Rhodes University are hosting the annual University Sports South Africa (USSA) Rugby Week festival, which is starting on 30 June and ending on 4 July.
This festival has attracted the top university rugby sides in the country such as Maties, NWU-Pukke, NMMU, UP-Tuks, UJ, UCT and more Varsity Cup and Shield teams. In total 32 tertiary education institutions have sent teams to compete.
The teams have been divided into four pools, each consisting of eight teams.
All teams will play against each other in their respective pools in a round-robin fashion. They have all been placed into their pools based on their results during the 2013 USSA Rugby Week. Pool A consists of the eight Varsity Cup sides while Pool B is made up of Varsity Shield sides and the hosts, Rhodes University.
Pools A and B are using this festival as a pre-season event prior to their preparations for the Varsity Cup and Shield tournaments.
The teams in Pools C and D have the chance to qualify for Pools B and C respectively. The winner of Pool C will face Varsity Shield wooden spoonists TUT in a promotion/relegation match in Pretoria on July 19, with the winner going on to play Varsity Shield rugby next season.
The festival will be a fantastic spectacle for rugby fans in Grahamstown, as the top university sides will bring some serious talent with them and will be gunning for pre-season bragging rights.
By Brandon Yates