The two big Gauteng rivals will host consecutive double-header weekends over Rounds 17 (Saturday 15 April) and 18 (Saturday 22 April) of the 2022/23 Vodacom URC, at Emirates Airline Park and Loftus Versfeld respectively.
The return double-header weekend in Pretoria will also feature a Currie Cup encounter between the Vodacom Bulls and Fidelity ADT Lions as they contest bragging rights in the Jukskei Derby.
Edgar Rathbone, BBCo. Chief Executive commended the tournament officials for their flexibility in supporting clubs that are seeking to create meaningful experiences for fans around the competition.
“I commend Martin (Anayi) and the entire URC team, our sponsors and the broadcaster(s) for their unwavering support as we are always exploring ways in which we can better our offering to all of our patrons,” said Rathbone.
“The spirit of the competition is one that fosters unity amongst the franchises and we are duty bound to collaborate for the growth and betterment of our sport.
“We are buoyant that this double-header will add value for the money South Africans spend around gamedays and ultimately we are also confident that the quality of rugby on display will rubberstamp the tournament’s legacy in the growth of the sport in our country.”
Lions Rugby CEO, Rudolf Straeuli remarked: “We are incredibly excited at the prospect of hosting three quality international club sides all in one day at the iconic Emirates Airline Park. Heading across the Jukskei the following weekend to Loftus Versfeld doesn’t get any better from an overall sportainment experience by the two host franchises.
“Since its inception, the URC, in partnership with their sponsor and broadcast partners, have been at the forefront of sports innovation and the double-header weekend/s are testament to this.
“Sport in South Africa is constantly in search of creativity especially when it comes to fan engagement, and we believe that through this unique collaboration, rugby in particular can lead the way in bringing stakeholders together and growing the game for the greater good,” Straeuli added.
As a result of these event changes, alterations have been made to the kick-off times of all four games. The fixtures have now been confirmed as follows (SA times):
Saturday, 15 April (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
13h00: Vodacom Bulls v Zebre Parma
16h00: Emirates Lions v Leinster
Saturday, 22 April (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
13h00: Emirates Lions v Zebre Parma
16h00: Vodacom Bulls v Leinster
18h30 (TBC): Vodacom Bulls v Fidelity ADT Lions (Currie Cup)
These double-headers in South Africa are the first to be held in the Vodacom URC outside of Wales, where Judgement Day has set the standard since 2013. Now, the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls are bringing a cross-hemisphere flavour to a concept the league is keen to develop.
Games will be broadcast live on SuperSport in South Africa and across the African continent, plus Viaplay, Premier Sports, TG4, RTÉ, Discovery + & URC.tv in other territories. Games are live on FloRugby for fans watching from the USA.
Tickets for the fixtures can be purchased through Ticketpros by clicking here.