The top team on the log table at the end of the Qualifiers, which feature seven rounds of matches, will gain automatic entry into the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division, while the remaining six teams will battle it out in the Absa Currie Cup First Division.
It will be between GWK Griquas, who participated in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division last season, the Down Touch Griffons, champions of the First Division in 2014, as well as the Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, Leopards, SWD Eagles and the Hino Valke in the competition.
In Friday’s opening matches, the SWD Eagles will host the Leopards at Outeniqua Park in George and Border takes on GWK Griquas at the BCM Stadium in East London. In the only match on Saturday, Boland meet the Down Touch Griffons at the Malmesbury Sports Grounds.
The clash between the SWD Eagles and Leopards is expected to be tight as the teams were closely matched in terms of their attack in the recent Vodacom Cup competition. SWD, however, are expected to bank on their more effective defence as one of the areas which could give them an edge.
GWK Griquas, meanwhile, will enter their clash against Border as favourites after showing good form in the first half of the season. They will also draw on their experience gained in last year’s Absa Currie Cup Premier Division as they look to make their presence felt. Border, however, will enter the match with confidence after registering a morale-boosting victory against Boland in their final Vodacom Cup match.
In Malmesbury the battle between Boland and the Down Touch Griffons could also come down to the wire as both teams look to make up for their slow start to the season. The visitors, in particular, will be inspired by their successful Absa Currie Cup First Division season last year, but they may have to work hard for an invaluable away-win.
The Hino Valke, meanwhile, have a bye.
Absa Currie Cup Qualifier Round 1 fixtures:
Friday 12 June
SWD Eagles vs Leopards
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Border Bulldogs vs GWK Griquas
Venue: BCM Stadium, East London
Saturday 13 June
Boland Cavaliers vs Down Touch Griffons
Venue: Malmesbury Sports Grounds, Malmesbury