Vodacom URC 2022/23 fixtures confirmed

The second Vodacom United Rugby Championship season kicks off in 50 days’ time with the league ready to build upon an enormously successful first campaign that saw the DHL Stormers claim the inaugural VURC title.

All 18 rounds are confirmed with broadcast selections and kick-off times to be confirmed next week. This is the first step in the journey to crown the champions of 2022/23 and now fans can identify the weekends where their team will take on rivals new and old from north and south.

The URC will kick off on 16 September 2022. And will see the regular season come to an end in Round 18 on 23 April 2023.

Each week, teams from five rugby powerhouse nations, cross the hemispheres to compete and fight for the right to be our champion. Every match features a clash of rugby styles, cultures, languages and identity. It’s the diversity of our competition that makes us different.

Looking ahead to the first seven rounds of the URC, before we head into the Autumn Nations Series, there is plenty to get excited about.

Round 1 will see the two Welsh teams that battled it out for the Welsh Shield last season, going to battle once again when Scarlets host Ospreys in Llanelli.

Inaugural VURC Champions DHL Stormers will make their first appearance since lifting the Trophy in Cape Town as they welcome Connacht in Round 2 where the smoke from the fireworks at the Grand Final has hardly settled.

Round 3 will see the top two Irish sides in Ulster and Leinster entertain the Irish fans, Ulster having won their last two games versus their provincial rivals, while SA Shield winners DHL Stormers welcome Scottish X Italian Shield winners Edinburgh Rugby.

Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Leinster and Zebre Parma will host all four teams from the South in Round 4, in what is sure to be a spectacular display of North v South rugby.

Round 5 will see the Vodacom Bulls travelling to Thomond Park for the first time, to take on Munster, two iconic teams playing at an iconic stadium.

Vodacom Bulls will be heading back to Treviso for the first time since they lost to Benetton in the Rainbow Cup Final, and a thrilling Irish Derby is expected when Leinster take on Munster in Round 6.

In Round 7, we bring you a clash of the Capitals as Cardiff Rugby take on Edinburgh Rugby, and an Irish derby not to be missed when Munster take on Ulster.

The URC format will see all 16 teams ranked across a single table which will reward the top eight teams with their places in the Final Eight (quarter-finals), followed by a Final Four (semi-finals) to set the stage for the Grand Final. Every game counts. Any team can win on any given weekend.

 

Martin Anayi, URC CEO, said: “The diversity of our league we so proudly celebrate, is also a reason for the immense complexity of putting together our Season 2 fixtures. This is a monumental task, and it takes many stakeholders many long hours dedicated to making this the best club rugby championship in the world. We have to consider a variety of factors across our 16 clubs and five territories, but we believe that our season schedule will give our fans the best rugby week in and week out. My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who has worked tirelessly to put together a blockbuster fixture list right from Round 1.”

“We have seen the success of our tournament format culminating in the grandest of Grand Finals last season and we look forward to going on this journey with our fans and with our stakeholders to another successful year of world-class rugby in action”.

 

The United Rugby Championship – Changing The Game

R1 – Friday, September 16 / Saturday, September 17 / Sunday, September 18

Edinburgh Rugby v Dragons RFC

Ulster v Connacht

Benetton v Glasgow Warriors

Zebre Parma v Leinster

Scarlets v Ospreys

Cardiff Rugby v Munster

Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers **Feb 3/4

Emirates Lions v Vodacom Bulls **Feb 3/4

 

R2 – Friday, September 23 / Saturday, September 24 / Sunday, September 25

Zebre Parma v Cell C Sharks

Glasgow Warriors v Cardiff Rugby

Leinster v Benetton

DHL Stormers v Connacht

Vodacom Bulls v Edinburgh Rugby

Scarlets v Ulster

Ospreys v Emirates Lions

Dragons RFC v Munster

 

R3 – Friday, September 30 / Saturday, October 1 / Sunday, October 2

Cardiff Rugby v Emirates Lions

Ulster v Leinster

Benetton v Scarlets

DHL Stormers v Edinburgh Rugby

Vodacom Bulls v Connacht

Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors

Munster v Zebre Parma

Dragons RFC v Cell C Sharks

 

