Super Rugby will return in Australia next month, with the Reds and Waratahs going head-to-head in Brisbane on July 3.
The competition, which also includes teams from Japan, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand, was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Super Rugby is now preparing to make its comeback, albeit under a revamped format.
Super Rugby Aotearoa will start this weekend, with New Zealand sides Chiefs, Highlanders, Blues, Hurricanes and Crusaders set to play each other home and away in front of fans, with no limitations on crowd size.
3 DAYS TO GO!
HEAD-TO-HEAD: @BluesRugbyTeam v @Hurricanesrugby
North Island Derby: Hurricanes have won 9 of the last 10 clashes but the Blues won the last encounter in March this year…#SuperRugbyAotearoa #SuperRugby25years pic.twitter.com/OS20ihxcnU
— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) June 10, 2020
Australia’s teams will follow suit starting from July 3, with the Reds and Waratahs kicking off the action at Suncorp Stadium, followed by the Brumbies going up against the Rebels in Canberra – with a fifth team, Perth Western Force, receiving a first-round bye.
Each team will play each other twice before a two-week play-off round to conclude the season, with a grand final scheduled for September 19.
“Our focus is now back where it should be, getting Super Rugby AU up and running next month and watching our five Australian teams go head-to-head in week after week of Aussie derby action,” Rugby Australia [RA] interim CEO Rob Clarke said.
RA also confirmed the matches will take place behind closed doors, pending government advice on allowing spectators.
It is not yet clear whether Super Rugby will resume in South Africa, though it has been reported a domestic competition is in the works.
The Jaguares and Sunwolves, based in Argentina and Japan respectively, do not look set to be involved in any of the competitions, with restrictions on international travel still in place.
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