It will be D-Day later this week for those clubs nominated as wild cards for the 2014 Cell C Community Cup when SARU meets to recommend the five teams to join the 15 automatic qualifiers in the second edition of the organisation's flagship tournament for non-university clubs.
The 13 clubs nominated as wild card candidates by their respective provincial unions, and from which the final five qualifiers will come, are (in alphabetical order): Boksburg (Valke), SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (KZN), East London Police (Border), Kimberley (Griquas), Middelburg (Mpumalanga), Mossel Bay Barbarians (SWD), Oostelikes Eagles (Blue Bulls), Glasfit Pirates (Golden Lions), Spring Rose (EP), Tygerberg (WP), Vaal Reefs (Leopards), Welkom (Griffons) and Wesbank (Boland).
The wild cards will join those clubs that have already qualified automatically as their provinces' top open clubs in a 20-team field, with the first round kicking off on Saturday 8 March 2014 with a televised opening match in the Eastern Cape town of Despatch, and featuring defending champions GAP Despatch.
The Pool stages will take place over five consecutive Saturdays from 8 March to 5 April, with the top two teams from each Pool advancing to the Easter Championships play-offs, to be hosted once again at Outeniqua Park, George, from Thursday 17 to Monday 21 April 2014.
The winners of the Cup final on Easter Monday will lift the iconic and historic Gold Cup trophy – the second-most valuable cup in the SARU collection and on permanent display at the newly-opened Springbok Experience museum at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The 15 confirmed qualifiers are: Welkom Rovers (Griffons), Hamiltons (WP), GAP Despatch (EP), Shumba Ferros (Mpumalanga), Jonsson College Rovers (KZN), Brakpan (Falcons), Roodepoort (Golden Lions), Sishen (Griquas), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State), Centurion (Blue Bulls), BB Truck Noordelikes (Blue Bulls Limpopo), Broubart Old Selbornian (Border), Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), Roses United (Boland) and Bridgton (SWD). There are four newcomers – Ferros, Bridgton, Hamiltons and Centurion.
The updated 2014 Cell C Community Cup draw:
Pool A – GAP Despatch (EP), Bridgton (SWD), Broubart Old Selbornian (Border), Wild Card 1, Wild Card 2.
Pool B – Jonsson College Rovers (KZN), Roodepoort (Golden Lions), Welkom Rovers (Griffons), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State), Wild Card 3.
Pool C – Brakpan (Valke), Centurion (Blue Bulls), Roses United (Boland), BB Truck Noordelikes (Limpopo), Wild Card 4.
Pool D – Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), Hamiltons (WP), Sishen (Griquas), Shumba Ferros (Mpumalanga), Wild Card 5.