Super Rugby Pacific 2022 draw unveiled

Mon, 15/11/2021, 03:26 am
Oceania Rugby
by Oceania Rugby
The Brumbies will open the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season against new comers Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland
The Brumbies will open the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season against new comers Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland

Super Rugby Pacific will kick off at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland where competition new-comers Moana Pasifika will fittingly host the inaugural match of a new era, against the Brumbies, on Friday 18 February 2022.

The birth of Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua, whose first match will be away to the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday 19 February, are part of the Super Rugby Pacific draw announced today by joint venture partners New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Rugby Australia (RA).

THE FULL SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC DRAW CAN BE FOUND HERE

The regular season features a Super Round Melbourne in Round 2 that will see all 12 teams gather in Melbourne for a Rugby extravaganza with three straight days of doubleheaders (25-27 February) at AAMI Park. The Super Round Melbourne is being backed by TEG Live, Asia Pacific’s leading live entertainment company and supported by the Victorian Government and Visit Victoria.

Each team will play a total of 14 matches during the regular season, 11 round-robin fixtures plus the introduction of three additional rivalry matches which will see each team play a home and away series against three other teams.

The top eight at the end of the regular season will then compete in a Finals Series which will kick-off in the first week of June.

All 12 clubs will have their bye in either Round 7, Round 8 or Round 9 providing a fair chance for all teams to recharge as they launch their final push for a place in the Grand Final with all 91 matches ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport with Saturday night’s game simulcast free-to-air on the Nine Network.

Super Rugby Pacific will also embrace the history and diversity of Rugby with Women in Rugby Round to be celebrated in Round 3, a Culture Round in Round 6, ANZAC Round in Round 10, and a Heritage Round in Round 12, where each team will acknowledge their unique history which may include retro jerseys, flashback moments and local club recognition.

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: "It's fantastic to be able to confirm our draw for the 2022 competition, and I'd like to thank our teams, broadcasters, New Zealand Rugby and SANZAAR for their co-operation and collaboration in getting to this point.

"Super Rugby Pacific is fresh and exciting as we look to provide fans a new game-day experience every time they go to a match, all at family friendly kick-off times.

"It will be a Rugby extravaganza at our first-ever Super Round in Round Two in Melbourne, with all six games at AAMI Park over one weekend.

“We will also host an ANZAC, Heritage, Cultural and Women in Rugby Round, as we acknowledge, recognise and celebrate the communities who make our game so great, and I'm excited to see this play out during match days.

"The draw also features a focus on rivalry rounds which excites us, so I'd encourage everyone to sign-up for a club membership, tune into Stan and get onboard as we look to write the next chapter in Super Rugby's history," Marinos said.

NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said the draw was easy to understand and a level playing field for the teams involved.

“The draw reflects the new look and feel of the competition whether it’s the historic opening match at Mt Smart Stadium, the Super Round, the traditional rivalries that have built up over more than 20 years, or the first time Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua go head-to-head on ANZAC weekend.

“We have two new clubs who are building competitive squads right now, and ten other clubs who are excited by a fresh challenge. I think the inaugural season of Super Rugby Pacific will be a true celebration for rugby in the Pacific and will showcase the immense playing and coaching talent in the region. We can’t wait to get started next February.”

Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said it is a 25-year dream becoming a reality on 19 February 2022. The Fijian players, coaches, staff and management simply cannot wait for the season to start.

“Our flair and playing style is quite unique and we’re going to bring it to an audience of millions over 15 weeks in the regular season, and hopefully the finals. We think it’s quite fitting that our first match is against the Blues – the reigning Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Champions. Some of the earliest Super Rugby memories Fijians have are of the great Joeli Vidiri thundering down the sidelines for the Blues in the 90s. Of course, it is a massive challenge first up but the team is relishing the prospects of taking on the champions on their own turf.”

“The large Fiji diaspora and Fijian rugby fans in Auckland and surrounding cities will be the first to see our side in action personally. We really look forward to their support as well as the love and prayers of our vuvale in Fiji and around the world. We also look forward to facing off against our fellow competition newcomers and Pacific family – Moana Pasifika. It will be the best of Pacific rugby talent battling it out in what will surely be a spectacle for fans and neutral observers alike!”

SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC AT A GLANCE

Format:

  • 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)
  • 8 team playoffs format (QFs: 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5)

Total Matches: 91

Season Length: 18 weeks = 15-week regular season + three-week playoff series

Opening match: Friday 18 February: Moana Pasifika v Brumbies @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Super Round: Round 2, Friday-Sunday 25-27 February @ AAMI Park Melbourne Park.

Moana Pasifika v Waratahs; Highlanders v Blues; Hurricanes v Chiefs; Crusaders v Reds; Rebels v Brumbies; Fijian Drua v Force.

Themed Rounds:

  • Women in Rugby Round – Round 3 (4-5 March)
  • Culture Round – Round 6 (25-26 March)
  • ANZAC Round – Round 10 (22-23 April)
  • Heritage Round – Round 12 (6-8 May)

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