The domestic competition in Australia will begin in July
Super Rugby AU Schedule Announced
Kicking off on 3 July will be a new domestic competition in Australia called the Vodafone Super Rugby AU. It follows in the footsteps of the New Zealand domestic competition called Super Rugby Aotearoa and has a similar format.
The tournament will see five Australian teams battle it out over 12 consecutive weekends of rugby action. The five teams will play each other in home and away fixtures and the tournament will culminate in a two-week finals series in September.
The teams competing are the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Canberra Brumbies, Melbourne Rebels and Western Force.
Rob Clarke, Rugby Australia interim CEO, said: “Today is another exciting day for rugby fans in Australia as we unveil the full competition draw for Vodafone Super Rugby AU.
“One of the main features is the consistent Friday and Saturday night prime-time viewing slots on Fox Sports, which rugby fans can set their watches to for the next 12 weeks. There will be no need to set the alarms to get up and watch your team in the middle of the night.
“We are looking forward to welcoming back the Western Force and seeing them take on their Australian rivals once again. We know there is a lot of excitement in the west and we cannot wait to see them in action.
“We know our teams will be desperate to get their hands on the silverware and players will be out to put their best foot forward for Wallabies selection at the end of the season.”
Like the New Zealand competition, Super Rugby AU will also feature law variations, including golden point, red card substitutions and 50/22 kicks. There are seven changes in all:
1. When an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal or knocks the ball on play restarts with a goal-line drop-out.
2. When a kick enters the in-goal area and is forced by the defending team play restarts with a goal line drop-out.
3. A kick originating in the attacking 22m area cannot be marked by the defending team within their own 22m area. The kick can however be marked within the defending team’s in-goal area and play restarts with a 22m line drop-out.
4. A red-carded player can be replaced after 20 minutes.
5. A kick taken from within the defending team’s 50m area that travels into touch within the opposition’s 22m area having first bounced in the field of play results in a lineout throw to the kicking team.
6. A kick taken from within the defending team’s 22m area that travels into touch within the opposition’s 50m area having first bounced in the field of play results in a lineout throw to the kicking team.
7. Super Time – there will be two five-minute periods of extra-time in the event of a drawn game after regulation time where the first points scored wins the match for the scoring team.
Super Rugby AU Schedule
All matches will be shown live on Sky Sports. If you don’t have a subscription to Sky but want to watch the matches, you can get a NowTV pass for daily, monthly or mobile access – find out more here.
Friday 3 July – Reds 32-26 Waratahs
Saturday 4 July – Brumbies 31-23 Rebels
Western Force Bye
Friday 10 July – Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park, Melbourne – 10.05am
Saturday 11 July – Waratahs v Western Force, TBC, Sydney – 10.15am
Friday 17 July – Reds v Western Force, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – 10.05am
Saturday 18 July – Waratahs v Brumbies, TBC, Sydney – 10.15am
Friday 24 July – Rebels v Waratahs, AAMI Park, Melbourne – 10.05am
Saturday 25 July – Western Force v Brumbies, TBC – 10.15am
Friday 31 July – Western Force v Rebels, HBF Park, Perth – 10.05am
Saturday 1 August – Brumbies v Reds, GIO Stadium, Canberra – 10.15am
Friday 7 August – Rebels v Brumbies, AAMI Park, Melbourne – 10.05am
Saturday 8 August – Waratahs v Reds, TBC, Sydney – 10.15am
Western Force Bye
Friday 14 August – Western Force v Waratahs, HBF Park, Perth – 10.05am
Saturday 15 August – Reds v Rebels, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – 10.15am
Friday 21 August – Western Force v Reds, HBF Park, Perth – 10.05am
Saturday 22 August – Brumbies v Waratahs, GIO Stadium, Canberra – 10.15am
Friday 28 August – Brumbies v Western Force, GIO Stadium, Canberra – 10.05am
Saturday 29 August – Waratahs v Rebels, TBC, Sydney – 10.15am
Friday 4 September – Rebels v Western Force, AAMI Park, Melbourne – 10.05am
Saturday 5 September – Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane – 10.15am
Saturday 12 September – 2nd v 3rd
Saturday 19 September – 1st v winner of Qualifying Final
Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.