Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby have confirmed a six-week trans-Tasman tournament will take place next year following their respective domestic Super Rugby competitions.
The trans-Tasman tournament – which will kick off on 14 May – will feature five teams from each country and boasts a 26-game fixture list to be played over six straight weeks, up to and including a final on 19 June.
Ending months of negotiations, each Australian team will play every New Zealand side in 25 crossover games before the championship decider.
All teams will play two home games and two away games as well as a ‘Super Round’, where all matches played in round three will be played at the one location, over the one weekend.
The final will be played between the top-two placed teams on the combined competition table with the team who finished first to host the decider.
‘This is a truly historic day for rugby in the southern hemisphere, with the first-ever Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby competition,’ Rugby Australia boss Rob Clarke said.
‘This will generate enormous excitement across both countries with some of the best players in the world set to challenge each other after the conclusion of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa.’
‘The Super Round is also a great initiative with one lucky city to host all 10 teams on one weekend in a Super Rugby extravaganza,’ Clarke added.
‘I’d like to thank the team at New Zealand Rugby for working so closely with us. Bring on 2021.’
New Zealand Rugby chief Mark Robinson commented: ‘Super Rugby Trans-Tasman is a great result for fans on both sides of the Tasman and is testament to the strength of the relationship between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia.
‘It’s been a testing time for rugby in both countries, but also a chance to re-imagine the game in our part of the world for 2021. The result is an exciting and innovative new competition, which will benefit fans, players, broadcasters and Super clubs.
‘We all know how special the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia is when it comes to sport and this tournament will add another exciting chapter. The banter between Rob Clarke and I has already begun and I’m sure fans will feel the same.’
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