Elephants start campaign against Eagles
EP’s Elephants will begin their SuperSport Rugby Challenge campaign with an away match against the SWD Eagles on April 26.
In the second round the Elephants will return to Port Elizabeth for a match against the Boland Cavaliers which is expected to be played on the Wolfson Stadium on May 3.
The Rugby Challenge will deliver a combination of school, club and provincial rugby action at their festivals in 2020, with two new venues also added to the already impressive variety of communities across SA.
The highlight of EP’s Rugby Challenge campaign in 2019 was a superb win over a strong Sharks team at the Wolfson Stadium.
After experiencing their worst season in history in 2018, the Elephants charged to a stunning 27-7 win over the Sharks at the Wolfson Stadium.
The tournament kicks off on the weekend of April 25, with the first Rugby Festival scheduled for Sunday April 26, when SWD Eagles host the EP Elephants.
The venue for this match, and the other festivals, will be confirmed in due course.
These two teams will play in the South Section alongside Western Province, Boland Cavaliers, Toyota Free State XV, Sharks XV, Border and Zimbabwe Academy, who will again play out of their Cape Town base at False Bay Rugby Club in Constantia.
The Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek will host three of the Welwitschias’ home matches when the Namibians will again play alongside defending champions Griquas, Pumas, Blue Bulls, Griffons, Golden Lions XV, Leopards and Falcons in the North Section.
The Falcons will host the first festival in the North Section on May 3 when they face the defending champions on the East Rand.
The remaining five Rugby Festivals will be played on consecutive Sundays until the semifinals (June 13 and 14), with the final scheduled for the last weekend in June.
All the festivals will be televised by SuperSport, and will include a school and club match with the SuperSport Rugby Challenge encounter.
The first weekend of action in the North Section will see the Pumas take on the Falcons, Griquas hosting the Griffons, while the Golden Lions XV will face Leopards and the Blue Bulls XV will travel to Windhoek to play the Welwitschias.
In the South Section, the Free State XV will host Boland Cavaliers, the Sharks XV host Zimbabwe Academy and Western Province will take on Border before the South Eastern Cape derby.
It is believed that Chumani Booi will be back to the coach the Elephants in 2020, and he will be hoping for continuity in his playing squad which were well led by captain Lubabalo “Giant” Myanda.
The try-scoring exploits of express pace wing Athi Mahinje, who scored eight tries in the Currie Cup, played a big part EP’s success.
Round 1 (April 24-26)
SWD vs EP Elephants
Round 2 (May 1-3)
EP Elephants v Boland Cavaliers
Round 3 (May 8-10)
Free State XV vs Eastern Province
Round 4 (May 15-17)
EP Elephants v Border
Round 5 (May 22-24)
EP Elephants v DHL Western Province
Round 6 (May 29-31)
Sharks XV v EP Elephants
Round 7 (June 5-7)
EP Elephants v Zimbabwe Academy