Fall Rugby 2013 Preview: ITM Cup, Currie Cup & Australia Premier Grade

The Currie Cup
Please Share.

Currie Cup


NEW YORK, NY: Today we start the RWU Fall Rugby Preview for 2013. We have to deal with the hectic international calendar. With the invention of Super Rugby,it may appear the southern hemisphere domestic competitions have lost a great bit of shine but to the residents of these great countries they are still very important. Let’s take a look at the Southern Hemisphere Fall Rugby Preview: The ITM Cup, Currie Cup and Australia.

CLICK to make bigger. (That’s what he said).

Country: New Zealand
League: ITM Cup (Formerly the National Provincial Championship)
Defending Champions: Canterbury and Counties Manukau
Season Length: August 15, 2013 – October 26, 2013
Two conferences with two separate championships. With my one good eye and Auckland bias, I see Auckland winning the Premiership division and Northland winning the Championship. Auckland will be aided by the late arrival of  rugby league legend and latest crossover Benji Marshall to the squad (reports say, he won’t play but, if I was a betting man…). In the Championship, I see the Rene Ranger led Northland easily cruising to victory to give their captain a great send-off. Waikato currently hold the Ranfurly Shield. We doubt they will hold it at the season. Here is the overall break out of teams and division for those that are unaware:

Overview of teams
Team Head Coach Captain Stadia 2013 Placing 2013 Division
Auckland colours, Air NZ Cup.png Auckland New Zealand Wayne Pivac New Zealand Hadleigh Parkes Eden Park Premiership
Bopcolours.png Bay of Plenty New Zealand Kevin Schuler New Zealand Tanerau Latimer Baypark and Rotorua Int’l Stadiums Premiership
CanterburyColours.png Canterbury New Zealand Scott Robertson New Zealand George Whitelock AMI Stadium Premiership
CountiesAirNZ.png Counties Manukau New Zealand Tana Umaga ECO Light Stadium Premiership
Hawkes Bay Air NZ Cup colours.png Hawke’s Bay New Zealand Craig Philpott New Zealand Mike Coman McLean Park Championship
Turbos.png Manawatu New Zealand Jason O’Halloran New Zealand Nick Crosswell FMG Stadium Championship
Harbour.png North Harbour New Zealand Liam Barry North Harbour Stadium Championship
NLTaniwha.png Northland New Zealand Derren Witcombe New Zealand Rene Ranger Toll Stadium Championship
Otagorugby.png Otago New Zealand Tony Brown New Zealand Paul Grant Forsyth Barr Stadium Championship
Southland.png Southland New Zealand David Henderson New Zealand Jamie Mackintosh Rugby Park Stadium Championship
Naki.png Taranaki New Zealand Colin Cooper New Zealand Kane Barrett Yarrow Stadium Premiership
Makos.png Tasman New Zealand Kieran Keane New Zealand Shane Christie Lansdowne and Trafalgar Parks Championship
Mooloo.png Waikato New Zealand John Walters New Zealand Matt Vant Leven Waikato Stadium Premiership
Wellington Lions colours.png Wellington New Zealand Chris Boyd Westpac Stadium Premiership

Country: South Africa
League: Currie Cup
Defending Champions: Lions (Golden Lions RFU)
Season Length: August 9, 2013 – October 12, 2013
Thoughts: South Africa’s National Provincial Championship will kickoff this weekend–to be exact, the premier division. To be clear, the Currie Cup has 6 teams are in the premier division, 8 are in the 1st Division. The Cup’s division breakout has been through several changes over the years, with the current manifestation being only 4 years old. During the years when South Africa was barred from international sports, the Cup took on extra significance.

As per Wikipedia, currently, South Africa is divided into 14 unions. Of those unions only four draw players from an entire province: Here are the unions in the premier division and where they draw from:

GriquasNorthern Cape (home matches in Kimberley)
Natal SharksKwaZulu-Natal (home matches in Durban)
Free State Cheetahs – central and western (home matches in Bloemfontein)
Western ProvinceCape Town metropolitan area
Golden LionsJohannesburg and municipalities to its west (home matches in Johannesburg)
Blue BullsPretoria, the two Gauteng municipalities to its east, and Limpopo Province (home matches in Pretoria)

With all of that said, it is expected that this year will be another close one. Most people expect the Lions to end up at the bottom of the table but I got a feeling it will be one of the Super Rugby 5. It will likely be down to Western Province or the Golden Lions–again, if I was a betting man.

Country: Australia
Australia doesn’t have a nationwide premier rugby tournament. Each Province has its own premier level tournament.
and Southern NSW Rugby Union – Premier Division Northern Territory Rugby – A Grade NSW Rugby – Premier QLD Rugby – Premier Rugby WA – Premier South Australian Rugby – Premier Tasmanian Rugby – Victorian Rugby – Premier
The ARU Website only informs of the schedule and results, so it is impossible to predict who will win.

That is it for now, feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp, @JunoirBlaber, @Declan Yeats, @ckuxmann and @Ebstide52, respectively. And until the next time… stay low and keep pumping those legs.

About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.