Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby sides will face off against each other once again in 2021 after Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby confirmed a trans-Tasman tournament next year.
The five-round competition will see each Australian franchise play all five New Zealand teams, and vice versa, before the final between the top two teams – regardless of which nation they’re based in – on June 19.
While specific dates for each of the fixtures, aside from the final, are yet to be confirmed, Round 1 will begin on May 14, just a week after the Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa finals.
There will also be a so-called “Super Round” on the 28th and 29th, where all five matches will be played at the same venue. The location for that weekend is yet to be confirmed.
The broadcast arrangements for Australian viewers is the same as the Super Rugby AU season: one match per round shown on free-to-air TV on the Nine Network, and the entire competition streamed live and on-demand on subscription streaming platform Stan.
Rugby AU interim CEO Rob Clarke and his New Zealand Rugby counterpart Mark Robinson struck a friendly, congratulatory tone in a year when relations between the two governing bodies became strained.
“This will generate enormous excitement across both countries with some of the best players in the world set to challenge each other after the conclusion of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa,” Clarke said.
“It will be a really exciting new product for our 2021 broadcast partners, Stan and Nine, and I know fans right around the world will be glued to their screens and devices to watch it all.
“The Super Round is also a great initiative with one lucky city to host all 10 teams on one weekend in a Super Rugby extravaganza.
“I’d like to thank Mark Robinson and his team at New Zealand Rugby for working so closely with us.”
“Super Rugby Trans-Tasman is a great result for fans on both sides of the Tasman and is testament to the strength of the relationship between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia,” said Robinson.
“It’s been a testing time for rugby in both countries, but also a chance to reimagine the game in our part of the world for 2021. The result is an exciting and innovative new competition, which will benefit fans, players, broadcasters and Super clubs.
“We all know how special the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia is when it comes to sport and this tournament will add another exciting chapter.”
Crusaders v Brumbies
Western Force v Chiefs
Melbourne Rebels v Blues
Highlanders v Queensland Reds
NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes
Chiefs v Brumbies
Western Force v Highlanders
Hurricanes v Melbourne Rebels
Queensland Reds v Crusaders
Blues v NSW Waratahs
Brumbies v Blues
Hurricanes v Western Force
Melbourne Rebels v Highlanders
Queensland Reds v Chiefs
NSW Waratahs v Crusaders
Brumbies v Hurricanes
Crusaders v Western Force
Chiefs v Melbourne Rebels
Queensland Reds v Blues
Highlanders v NSW Waratahs
Brumbies v Highlanders
Blues v Western Force
Melbourne Rebels v Crusaders
Hurricanes v Queensland Reds
NSW Waratahs v Chiefs
Saturday 19 June