The organisers of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International have introduced three new playing regulations - all of which will help tighten up this exciting student rugby tournament ahead of its fifth edition.
The new regulations - agreed upon at the Annual General Meeting between the various Varsity Cup and Shield members (all 13 of them) - will all play a crucial role in ensuring that the 2012 tournaments, along with the new Under-20 competition, will be as competitive - and fair - as ever.
The following was agreed upon ahead of the 2012 Varsity Cup and Shield tournaments:
1. Any player that moves from one member university to another member university without an exceptional academic reason will not be allowed to play Varsity Cup or Shield rugby for one season. Post-graduates doing a post-graduate degree at another university will be exempted from this rule. (A sub-committee that will look at applications for exemption from this rule will hear appeals twice a year.)
2. If a player did not pass 30% of his subjects (in this current academic year), he will not be allowed to play Varsity Cup or Shield rugby as a bona fide student next year (2012).
3. If a player has played a minimum of four Super Rugby matches, or an International Test match for South Africa at senior level, he will not be allowed to play Varsity Cup/Shield rugby again.
The intention with these rules - as well as bringing in an all-new students only Under-20 competition, which will be known as 'Varsity Young Guns' - is to have all 13 universities fundamentally strong from the core up and, therefore, preventing teams from simply 'buying in' at the top.
"We need students that are mentors on the field and off the field in the classrooms to play in our competition," explained Duitser Bosman, the Managing Director of the Varsity Cup.
"There is a life after rugby," he added. "We don't want our players to be part of the lost generation of players that thought they could make a life out of rugby only to end up with nothing to fall back on."
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