Currie Cup 2018 slashed in half

Cape Town - The Currie Cup Premier Division looks set to be shortened for the 2018 season.

According to Rugby365, SA Rugby will hold a general council meeting on Friday where the shortened version will be ratified.

According to the rugby specialist website, the competition will still feature seven teams but it will be a reduced, single-round format.

In 2017, the seven participating teams played a double round of fixtures, playing each other on a home and away basis.

However, the competition was somewhat spoiled when the start overlapped with the Super Rugby playoffs, forcing the Lions and Sharks to field weakened teams.

The Free State Cheetahs were also forced to play a large part of the event with a second-string outfit due to their inclusion in the PRO14.

In recent years the Currie Cup lost some of its appeal with the Springbok players’ participation also limited.

Western Province won this year’s event when they upset the Sharks 33-21 in the final in Durban.

The seven participating teams - WP, Sharks, Golden Lions, Blue Bulls, Free State Cheetahs, Pumas and Griquas - will again contest the 2018 event.

Griquas finished last this year, but defeated the Griffons 59-26 in the promotion-relegation match to retain their top-flight status.