South Africa finally sees a return of competitive domestic rugby, as the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament kicks off this weekend with three fixtures across the country.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed put paid to the original 2020 Super Rugby competition, with New Zealand and Australia cobbling together domestic events to fill the void.
And now South Africa can follow suit, with seven sides competing between this weekend and 21 November.
The action kicks off on Friday night at Kings Park as the Sharks take on the Lions in Durban (kick off 19.00 SAST).
Another pair of fixtures follow on Saturday, with the Pumas heading to Bloemfontein to play the Cheetahs (kick off 16.30).
It’s an opportunity for the Free State side to make their mark as their participation in the European PRO14 competition hangs in the balance amid the global rugby shake-up.
Attention then turns to Loftus Versfeld as the Bulls tackle the Griquas at 19.00 to complete the first round of fixtures.
Fans of the Stormers will have to wait another week to see their team in action, with the Cape Town side taking a bye for the first week of the competition, which was left lopsided by the latest demise of the Southern Kings.
Super Rugby Unlocked: Fixtures this weekend
Times are SAST.
- Sharks vs Lions – Friday, 9 October, 19:00
- Cheetahs vs Pumas – Saturday, 10 October, 16:30
- Bulls vs Griquas – Saturday, 10 October, 19:00