Super Rugby

Super Rugby AU gets February start

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The Brumbies celebrate during the trophy presentation after winning the Super Rugby AU Grand Final between the Brumbies and the Reds at GIO Stadium on September 19, 2020 in Canberra, Australia.
The Brumbies celebrate during the trophy presentation after winning the Super Rugby AU Grand Final between the Brumbies and the Reds at GIO Stadium on September 19, 2020 in Canberra, Australia.
Mark Kolbe

Super Rugby AU will kick-off in February and follow the same format as the inaugural domestic competition introduced this season, Rugby Australia said on Wednesday.

RA said the tournament would again feature five teams competing over 10 regular-season rounds, with a two-match finals series.

The opening round on 19 February will feature the Reds against Waratahs in Brisbane and Western Force taking on defending champions the Brumbies in Perth.

The grand final will take place on 8 May.

Last year's competition was launched in July after the coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of the southern hemisphere's 15-team Super Rugby tournament.

New Zealand's domestic competition, Super Rugby Aotearoa, will also launch in February, although it will be tweaked slightly from last year to include a grand final.

Also featuring five teams, it will kick off on 26 February, when the Highlanders face defending champions the Crusaders in Dunedin, culminating in a grand final on 8 May.

Rugby officials in both Australia and New Zealand reportedly hope their teams can play a trans-Tasman series after their respective finals, although it will depend on whether virus-related border restrictions have been eased.

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