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The Women’s rugby season will launch into full swing on Saturday with the A Division of the SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial competition kicking off with a handful of exciting matches.

The Blue Bulls and Western Province will battle it out in a North-South battle in the opening match of the competition at Loftus Versfeld.

This will be followed by clashes between Eastern Province and Border at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, and Free State and KwaZulu-Natal at Old Greys Rugby Club in Bloemfontein respectively.

The clash between the Blue Bulls and Western Province, who went down against Border in last year’s final, is expected to be thrilling as the Cape side will be determined to build on their form from last season, while the hosts will want to make the most of their home ground advantage.

They will also be determined to bounce back from a disappointing campaign last season after featuring in the 2015 final.

The Blue Bulls won the last clash between the sides at Loftus Versfeld 22-10 in 2015, while Western Province registered a narrow 12-7 victory in Cape Town last year.

The Eastern Cape derby between Border and Eastern Province is also expected to be exciting given the traditional rivalry between the sides.

Border secured their fourth title in a row last season and they will have their sights set on continuing their dominance in the competition. But after winning only two of their matches last season Eastern Province will want to make the most of playing in front of their home crowd to begin this season on a high note.

The Free State, meanwhile, will look to make an impression in the A Division after being promoted from the B Division following back-to-back titles. They will, however, be tested thoroughly as KwaZulu-Natal finished third on the log table last season with three victories in their five matches.

SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial round one fixtures (Saturday, 8 July):

13h20 – Blue Bulls v Western Province (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)

14h30 – Eastern Province v Border (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth)

15h00 – Free State v KwaZulu-Natal (Old Greys Rugby Club, Bloemfontein)

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