S Super Rugby Aotearoa
Super Rugby Aotearoa set for kick-off
By Raga House | Mon 11 May, 2020 11:23

Super Rugby Aotearoa will kick off next month following Monday’s announcement that New Zealand will move to Covid-19 alert level two on Thursday.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed that the domestic form of Super Rugby involving the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – known as Super Rugby Aotearoa – will start on Saturday 13 June, allowing players four weeks to adequately prepare with contact training.

The news follows the New Zealand government’s announcement on Thursday that professional rugby and netball could resume at alert level two.

The competition will see the five Super Rugby clubs playing each other home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend at 5.05pm on Saturdays and 3.05pm (New Zealand time) on Sundays.

Matches will be played in closed stadiums until Government advises an approach to managing mass gatherings in controlled venues that will allow fans to return.

The schedule for the competition was also been announced on Monday. In the opening weekend, the Highlanders will play the Chiefs in Dunedin on Saturday 13 June, with the Blues playing the Hurricanes in Auckland the following day. All matches will be played live on Sky Sport.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said he was delighted for fans that they would have top-quality rugby on their screens in just over a month.

“The thought of five world-class Kiwi teams battling it out in 20 matches over 10 weeks should put a smile back on the faces of many people,” he said.

“I know our players are excited and I’m sure rugby fans will be as well.”

Robinson said they always knew they had to take the Government’s lead on when it was safe for rugby to return, and now it was critical the sport did everything to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.

“Medical and operational staff across NZR, the Players’ Association and the clubs have been working together to ensure we have detailed plans in place to protect the health and safety of everyone involved,” he added.

As a result of the confirmation of the start of Super Rugby Aotearoa, NZR has now confirmed a start time for this year’s Mitre 10 Cup.

“With the support of the Provincial Unions, we have been able to schedule a full 14 team Mitre 10 Cup Premiership and Championship competition with kick off on 11 September,” said Robinson.

An amended Mitre 10 Cup draw will be released in due course.

NZR is continuing to look at options for this year’s Farah Palmer Cup and for the Black Ferns matches as the country builds up to Rugby World Cup 2021.

-Story by Planet Rugby 

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Kenya Cup   Super Rugby  
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