Otago Daily Times

2021 tour­na­ment launched

- Sports · Rugby · Super Rugby · Sydney · Australia · New Zealand · Brumbies · Australian Rugby Union · Queensland · New South Wales · New South Wales Waratahs · Western Force · Perth

SYD­NEY: Su­per Rugby AU will con­tinue as a do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion in 2021 with plans afoot for a post­sea­son cross­over com­pe­ti­tion with New Zealand teams.

Fea­tur­ing the five Aus­tralian teams, the com­pe­ti­tion opens on Fe­bru­ary 19 and will be played over 12 week­ends with the fi­nal on May 8.

In a re­peat of this year’s fi­nals for­mat, won by the Brumbies, the team that fin­ishes top af­ter 10 rounds will host the fi­nal against the win­ner of a qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal be­tween se­cond and third.

A Satur­day night match will be broad­cast live on Rugby Aus­tralia’s new broad­cast part­ner Nine En­ter­tain­ment, while the other matches will be shown on its stream­ing ser­vice Stan Sports, in a deal an­nounced this week.

With Su­per Rugby to be shown on free­to­air for the first time, rugby heavy­weights

Queens­land and NSW dom­i­nate those matches, fea­tur­ing in all but one round.

In the draw an­nounced yes­ter­day, Queens­land will host the Waratahs at Bris­bane’s Sun­corp Sta­dium in the sea­son­opener, fol­lowed later that night by the Western Force and Brumbies in Perth, with the Rebels hav­ing a firstround bye.

‘‘Su­per Rugby AU was ter­rific in 2020 and will get bet­ter next year as this next crop of Aus­tralian rugby stars con­tinue to de­velop, and they are com­ple­mented by some gen­uinely tal­ented in­ter­na­tional play­ers who have since ar­rived on our shores,’’ Rugby Aus­tralia boss Rob Clarke said in a state­ment.

De­tails of the post­sea­son com­pe­ti­tion with New Zealand fol­low­ing its own do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion, Su­per Rugby Aotearoa, are ex­pected to be an­nounced shortly. — AAP

 ??  ?? Rob Clarke
Rob Clarke

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