Supporters will be able to #ReachForGold by voting for their Champion Team as they line up against Italia Emergenti (Italy A) on Saturday, 2 July 2022 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 19h00.

Last year, Carling Black Label took innovation to the next level with the introduction of this new rugby concept – the Carling Champions Match – which allowed fans to vote for their composite team, comprising of players from all seven Carling Currie Cup Premier Division teams, to play in a special exhibition match.

Carling Black Label, Africa’s biggest and most awarded beer brand, has once again partnered with SA Rugby to give fans the opportunity to select their own starting 15. The spectacle will see fans from all provincial teams backing their heroes as they take centre stage against an international opposition, this year, hailing from Europe.

“We believe in doing more than just being a sponsor, we are here for the fans and what better way to entertain our fans than by giving them the power to choose their Champion Team?” said Carling Black Label Brand Director, Arné Rust.

“Now, literally, the power of selection is in the hands of our fans which is quite exciting. To do that you must buy a Carling Black Label, dial the number and have your voice heard. It’s as easy as that.

“At some point, we’ve all been to a braai or a dinner or just having a beer with friends when the question comes up ‘so if you could choose any players from any team to make an all-star champion team, who would you pick?’

“Well, now everyone will have the opportunity of answering that question and giving the next generation of players to wear the Green and Gold a chance to prove themselves wearing the Black and Gold.

“We are proud to enable local rugby supporters and fans of Carling Black Label to choose their Carling Champion Team, allowing them to basically make their ‘fantasy team’ dreams come true.”

Keagan Johannes in action during last year's Carling Champions Match in Pretoria.

Keagan Johannes in action during last year's Carling Champions Match in Pretoria.

Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, was excited for the 2022 edition of this event: “It is a tremendous honour to be selected for the team because it’s done by the fans, which makes it something very unique.

“This match is another good innovation as we step our efforts to increase fan engagement and offer something fresh for our valued rugby supporters and our loyal corporate partners.

“Also, you only had to see the excitement on the faces of the Kenya players last year at Loftus to realise that the match was real highlight for them. I am sure that the members of the Italy A side will have an equally special experience when they play at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium,” added Mr Alexander.

Supporters of the Vodacom Bulls, Cell C Sharks, Sigma Lions, DHL Western Province, Toyota Cheetahs, Windhoek Draught Griquas and the Airlink Pumas can vote for the players they would like to see play for the Carling Champion Team.

In this year’s edition of the special match, fans are further empowered by not only voting for their favourite starting 15, but will also get the chance to vote for their favourite coach who will lead the Carling Champion Team on match day.

Supporters can select their Champion Team by voting through USSD, on Facebook Messenger or via the Carling Currie Cup website.

To vote, fans simply need to purchase a promotional Carling Black Label 500ml can or 750ml bottle branded with Carling Champions Match artwork. Should they opt to use USSD they can do so by employing the unique code on the can end tab or under-liner of the quart, and dialling *120*660*unique code#.

Fans may also vote via the Carling Currie Cup website by visiting (standard mobile data rates apply).

To cast their vote using Facebook Messenger, fans must start a chat with @CarlingBlackLabelSA and enter their unique code, and will be prompted to choose their Champion Team. With each promo unit (the 500ml can & 750ml bottle) purchased, fans will be able to make their voices heard, and ultimately access and affect the world of rugby like no fan ever has before.

In addition, every third valid unique code entry will provide you with a bonus vote. Every vote gives you an entry to stand a chance to win a R51 000 cash prize (competition closes on 2 July 2022, T&Cs apply). Carling Black Label is also encouraging fans to stay tuned to the brand’s social media pages for additional special unique codes that fans will be able to use to ‘Choose Your Champion Team’.