New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa draw with 10 weeks of derbies that will begin on February 26 of next year and will end with a final in which the winner takes all for the Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa trophy. The second edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa will begin at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin Friday, February 26, where the Highlanders to host defending champion Crusaders, and the Hurricanes and Blues they will complete Round 1 at Sky Stadium in Wellington the following day.
The Chiefs They will have the first round free before hosting the Highlanders at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton on Friday, March 5.
The novelty of the tournament is the inclusion of a final, which will be played on Saturday, May 8.
The NZR Professional Rugby and Performance General Manager Chris Lendrum, said the 2021 season would build on the excitement generated by the first edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“We saw how exciting this home / away format was last year, and all five teams now know what it takes to compete and win each week. With the availability of the All Blacks locked up for the first round, there will be fireworks from the opening whistle.
“It is great to have some certainty for fans, players and partners after a year of uncertainty. Confirming the 2021 draw is an important milestone and a positive step for rugby in New Zealand. “
Lendrum also confirmed that NZR is working closely with Rugby Australia. in a trans-Tasman competition and would announce details shortly.
A feature of the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa draw is four Sunday afternoon games for families, two at Eden Park in Auckland and one at Wellington’s Sky Stadium and Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.
Each team will have four home games and two off dates, with the final between the top two qualifying teams scheduled for Saturday, May 8.
“We have listened to the fans and our players and added a final, which we believe will provide an appropriate climax for the competition,” Lendrum said.
The NZR High Performance Boss, Mike Anthony, confirmed that the All Blacks would be available from the first round.
“The latest start date for Super Rugby Aotearoa means that our players will be ready to go to the starting line, which is a good result for everyone. From a high performance standpoint, it will once again provide us with an ideal platform to evaluate our best talents in high-quality competition. “
2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa
Highlanders vs Crusaders, Dunedin – Friday, February 26
Hurricanes vs Blues, Wellington – Saturday, February 27
Chiefs vs Highlanders, Hamilton – Friday, March 5
Crusaders v Hurricanes, Christchurch – Saturday March 6
Crusaders vs Chiefs, Christchurch – Saturday March 13
Blues vs Highlanders, Auckland – Sunday March 14
Hurricanes vs Chiefs, Wellington – Saturday March 20
Blues vs Crusaders, Auckland – Sunday March 21
Highlanders vs Hurricanes, Dunedin – Friday, March 26
Chiefs vs Blues, Hamilton – Saturday March 27
Crusaders vs Highlanders, Christchurch – Friday April 2
Blues vs Hurricanes, Auckland – Saturday April 3
Highlanders vs Chiefs, Dunedin – Saturday April 10
Hurricanes vs Crusaders, Wellington – Sunday, April 11
Highlanders vs Blues, Dunedin – Friday April 16
Chiefs vs Crusaders, Hamilton – Saturday, April 17
Chiefs vs Hurricanes, Hamilton – Friday, April 23
Crusaders vs Blues, Christchurch – Sunday, April 25
Hurricanes vs Highlanders, Wellington – Friday, April 30
Blues vs Chiefs, Auckland – Saturday May 1
Saturday May 8