Backed by Castle Lager and supported by the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU), some of South Africa’s oldest and best-known brands will join hands this year when the top rugby clubs in and around Johannesburg come together to compete for prestigious titles in the popular Castle Lager Pirates Grand Challenge series.

One of the oldest rugby competitions in the world, the annual Pirates Grand Challenge was first held in 1890 and has evolved into a contest for one of the most sought-after titles in club rugby.

This year’s tournament will begin on 15 April with the first round of matches, culminating in the series final on 22 August.

Already proud supporters of the Springbok team, Castle Lager will combine with the GLRU and event organizers to continue providing opportunities for club rugby players to compete at top-flight domestic levels as part of a three-year sponsorship of the Pirates Grand Challenge.

“For 127 years, Castle Lager has brought the nation together through passion points that matter the most, and South Africans have always resonated with rugby. As a nation, it’s in our blood,” says Castle Lager marketing manager Thomas Lawrence. “The Springboks have been the pride of our nation since conception, as unity and togetherness for a cause greater than oneself cannot be better represented. The national team’s players come from grassroots beginnings within our club rugby systems, and for Castle Lager to power the Pirates Grand Challenge, such an esteemed club rugby competition, is an honor. We are thrilled to be involved in the furthering of the sport as well as the heritage that goes with it.”

The Castle Lager Pirates Grand Challenge is also a chance for fans to watch quality rugby while enjoying a spectacular spectator experience, bringing people from around Gauteng together to celebrate the sport.

“The GLRU is delighted to launch this partnership with Castle Lager and we hope it will serve as a catalyst to further grow club rugby, promote the development of the game in previously disadvantaged areas, and attract more people to the sport,” says GLRU president Neville Jardine. “We are grateful to everyone involved in the Castle Lager Pirates Grand Challenge and we hope this prestigious series continues to go from strength to strength.”

Some of the top club and university teams competing for the title this year, in what promises to be a historic edition of the Castle Lager Pirates Grand Challenge, include Alberton, NWU Pukke, Pirates, Raiders, Roodepoort, UJ, Wanderers, and Wits.

Scroll to Top