Local schools from the Eastern Cape and Boland regions are set to participate in the first Community Rugby Matches of the season when the Vodacom Cup returns to the communities of Moorreesburg and Port Elizabeth this weekend. SARU and competition sponsor Vodacom, together with the development officers of the Eastern Province and Boland Rugby Unions, will be presenting its first basic rugby training sessions for schools at these games.

Aspiring rugby players will be put through their paces at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday and at the Moorreesburg Stadium in Boland on Saturday. They will participate in a basic rugby obstacle course where they will be able to apply their passing, catching, kicking as well as side-stepping skills.

These sessions will continue during the 2011 Vodacom Cup competition where 140 schools representing several provincial unions will participate in these programmes which promises to provide rugby education and skills to aspiring rugby players.

At the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, the South Section log leaders – EP Kings – are at home for the second time this season for their clash against the undefeated Ford Pumas on Friday evening at 19h00. The Boland Cavaliers who defeated the reigning champions – Vodacom Blue Bulls (20-17) – in Pretoria last week, host the Golden Lions at the Moorreesburg Stadium on Saturday at 16h30.

Meanwhile SARU, together with Tag Rugby Association, will be hosting a rugby clinic called the TAG Rugby Grassroots development programme on Friday. This clinic will coincide with the Vodacom Cup game featuring the SWD Eagles and the GWK Griquas who are currently in pole position on the North Section log with 10 points.

This is the second time that SARU and Tag Rugby have joined forces to deliver a grassroots development programme in the SWD region. In December SARU and Tag Rugby ran a programme to introduce teachers, coaches and Government Sports officers to Tag Rugby before the Emirates Airline SA Sevens in George.

In the other Vodacom Cup matches of the weekend, DHL Western Province will be aiming to secure their first home win of the season when they host the Welwitschias at DHL Newlands on Friday at 16h45. John Dobson’s team played out an 18-18 draw with the Golden Lions in their previous home fixture of the season, which was during the opening round of the 2011 competition.

The defending champions – Vodacom Blue Bulls – are in search of their first victory when they travel to Potchefstroom for their clash against the Platinum Leopards at Profert Olen Park on Saturday at 19h10. The Pretoria team conceded defeats against The Sharks XV (30-19) and the Boland Cavaliers (20-17), and are currently in sixth position on the North Section log with one point.

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs are in action on Saturday against the Platinum Leopards at the Free State Stadium at 14h40 in a curtain raiser game before the Vodacom Super Rugby match featuring the Toyota Cheetahs and the Lions at 17h05.

Vodacom Cup Round Three Fixtures:

Friday 11 March 2011

16h45  DHL Western Province v Welwitschias at DHL Newlands, Cape Town

19h00  EP Kings v Ford Pumas at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

19h00  Border Bulldogs v Tasol Solar Griffons BCM Stadium, East London

19h00  SWD Eagles v GWK Griquas at Loeriepark, Knysna

Saturday 12 March 2011

14h40  Toyota Free State Cheetahs v Platinum Leopards at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

16h30  Sharks XV v Valke at Ugu Stadium, Margate

16h30  Boland Cavaliers v Golden Lions at Moorreesburg Stadium, Boland

19h10  Pampas XV v Vodacom Blue Bulls at Profert Olen Park, Potchefstroom