Five facts about Varsity Cup player eligibility

Who can and can't play in the Varsity Cup? asked XHANTI-LOMZI NESI to explain the rules and regulations regarding player eligibility.

Players have to be registered students

When the Varsity Cup began in 2008, it had to find a way to accommodate all - students and non-students who were already part of their varsity's rugby club. Non-students were gradually phased out of the tournament. The 2015 Varsity Cup was the first year that the tournament was solely for registered bonafide students. Since then, no non-students have taken part. Every player has to be a registered student and must meet certain academic criteria to play.

Players have to be registered for a course worth 120 credits

These are SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) credits on NQF (National Qualifications Framework) 6-level. The Varsity Cup focuses largely on encouraging rugby players to study and achieve their qualifications.

Players have to pass each year with a minimum of 60 credits

Most universities involved in the Varsity Cup have tutoring programmes to help increase the pass rate. This regulation encourages players to hit the books in order to achieve their rugby dreams.

Players can only change teams in their postgraduate year

We do, however, consider extremely special circumstances.

First-year student restrictions

Varsity Cup teams are allowed to have four first-year students in a match 23, all of whom must be under the age of 22 (they may turn 22 in the year they play). Teams are allowed to play with an additional three first-year students, as long as they were in Grade 12 during one of the previous two years. There are no restrictions on first-year students who were in Grade 12 in the previous two years in the Varsity Shield.

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- As told to Savannah Connacher. Nesi is the operational and sponsorship executive at Advent Sports Entertainment and Media.

Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix