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).

Defending champions, FNB UP-Tuks will play host to FNB Shimlas at 16h45 at Tuks Stadium while FNB Maties will travel to UJ Stadium where they will open up their campaign against FNB UJ at 19h00. Both these matches will be broadcast on SuperSport.

Here is how things played out in the 2017 semi-finals:

The two non-televised matches will both kick off at 18h30. FNB UCT hosts FNB Wits at UCT Rugby Fields and FNB NWU hosts FNB CUT at the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds.

FNB Young Guns presented by Steinhoff International and Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby Championship presented by FNB will kick off the following week (5 February) while Varsity Shield will make its return on 19 February.

All fixtures can be viewed on the brand new Varsity Cup website, which launched on 14 November.

Varsity Cup will conclude on Monday, 16 April 2018.