Since launching in 2008, the FNB Varsity Cup has always been at the forefront; whether it be in 'sportainment', rules or innovation. Here, in short, is how the tournament has led the way:
FNB Varsity Cup launched with the tournament taking place over just six weeks, including a bumper weekend of matches in George. Koshuis Rugby also started this year.
*The White Card rule was adopted.
The competition expanded 2009 to a weekly format and the Miss Varsity Cup competition was added.
FNB Maties remained undefeated, going on to win the third title in succession.
*Pink Shorts were introduced
FNB Varsity Shield was founded. Meanwhile, FNB UCT won the FNB Varsity Cup with Demetri Catrakilis setting the competition record for most points in a season (136).
FNB Wits won the FNB Varsity Shield to earn the first promotion (to the FNB Varsity Cup) in the tournament’s history.
*A new point scoring system was trialled
FNB UP-Tuks won the final as future Springbok Handré Pollard kicked five conversions and one penalty with a 100% success rate. Oupa Mohojé, another future international, of FNB Shimlas was voted the FNB Player That Rocks for the season.
FNB UCT famously came back from 33-15 down with five minutes to play, to win the final 39-33. This year was also the year of the first ever penalty shootout aired on live TV, as FNB UFS Young Guns beat FNB UP-Tuks Young Guns in the FNB Young Guns final.
FNB Shimlas won their first FNB Varsity Cup title, remaining undefeated for the entire season under coach Franco Smith.
*The Dream Team was added
The Nine-Point Try was introduced, with players able to score seven or nine points for a try, rather than five, for play beginning further out than the opposition’s 22.
In the 10th year of the FNB Varsity Cup, three new universities joined (FNB WSU, FNB Rhodes and FNB CPUT) as FNB Varsity Shield increased to seven teams and FNB Wits were added as a ninth team in FNB Varsity Cup.
*New Red Card rule was introduced
Former Springbok, Chester Williams leads FNB UWC to promotion from the FNB Varsity Shield.
FNB Maties have another perfect season, to extend their title record to five.
Will Springbok number 50 be capped this year?
*North vs South match will be introduced