Five teams – including two from Europe – are going to participate in the four-match Toyota Challenge in which prize money of R1,000,000 will be up for grabs. The matches are scheduled from 13 to 26 November in the Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein (see fixtures below).
The Toyota Cheetahs have challenged two local powerhouses in the DHL Stormers and the Cell C Sharks to compete for a quarter of a million-rand worth of prize money.
On top of these two challenge matches, the Toyota Cheetah have also challenged two European rugby clubs in the form of Spain’s Diables Barcelona and Romania’s CSM Stiinta Baia Mare, neither of whom have played in South Africa before, and will bring some Catalonian flair and Romanian power to the series of matches.
Each of the matches will boast prize money of R250 000 for the winning team, but on top of that, more cash is up for grabs for individual players and fans during the Toyota Challenge.
Players will be rewarded for “positive play actions” during the games, while fans will be rewarded for supporting their favorite teams in the stadium and online on various social media platforms: a bonanza of running rugby, bone-crunching tackles, cash and other prizes and tries galore.
“Toyota SA have a long history with rugby in South Africa and we believe that the Toyota Challenge promises to bring another dimension to the way rugby is being played and mostly enjoyed by the fans in South Africa,” said Leon Theron, Senior Vice President: Sales & Marketing for Toyota South Africa Motors.
Harold Verster, Managing Director of the Toyota Cheetahs, said: “Apart from dishing up running rugby against the old foes in the Stormers and the Sharks, the Toyota Cheetahs are excited to have two brand-new rugby friends Diables Barcelona and CSM Stiinta Baia Mare in Toyota Stadium. We are particularly delighted that the Toyota Cheetahs, will have the opportunity to show their metal.
"This new rugby product promises to be very enticing and entertaining for the fans. Talking about fans, we are delighted that our supporters will be allowed in the stadium again, albeit limited to 2 000 at this stage. I would also like to thank Howard Thomas Rugby MD of Redstrike and his team for their assistance in pulling this together, with whom we are working on a number of exciting initiatives.”
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, added: “This is very exciting for all the teams involved and I'm sure we'll see some open running rugby in Bloemfontein next month. It's also great to see new sides in action, from Spain and Romania, two nations where the game is really growing, and their involvement will add something extra to the Toyota Challenge.”
The Toyota Challenge fixtures will be broadcast by SuperSport giving the South African rugby public access to rugby like you never have seen before. Make sure you don’t miss any of the action.
Toyota Challenge fixtures:
- Sat 13 Nov 2021: Toyota Cheetahs v DHL Stormers – 17h30 (SS 210)
- Wed 17 Nov 2021: Toyota Cheetahs v Barcelona (Spain) – 17h30 (SS 211)
- Sat 20 Nov 2021: Toyota Cheetahs v Cell C Sharks – 14h00 (SS 211)
- Fri 26 Nov 2021: Toyota Cheetahs v Baia Mare (Romania) – 17h30 (SS 211)
While in South Africa, Barcelona will also face off against the Kenyan National team, and Baia Mare will face a Free State XV team as part of the Toyota Intercontinental Invitational Series of friendly matches.
Toyota Intercontinental Invitational Series fixtures:
- Sat 20 Nov 2021 – CSM Stiinta Baia Mare v Free State XV – kick off time to be confirmed
- Thur 25 Nov 2021 – Diables Barcelona v Kenya – 17h30