South Africa's oldest and premier provincial competition ran from July to September in 2019, and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs were crowned champions in front of their home fans in Bloemfontein, beating the Xerox Golden Lions from Johannesburg in the final. The other teams in the competition were 2018 champions, the Cell C Sharks (from Durban), DHL Western Province (Cape Town), the Vodacom Blue Bulls (Pretoria), Phakisa Pumas (Nelspruit) and Tafel Lager Griquas (Kimberley).
The Currie Cup - in recent years sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services - is one of the oldest rugby competitions in the world, with the first games played in 1889, but it was only in 1892 that it became officially known as the Currie Cup. The original participating unions were Western Province, Griqualand West, Transvaal and Eastern Province. The first tournament was held in Kimberley and was won by Western Province. The Currie Cup trophy was donated to South Africa in 1891 by the touring British Isles team - it was given to the tourists by Sir Donald Currie, owner of Union-Castle Lines, the shipping company that transported them to the southern tip of Africa. Sir Donald was clear with his instructions – hand this trophy over to the team in South Africa that gives you the best game. After a spirited display where the unbeaten British Lions narrowly won 3-0, Griqualand West became the first ever holders of the Currie Cup.
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