Valke Peregrine League 2017 and 2018 runners-up East Rand United held their campaign launch in anticipation for their participation in the 2019 SARU Gold Cup.
The Reiger Park outfit, who’ve been included as one of the wildcards via numerous criteria for the competition, held its function at the head offices of their main sponsor, Phakisa Holdings (Pty) Ltd in Elspark, Germiston on October 26.
United will know their immediate competition in their quest to win the premier rugby union club competition in the country as soon as the draw is completed by SARU.
The draw date is yet to be communicated.
Spirits are high in the United camp, with the club’s participation in the competition, which is formerly known as the SARU Community Cup, set to attract sponsors and possible upgrades through various platforms across the club.
Valke president Jan Wiegand was also in attendance.
- Gold Cup participants
Each season, 20 teams qualify for the Gold Cup from the club leagues of the 14 provincial unions in South Africa.
In addition, the Blue Bulls Limpopo sub-union also entered a team every year and from 2016. The champions of the Namibian and Zimbabwean club competitions would also enter.
The defending champions of the Gold Cup would automatically qualify to the next edition.
Each of the provincial unions would nominate a team which would automatically qualify for the competition – it is dependent on the rules of the individual league whether this will be the team that finishes top of the log during the round-robin stage of the competition or the title play-off winner.
All university teams, however, are ineligible and are excluded from participation.
In addition to the automatic qualifiers, the remainder of the participating teams would consist of wildcard entries. For 2013 and 2014, teams were nominated to enter a wildcard draw, but from 2015 a play-off competition was introduced, where the second-best eligible teams from the provincial unions could play off for the remaining spots.
The format of the Gold Cup is the same as the Rugby World Cup. The teams are divided into four pools, each containing five teams. They then play four pool games, playing every other team in their respective pools once. Each team plays two home games and two away games.