The 2019 Currie Cup season officially gets underway on Friday night in Durban. The Sharks host the Griquas at 7pm with the clash of the weekend down in Cape Town where Western Province will welcome the Blue Bulls in the North vs South derby on Saturday at 5pm.

The Lions also get a home start against the Pumas on Saturday afternoon at the Emirates Airline Park and coach Ivan van Rooyen says they are prepared for the formidable Pumas side.

Lions scrumhalf and captain, Ross Cronje, says they are looking forward to a tough challenger against the recent Supersport Challenge finalist who lost to the Griquas last month. He adds that it is also a great opportunity for a couple of youngsters who are in line to make their Currie Cup debut.

The format, shortened to just one round due to the upcoming IRB Rugby World Cup starting in September in Japan, is expected to be unforgiving to teams who drop points especially at home.  – Report by Thando Gqamane