R4 – Friday, October 7 / Saturday, October 8 / Sunday, October 9

Edinburgh Rugby v Emirates Lions

Zebre Parma v DHL Stormers

Glasgow Warriors v Vodacom Bulls

Connacht v Munster

Benetton v Dragons RFC

Scarlets v Cardiff Rugby

Leinster v Cell C Sharks

Ulster v Ospreys

 

R5 – Friday, October 14 / Saturday, October 15 / Sunday, October 16

Edinburgh Rugby v Benetton

Ospreys v DHL Stormers

Emirates Lions v Ulster

Cell C Sharks v Glasgow Warriors

Munster v Vodacom Bulls

Scarlets v Zebre Parma

Cardiff Rugby v Dragons RFC

Connacht v Leinster

 

R6 – Friday, October 21 / Saturday, October 22 / Sunday, October 23

Connacht v Scarlets

Benetton v Vodacom Bulls

Zebre Parma v Edinburgh Rugby

Emirates Lions v Glasgow Warriors

Cell C Sharks v Ulster

Dragons RFC v Ospreys

Cardiff Rugby v DHL Stormers

Leinster v Munster

 

R7 – Friday, October 28 / Saturday, October 29 / Sunday, October 30

Scarlets v Leinster

Glasgow Warriors v Benetton

Cardiff Rugby v Edinburgh Rugby

Dragons RFC v Zebre Parma

Munster v Ulster

Ospreys v Connacht

Vodacom Bulls v Cell C Sharks **Feb 10/11

Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers **Feb 10/11

 

R8 – Friday, November 25 / Saturday, November 26 / Sunday, November 27

Benetton v Edinburgh Rugby

Emirates Lions v Dragons RFC

Vodacom Bulls v Ospreys

Cell C Sharks v Cardiff Rugby

Munster v Connacht

DHL Stormers v Scarlets

Leinster v Glasgow Warriors

Ulster v Zebre Parma

 

R9 – Friday, December 2 / Saturday, December 3 / Sunday, December 4

Edinburgh Rugby v Munster

Zebre Parma v Glasgow Warriors

Cell C Sharks v Ospreys

DHL Stormers v Dragons RFC

Emirates Lions v Scarlets

Vodacom Bulls v Cardiff Rugby

Connacht v Benetton

Leinster v Ulster

 

R10 – Friday, December 23 / Saturday, December 24 / Monday, December 26

Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Rugby

Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions

DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls

Benetton v Zebre Parma

Dragons RFC v Cardiff Rugby

Connacht v Ulster

Munster v Leinster

Ospreys v Scarlets

 

R11 – Friday, December 30 / Saturday, December 31 / Sunday, January 1

Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors

Cell C Sharks v Vodacom Bulls

DHL Stormers v Emirates Lions

Zebre Parma v Benetton

Scarlets v Dragons RFC

Leinster v Connacht

Ulster v Munster

Cardiff Rugby v Ospreys

 

R12 – Friday, January 6 / Saturday, January 7 / Sunday, January 8

Dragons RFC v Vodacom Bulls

Glasgow Warriors v DHL Stormers

Benetton v Ulster

Connacht v Cell C Sharks

Cardiff Rugby v Scarlets

Munster v Emirates Lions

Ospreys v Leinster

Edinburgh Rugby v Zebre Parma

 

R13 – Friday, January 27 / Saturday, January 28 / Sunday, January 29

Ulster v DHL Stormers

Zebre Parma v Ospreys

Benetton v Munster

Dragons RFC v Glasgow Warriors

Connacht v Emirates Lions

Scarlets v Vodacom Bulls

Edinburgh Rugby v Cell C Sharks

Leinster v Cardiff Rugby

 

R14 – Friday, February 17 / Saturday, February 18 / Sunday, February 19

Glasgow Warriors v Ulster

Munster v Ospreys

Zebre Parma v Connacht

Scarlets v Edinburgh Rugby

Leinster v Dragons RFC

Cardiff Rugby v Benetton

Vodacom Bulls v DHL Stormers

Emirates Lions v Cell C Sharks

 

