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Thread: Six-week, 10-team trans-Tasman Super Rugby set to be played in 2021

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    Six-week, 10-team trans-Tasman Super Rugby set to be played in 2021

    Interesting stuff in the first half of this piece (second half is pretty much old news)


    Six-week, 10-team trans-Tasman Super Rugby set to be played in 2021

    By Sam Phillips
    Updated November 11, 2020 — 6.59pm

    A six-week, 10-team trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition is days away from being signed off by Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby powerbrokers.

    While some element of trans-Tasman Super Rugby was tipped to return next year, it was expected to simply be the winner of Super Rugby AU facing the winner of Super Rugby Aotearoa. But the Herald can reveal a six-week competition – in which the five Australian teams will play each New Zealand franchise once – is set to be approved in the coming days.

    The two teams that finish at the top of the 10-team ladder will then square off in a trans-Tasman Super Rugby final.

    Multiple sources have told the Herald the trans-Tasman competition will kick off on May 15 – one week after the domestic deciders – and will finish in time for the Wallabies and All Blacks to begin preparations for inbound Test tours in July.

    The revelation is a big win for all 10 Super Rugby clubs, who will now have at least seven guaranteed home games in 2021. If the draw falls their way in the trans-Tasman competition – giving them three home games instead of two – or they qualify for home finals, that number will increase to eight or even nine.

    The financial windfall from the increase in home games – combined with the new $114 million broadcast deal – will give the clubs a chance to keep their heads above water in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "The Kiwi teams bring a great audience, they bring great attendance to our matches in Queensland – the Crusaders, Blues, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Chiefs – they all bring a market," Queensland Rugby Union chief executive David Hanham said.

    "You just have to watch the [Bledisloe Cup] game here on Saturday where we had 38,000, which was close to COVID capacity.

    "Trans-Tasman is absolutely the right future for us and I know we're excited to have the Kiwi rivalries in there and to test ourselves against the best teams in the world. That's what people want to see."

    -------

    While the full trans-Tasman draw is expected to be revealed either at the end of this week or the start of next week, RA unveiled the Super Rugby AU draw on Wednesday.

    The Reds and Waratahs will dominate the newly minted free-to-air slots, as rugby's two heartland states lead Nine's push for a television ratings lift. Queensland will play six of their 10 matches in the live free-to-air slots and NSW have been given five prime-time spots. The Brumbies, despite being reigning Super Rugby AU champions, will play four matches in the coveted slot, the Rebels will play three, while the Force will feature just twice.

    "There's compromises across the board but overall, we're happy with the draw that's been put together," Brumbies chief executive Phil Thomson said. "We understand the reason behind the way the draw has eventuated through Nine and what their requirements are. At this stage, we can live with the four games on free-to-air on the Saturday night."

    All bar one match shown on Nine will feature a traditional heartland state. The only game that won't is the round-three clash between the Rebels and Brumbies.

    "Clearly there has been a couple of iterations before today’s final arrangement and I think from our perspective we’re very happy with the way it’s landed for us as a business," Waratahs chief executive Paul Doorn said. "But also for how it looks for the team. Really delighted actually."

    The Reds and Waratahs will also have the honour of being the first two Super Rugby teams to feature live on free-to-air television when they open the season on Friday, February 19. That night will feature a double-header to kick off the season, as the action will then move west, where the Force will host the Brumbies.

    At the end of the 10-week season, the team that finishes on top of the ladder will progress straight through to a home grand final. The second- and third-placed teams will then square off, with the winner progressing to the decider, as was the case this year in the inaugural Super Rugby AU.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...11-p56dkx.html

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    Bring in the Jaguares and the SunWolves and call it, I dunno, Super12??

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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