2019 Super Rugby draw announced before the 2018 season is even over

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

By Scott Pryde, Scott Pryde is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger

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    The 2018 finals might still be on the way, but SANZAAR has dropped a bombshell on Tuesday morning, announcing the 2019 Super Rugby draw well ahead of schedule.

    Being a World Cup year, there will be no break for the June International window next year, with the end of the regular season and then finals pushed forward by a month, with the final set to be played on Saturday, July 6.

    The season also starts a week earlier, allowing the tournament to be finished well in advance of the Japan-hosted World Cup, which will begin on Friday, September 20.

    2018 has marked the last June International window break, with a new global rugby calendar set to be introduced from 2020 to avert the need for provincial competitions to take a four-week break.

    Apart from those changes, the Super Rugby competition will be played under the same format, with a 15-team competition to be divided into three conferences. The winners of each conference, as well as five wildcard teams will then play in the top eight finals series.

    Unlike 2018, next season will see 14 of the 15 teams begin their season in the first round, moving away from the South African-only start this year.

    While venues for the competition are yet to be announced, three of the Australian teams will have byes in the opening three rounds, with the Reds set to miss the competition’s opener.

    There are plenty of teams still yet to confirm where they are going to be based in 2019, with the Waratahs among them. They have played games at Brookvale and the Sydney Cricket Ground this year, but will need to play all of their home games elsewhere in 2019 with Allianz Stadium undergoing renovations.

    The Chiefs and Highlanders will play the season opener on Friday, February 15 with an all-Australian derby between the Brumbies and Rebels to follow.

    The Waratahs’ first game will be at home against the Hurricanes, while the Reds commence in New Zealand against the Highlanders in Round 2.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 2000 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • Roar Rookie

      June 12th 2018 @ 11:10am
      piru said | June 12th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

      Well sure, you can do that when you know what teams you’ll have!

    • Roar Guru

      June 12th 2018 @ 11:15am
      Train Without A Station said | June 12th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

      It does look like a better and more consistent draw.

      The timing of the SA tours is a bugbear for me. We seem to have 2 teams in SA on the same weekend and then to compound it I think it’s an Aussie Derby on the Friday meaning only 1 local game.

        • Roar Guru

          June 12th 2018 @ 11:45am
          Train Without A Station said | June 12th 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          Have you looked to see if it can be achieved every weekend with the away game requirements for all teams?

          Most weekends are covered. Perhaps it’s just not possible to cover every weekend. I do think issues like overlapping SA tours are avoidable though.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 7:30am
          tyrone said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

          It is not always possible, but there needs to be rugby on every Saturday nights at 7.30pm, this allows for forward planning by fans.

          I suggest that the ARU could have a Womens Test versus NZ on these occasions, a mini 7’s tournament or even an NRC or club game on during the time slot.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 9:46am
            Train Without A Station said | June 13th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            Yeah the important consideration is it’s just not always possible.

            SANZAAR should be working to minimise it where it can be minimised.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 11:31am
          Markie362 said | June 13th 2018 @ 11:31am | ! Report

          Wy dont they have 2 byes with half the teams off one week and the other half off the next.its unfair for some teams to have to have the first game off and then only get one break while others get 2 breaks later as they are getting injuries and tired.

          • June 13th 2018 @ 1:38pm
            Reverse Wheel said | June 13th 2018 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

            There is an odd number of teams so there has to always been someone on a bye. Agree that it sucks having it very early in the season.

        • June 15th 2018 @ 7:42am
          Ex force fan said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

          There is a good opportunity for the IPRC/WSR to schedule a game in this prime spot so that there is at least an Aussie side playing every Saturday.

    • Roar Guru

      June 12th 2018 @ 11:16am
      The Neutral View From Sweden said | June 12th 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

      No protecting of Aussie sides against Kiiwi sides in the opening rounds.
      Jaguares starts with three home games, that is a big change from the last three years.
      Sunwolves get to play two evening matches in Tokyo, will be interesting how that affect crowd numbers and atmosphere.

      • June 13th 2018 @ 7:29am
        Faith said | June 13th 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

        The thinking must be that the Aussie sides are now up to speed after winning two games the whole season. Lol.

        • June 13th 2018 @ 8:26am
          BBA said | June 13th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          If history goes by anything playing the Hurricanes at home in round 1 is generally a good thing.

          Brumbies did smash them in the year they won it in 2016.

          If I was a Hurricanes supporter I would be dirty that they always seem to get opening games not only away but overseas.

          Although perhaps that is a benefit long term to avoid travel later in the year.

    • June 12th 2018 @ 7:31pm
      Daveski said | June 12th 2018 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

      Waratahs may still be at Allianz, I don’t think anything to do with stadiums in Sydney is a done deal yet.

    • June 13th 2018 @ 4:16am
      NaBUru38 said | June 13th 2018 @ 4:16am | ! Report

      Jaguares-Highlanders will be played at 17:15 local, or 02:15 in Argentina.

      Jaguares-Hurricanes will be played at 19:35 local, or 04:15 in Argentina.

      Not again! Why won’t Sanzaar move both matches a couple hours earlier?

    • June 13th 2018 @ 12:40pm
      Stu B. said | June 13th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

      Sorry neutral, have a look at the Rebels draw a couple of harder games but get those at home in the first 10 rounds. Pleased the Crusaders haven’t the Rebels soft draw as the comp would be all over by Feb kick off. do we detect a rebel bankers stickies on this again or is it another coincidence and I hate coincidences.

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