R15 – Friday, March 3 / Saturday, March 4 / Sunday, March 5

Munster v Scarlets

Glasgow Warriors v Zebre Parma

Cardiff Rugby v Ulster

Dragons RFC v Connacht

Edinburgh Rugby v Leinster

Ospreys v Benetton

Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions

DHL Stormers v Cell C Sharks

 

R16 – Friday, March 24 / Saturday, March 25 / Sunday, March 26

Benetton v Emirates Lions

Ulster v Vodacom Bulls

Scarlets v Cell C Sharks

Zebre Parma v Cardiff Rugby

Leinster v DHL Stormers

Ospreys v Dragons RFC

Connacht v Edinburgh Rugby

Munster v Glasgow Warriors

 

R17 – Friday, April 14 / Saturday, April 15 / Sunday, April 16

Cell C Sharks v Benetton

Connacht v Cardiff Rugby

Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets

Vodacom Bulls v Zebre Parma

Emirates Lions v Leinster

Edinburgh Rugby v Ospreys

DHL Stormers v Munster

Ulster v Dragons RFC

 

R18 – Friday, April 21 / Saturday, April 22 / Sunday, April 23

DHL Stormers v Benetton

Glasgow Warriors v Connacht

Emirates Lions v Zebre Parma

Vodacom Bulls v Leinster

Ospreys v Cardiff Rugby

Dragons RFC v Scarlets

Cell C Sharks v Munster

Ulster v Edinburgh Rugby

Die week op Landbouweekliks | Onvermoë in Suid-Afrika skep geleenthede

Die Zimeyer-boerdery naby Lindley in die Vrystaat is ’n vennootskap tussen Pieter Meyer en sy pa, Thys. Hulle boer met vee, gesaaides en bloubessies, en daar is ’n toetsstasie waar hul en ander boere se diere se prestasie gemeet word. Pieter en sy gesin het hulle in 2016 op Lovedale gevestig. Hy en sy vrou, Darelize, het ’n “span kinders”, skerts Pieter – vier van hul eie en ’n vyfde in hul pleegsorg. Hy is optimisties oor die toekoms. Die onvermoë in Suid-Afrika skep geleenthede – en jy moet dié kombinasie met grasie hanteer, sê Pieter.

Kyk Landbouweekliks Dinsdag om 17:30 op Via TV.

Die week op Landbouweekliks | Dié praktyk ’n manier van leef

Hannes Botha is die derde geslag op Fairview, naby Carolina. Hy boer saam met, maar afsonderlik van sy pa en broer. Hulle ruil toerusting en arbeid uit om koste te beperk. Die gemengde boerdery bestaan uit mielies, sojabone, saadproduksie, asook beeste en skape. Finansiële oorweging was die dryfveer wat Hannes aangespoor het om van konvensionele na herlewingslandboupraktyke oor te skakel. Hy het met die veekomponent begin en hoëdrukbeweiding toegepas. Hy sê hulle kon vinnig die voordeel sien. Deesdae is dit vir hom ’n manier van leef; ’n aansporing om dinge anders te doen.

Kyk Landbouweekliks Dinsdag om 17:30 op Via TV.

Johan Goosen remains a Vodacom Bulls until 2026

Experienced Springbok flyhalf, Johan Goosen, will remain a Vodacom Bull for another four years. The 29-year-old talented pivot has penned down a contract extension with the Tshwane-based side which will see him remain at Loftus Versfeld until 2026.

The former Toyota Cheetahs, Racing 92 and Montpellier No10 joined the Vodacom Bulls in 2021, making an immediate impact in the side, culminating in a recall to the Springboks camp.

“We are very pleased to confirm that Johan Goosen will remain with the Vodacom Bulls until 2026. He is a very important part of our plans going forward, so to have him commit to the side for the next four years is significant for us,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“Not only is Johan critical for the Vodacom Bulls, but for South African rugby in general. There is plenty that he offers on and off the field where he provides leadership and is a great mentor for the youngsters around him. We have no doubt that he will continue to make a huge impact at the Vodacom Bulls over the coming years.”

