FNB Varsity Shield
FNB UFH Blues will start the defence of their FNB Varsity Shield title against FNB WSU All Blacks at the Davidson Stadium in Alice in the Eastern Cape on 16 February when the 2023 tournament kicks off. SuperSport will broadcast the game live at 7pm and UFH coach Lumumba Currie says his charges are looking forward to the challenge.
“We are very excited about it. The Davidson Stadium is always packed with our supporters who were very instrumental during our campaign last year.”
2022 results: Played: 8 ,Win: 8, Lost: 0
Log position: 1 / Beat FNB CPUT in final (28-27)
The Blues came “out of nowhere” to beat FNB CPUT 28-27 in the dying minutes of last year’s pulsating final to be crowned as champions. In their previous appearances in Varsity Shield rugby in 2018, 2019 and 2021 they finished 5th on the log.
They were in 4th position in 2020 when the season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite having the silverware in the cupboard, Currie says there have been a few obstacles to overcome in the preparations for this year’s competition.
“Our preparations have been ok with some challenges that we have encountered at the beginning of our camp but we’re soldiering on. It’s going to be a tough season now that we are defending champs. Everyone is gonna come hard at us, so the pressure is on but we’ll stay in the fight.”
Currie expressed his delight with the personal growth of some of the UFH players who have moved on to bigger and better things.
“We have lost 7 players from last season because of age but they’ve graduated to professional rugby now and they continue to put the institution on the map. It’s a very young squad that we have but they are very competitive.
“We still have the captain Kamvelihle Fatyela and Ayabulela Xhosana, Walter Moyo, Lukhanyiso Ntosholwana, Ryan Maree, Merlin du Plessis, Apiwe Sidloyi are just some of the players to watch.”
FNB UFH kick-off their campaign on 16 Feb in a rematch of the final where they take on FNB WSU at home in Alice.