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UPDATED: New Super Rugby Pacific draw released after NZ COVID reaction

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22nd December, 2021
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Rugby bosses in Australia and New Zealand released a revamped schedule for the launch of Super Rugby Pacific on Thursday in response to COVID issues.

It was hoped the 1`2-team expanded competition could start in February free of travel constraints.

However, the New Zealand government’s reluctance to open its border without quarantine or self-isolation will mean Super Rugby Pacific will start life as two separate competitions hosted in Australia and New Zealand.

The competition will begin with derbies and Fijian Drua will join the five Australian franchises in the first stage.


The opening round of the new competition will see the NSW Waratahs hosting Fijian Drua on Friday 18 February 2022, followed by Australian derbies with the Queensland Reds v Melbourne Rebels and Western Force v Brumbies on the Saturday night.

A local derby between Moana Pasifika and the Blues at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on Friday 18 February 2022 will kick off the revised draw.

The new schedule retains the same competition format announced in November with a full round robin and single points table but will see the six New Zealand-based teams and six Australian-based teams play their opening eight matches on different sides of the Tasman due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

All 12 clubs will converge on Melbourne in Round 10 for a Super Round that will feature a unique celebration of the ANZAC spirit and trans-Tasman fixtures will resume in Round 11 (29 April-1 May).


RA said in a statement that “family friendly afternoon kick-offs are a feature of the draw with 23 daytime matches in total.”

The revised draw maintains the same key elements of the original draw with each team to play a total of 14 matches during the regular season, 11 round-robin fixtures plus three additional rivalry matches which will see each team play a home and away series against three other teams.

Themed rounds celebrating a Women in Rugby Round, Culture Round, and Heritage Round will also remain on the schedule with confirmation of new dates and other details to be announced early next year.

All 12 clubs will still have their bye in either Round 7, Round 8 or Round 9 providing a chance for all teams to recharge as they launch their final push for a place in the Grand Final.

All 91 will stream on Stan Sport with Saturday night’s game simulcast free-to-air on the Nine Network.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “We’re pleased to be able to confirm the revised draw for Super Rugby Pacific.

“We believe these changes will allow us to navigate the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, while ensuring we maintain the integrity of the draw and the format of the new Super Rugby Pacific competition.

“It’s been a challenging environment over the last two years, but we’re thankful to our teams and our partners in New Zealand Rugby, SANZAAR and our broadcasters for their support as we worked through this process together.


“This is an exciting new era for Rugby in the Pacific and I would encourage all fans to get out and support their teams and sign up to catch all the action on Stan Sport.”
against the Waratahs on the same night.”

Season opener
Friday 18 February: Moana Pasifika v Blues @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland.
12 teams: Moana Pasifika, Fijian Drua, Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders, Waratahs, Reds, Force, Brumbies, Rebels
14 regular season matches = 11 round-robin matches + 3 rivalry matches
One bye round per team (all byes in Rounds 7, 8 & 9)
Season Length: 18 weeks = 15-week regular season + three-week playoff series
Total Matches: 91
8-team playoffs format – QFs: June 3-5; SFs: 10-11 June; FINAL 18 June.
Super Round
Round 10, Friday-Sunday 22-24 April @ AAMI Park Melbourne Park.
Highlanders v Brumbies; Moana Pasifika v Force; Blues v Fijian Drua; Hurricanes v Reds; Chiefs v Waratahs; Crusaders v Rebels.
Australian-based team’s home and away rivalry matches

Force (A) Rd 1; (H) Rd 6
Drua (H) Rd 2; (A) Rd 8
Reds (H) Rd 5; (A) Rd 7

Fijian Drua
Waratahs (A) Rd 1; (H) Rd 7
Brumbies (A) Rd 2; (H) Rd 8
Rebels (H) Rd 3; (A) Rd 6

Melbourne Rebels
Reds (A) Rd 1; (H) Rd 9
Force (H) Rd 2; (A) Rd 8
Drua (A) Rd 3; (H) Rd 6

NSW Waratahs
Drua (H) Rd 1; (A) Rd 7
Reds (H) Rd 2; (A) Rd 6
Force (A) Rd 4; (H) Rd 9

Queensland Reds
Rebels (H) Rd 1; (A) Rd 9
Waratahs (A) Rd 2; (H) Rd 6
Brumbies (A) Rd 5; (H) Rd 7

Western Force
Brumbies (H) Rd 1; (A) Rd 6
Rebels (A) Rd 2; (H) Rd 8
Waratahs (H) Rd 4; (A) Rd 9