Goosen’s contract extension comes on the back of renewals for Morne Steyn (2023), Cornal Hendricks (2024), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (2024), Ruan Nortje (2025), Keagan Johannes (2026), Mornay Smith (2026) and Elrigh Louw (2027).

Mornay Smith extends Vodacom Bulls stay

Vodacom Bulls prop, Mornay Smith, is the latest player to prolong his commitment to the Tshwane-based side with a three-year contract extension. The 24-year-old tighthead prop, who made his senior Vodacom Bulls senior team debut in 2018, has signed on the dotted line to remain at Loftus Versfeld until 2026.

Smith, who is a former Eldoraigne High School pupil, played Craven Week rugby for the Blue Bulls in 2016 and was selected for the SA Schools ‘A’ side the same year.

“Mornay Smith is an important part of the future plans of the Vodacom Bulls and has proven to be an invaluable member over the past few years,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“We are really pleased that he has committed to the team until 2026. He remains one of the young tighthead props with a very bright future in South Africa.”

Other players who have extended their contracts with the Vodacom Bulls include Morne Steyn (2023), Cornal Hendricks (2024), Jan-Hendrik Wessels (2024), Ruan Nortje (2025), Keagan Johannes (2026) and Elrigh Louw (2027).

Die week op Landbouweekliks | Stoetteler spog met puik kudde

Daan Viljoen van die JG Viljoen en Seuns-boerdery naby Clarens in die Oos-Vrystaat spog met die Gelibar Bonsmara-kudde wat aangewys is as Vleissentraal en SA Stamboek se nasionale Elitekudde (vleisbeeste) van die Jaar. Daan, sy broer, Dirk, en hul seuns, JG en Jean, boer met verskeie vertakkings en dit sluit koring, mielies, aartappels, sojabone en suikerbone in. Die kommersiële kudde bestaan uit sowat 1 500 koeie, terwyl die stoetery uit nagenoeg 800 diere bestaan. Die plaas is naby die Lesotho-grens en veediefstal is ’n groot probleem. Maar dit kry hulle nie onder nie.

Kyk Landbouweekliks, Dinsdag om 17:30 op @viatv

Keagan Johannes commits to Vodacom Bulls until 2026

Vodacom Bulls scrumhalf, Keagan Johannes, has committed to extend his stay at Loftus Versfeld by re-signing until 2026. The 22-year-old halfback has had a good start to his career at the Vodacom Bulls since making his senior debut in 2021 and remains a key figure for the Tshwane-based side for the upcoming years.

“We are excited to have extended Keagan Johannes’ contract at the Vodacom Bulls for another four years,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“Keagan is certainly a big part of our plans going forward. At his young age, he has proven himself as a quality player with so much more to give in years to come. We are looking forward to seeing him contribute further and grow into the exceptional player we know he will become.”

Johannes’ contract extension comes on the back of renewals by veteran flyhalf, Morne Steyn, who has extended his stay until June 2023 as well as Springbok loose-forward Elrigh Louw, who has committed to the Vodacom Bulls until 2027.

Vodacom Bulls add Wandisile Simelane to squad

Utility backline player, Wandisile Simelane, is officially a Vodacom Bull, the Tshwane-based side confirmed. The 24-year-old former SA under-18 and Junior Springbok has penned down a two-year deal that will see him remain at Loftus Versfeld until 2024.

The versatile Simelane, who is equally deft at centre, fullback and on the wing, will add depth and flavour to the Vodacom Bulls squad which director of rugby, Jake White, continues to bolster.

Simelane played all of his youth rugby between 2011 and 2019 for the Golden Lions Rugby Union before carving a thrilling senior career for the Emirates Lions in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, Vodacom Super Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup and Carling Currie Cup between 2018 and this year.

The gifted former Jeppe High School and twice SA under-20 star is widely regarded as one of the most exciting talents in South African rugby.

