The fixtures for the 'domestic' Super Rugby Aotearoa and Australia (AU) 2021 tournaments have been released.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced the draw for Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021 with 10 weeks of derby matches to kick off on 26 February next year and finish with a winner-takes-all Final for the Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa trophy.
All 21 Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa matches including a Final on Saturday, 8 May, will be live and exclusive via new competition naming rights sponsor Sky.
Click HERE for Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021 fixtures
NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said the 2021 season would build on the excitement generated by the first edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“We saw how exciting this home and away format was last year, and all five teams now know what’s required to compete and win every week. With the availability of the All Blacks locked in for round one there are going to be fireworks from the opening whistle."
“It’s fantastic to have some certainty for fans, players and partners after what’s been a year of uncertainty. Confirming the 2021 draw is a significant milestone and a positive step for rugby in New Zealand and we’re thrilled to have our broadcast partner Sky come on board as naming rights sponsor. We’ve listened to the fans and our players and added a Final, which we think will provide a fitting climax to the competition,” Lendrum said.
Each team will have four home matches and two byes with the Final between the top two qualifying teams scheduled for Saturday, 8 May. NZR Head of High Performance Mike Anthony confirmed the All Blacks would be available from Round 1.
Lendrum also confirmed NZR is working closely with Rugby Australia on a trans-Tasman competition and would announce details shortly.
Super Rugby Aotearoa fact sheet:
- 2021 will be the second edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
- Sky is the new Super Rugby Aotearoa naming rights sponsor
- There will be 20 round robin matches with each team playing each other twice on a home and away basis.
- The 2021 season will include the addition of a 1 v 2 Final to decide the champion.
- The Crusaders are the defending champions after finishing first at the end of a round robin tournament in 2020, six points ahead of the Blues.
- The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy is called Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa (Stand As One New Zealand) and was created by Wellington carver Bill Doyle.
The Brumbies won the inaugural Super Rugby AU in 2020
Rugby Australia has also announced the 2021 Super Rugby AU season draw with 22 games over 12 action-packed weekends, kicking off on 19 February and concluding with the Final on 8 May. The Final once again will be hosted by the team that finishes top of the ladder after the 10-round regular season, and they will play the winner of a two-versus-three Qualifying Final in the decider.
All 22 matches in the tournament will be live and on demand, ad-free, through Stan’s new streaming sport package which will launch in 2021. One match each round, including the Finals Series, will also be simulcast live free-to-air on the Nine Network.
The season will start with a bang on Friday 19 February with a huge doubleheader starting with a clash between two old foes, as the Queensland Reds host the NSW Waratahs at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. Then, later that night, attention will shift to Australia’s west coast as the Western Force host the 2020 Super Rugby champions, the Brumbies.
Rugby Australia interim Chief Executive, Rob Clarke said: “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 complimented by some genuinely talented international players who have since arrived on our shores. The 2021 season promises to be a great one for Australians fans with every game in primetime and with the added support of our new partners, Stan and Nine."
Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs, Friday 19 February, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Western Force v Brumbies, Friday 19 February, HBF Park, Perth
Queensland Reds v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 26 February, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brumbies v NSW Waratahs, Saturday 27 February, GIO Stadium, Canberra
NSW Waratahs v Western Force, Friday 5 March, Venue TBC
Melbourne Rebels v Brumbies, Saturday 6 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Western Force v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 12 March, HBF Park, Perth
Brumbies v Queensland Reds, Saturday 13 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Melbourne Rebels v NSW Waratahs, Friday 19 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Queensland Reds v Western Force, Saturday 20 March, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brumbies v Western Force, Friday 26 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra
NSW Waratahs v Queensland Reds, Saturday 27 March, Venue TBC
NSW Waratahs v Brumbies, Friday 2 April, Venue TBC
Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds, Saturday 3 April, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Rebels v Western Force, Friday 9 April, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Queensland Reds v Brumbies, Saturday 10 April, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 16 April, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Western Force v NSW Waratahs, Saturday 17 April, HBF Park, Perth
Western Force v Queensland Reds, Friday 23 April, HBF Park, Perth
NSW Waratahs v Melbourne Rebels, Saturday 24 April, Venue TBC
Saturday 1 May
Saturday 8 May