The wait is almost over as the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season gets set to kick off on February 24.
The best talent in Australian rugby is set to take centre stage after the 2023 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season was officially launched at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday 14 February.
Australian club representatives Jake Gordon (NSW Waratahs), Allan Alaalatoa (ACT Brumbies), Tate McDermott (QLD Reds), Tom Robertson (Western Force) and Rob Leota (Melbourne Rebels) took part in a spectacular harbourside photoshoot and press conference.
They were joined by head coaches Darren Coleman (NSW Waratahs), Stephen Larkham (ACT Brumbies), Simon Cron (Western Force) and Kevin Foote (Melbourne Rebels), and QLD Reds assistant coach Phil Blake.
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones was also in attendance, with the Super Rugby Pacific season to serve as an open audition for Wallabies hopefuls leading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
2023 marks the second ever season of Super Rugby Pacific but it also promises the first full home-and-away schedule uninterrupted by the pandemic in four years, making it one of the most anticipated seasons in Australian Rugby history.
The action kicks off on Friday 24 February with a blockbuster battle between the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
The Queensland Reds will host the Hurricanes at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville on Saturday 25 February, followed by the Western Force’s season opener against the Melbourne Rebels at HBF Park in Perth.
"It's a huge year ahead of us. With the Super Rugby Pacific about to kick off, you can feel the positive vibe and sentiment around the game in this country,” Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said.
"There are 33 boarding passes (to the 2023 Rugby World Cup) waiting to get a name printed on them and there's no better incentive or motivation for all the players.
"We're going to see a lot of Australian talent start coming through the system this season, and I expect we'll see some new names put their hand up for a ticket to France."
Super Round in Round 2 (3 – 5 March) will see the competition move to Melbourne, with AAMI Park to host all six games across three spectacular days of music, entertainment and world-class rugby.
The game will champion its junior players and fans two weeks later for Kids Round (17 – 19 March) while Round 10 will serve as Culture Round, as the clubs celebrate the diverse cultures and heritage brought together by rugby.