“It has been widely reported that there has been widespread interest for the services of Wandile Simelane from across the globe. That speaks to the talent and value that he has as a player. We are very happy to have added him to our squad at the Vodacom Bulls,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“Wandi’s talent and what he brings to any team needs no explanation – his efforts on the field speak for themselves. We are certain that he will add a different dynamic to our backline and will fit in perfectly to how we want to play. We look forward to seeing what he will do in the blue jersey in the upcoming season and next few years at Loftus. It is also an added bonus that his versatility can see him slot in at fullback, wing and centre.”

Simelane’s signing comes on the back of the confirmation of the arrival of loose-forwards Mihlali Mosi and Phumzile Maqondwana, as well as earlier recruitments Sbu Nkosi, Ruan Vermaak and Dylan Smith.

Vodacom Bulls secure services of loosie Mosi

Talented loose-forward, Mihlali Mosi, is the Vodacom Bulls’ latest recruit, bolstering the Tshwane side’s forwards pack ahead of the 2022/23 season. Identified as one of South Africa’s most exciting talents, the 26-year-old Mosi elevated his status as an explosive ball-carrier, physical and a superior rugby brain through his performances for the Toyota Cheetahs, where he joins the Vodacom Bulls from.

Mosi has over the years shown his versatility and adeptness both at flank and at No8 since first catching the eye of rugby lovers at Walter Sisulu University in the Varsity Cup before switching allegiance to Nelson Mandela University Madibaz.

Between 2018 and 2019, Mosi also featured for the Border Bulldogs.

The fiery Uitenhage-born loosie was then lured to Bloemfontein in 2021 and was a standout feature in the side’s impressive run in the Carling Currie Cup which saw the side reach the semi-final of the domestic competition.

Following the departure of Arno Botha, Mosi is expected to reinforce the Vodacom Bulls loose trio department. He has signed with the side for the next three years.

“We have been keeping a close eye on Mihlali Mosi and monitoring his steady and remarkable progress. We are really pleased to have managed to recruit him to the Vodacom Bulls with a three-year contract,” said Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“Mihlali will be great value with his skill to a talented group of loose-forwards in our arsenal currently. We are very excited to see what he will bring in the new season and over the next three years.”

Mosi’s inclusion comes on the back of the arrival announcement of flanker Phumzile Maqondwana, winger Sbu Nkosi, lock Ruan Vermaak and prop Dylan Smith.

The Vodacom Bulls have also said their goodbyes to Arno Botha and Madosh Tambwe, who were instrumental figures in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaign last season, as well as Richard Kriel, Raynard Roets, Ruan Delport and Willie Potgieter, who were part of the Carling Currie Cup squad.

Vodacom Bulls sign flanker Maqondwana

The Vodacom Bulls are pleased to announce the signing of talented loose-forward, Phumzile Maqondwana. The 25-year-old makes the move to Loftus Versfeld after being a core member of the recently crowned Carling Currie Cup champions, Airlink Pumas, where he has made meaningful contributions since 2019.

The former Selborne College pupil has signed for the Vodacom Bulls for the next two years, where he is expected to have an influence in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, the Heineken Champions Cup and the Carling Currie Cup for the men in blue.

Maqondwana first made his mark when he appeared for the University of Free State’s Shimlas in the 2017 Varsity Cup and was eventually named in the “Dream Team” of that year’s competition.

In 2018 he was signed by the Sigma Lions before heading to Mbombela to feature for the Airlink Pumas in 2019.

Not only was he a standout performer for the Mpumalanga side, but his leadership qualities also stood out as he captained the side on a number of occasions.

“We are very happy to have signed Phumzile for the next two years at the Vodacom Bulls,” confirmed Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“He is definitely one of the most exciting players in the country at the moment. We have no doubt that he will add to the depth of our squad and make a great contribution, both as a player and a leader in the upcoming season and beyond.”

Maqondwana joins Sbu Nkosi, Ruan Vermaak and  Dylan Smith among the Vodacom Bulls’ most recent recruits.