Sanzaar has confirmed that next year’s Super Rugby tournament will be played across 21 consecutive weeks between 15 February and 6 July.
The change in schedule is due to there being no mid-year Test series in the lead-up to the World Cup, which kicks off in September.
‘As there will be no June inbound international matches in 2019, Super Rugby will run uninterrupted,’ said Sanzaar CEO Andy Marinos.
‘This is a huge plus for the tournament next year and there will also be a uniform start to the tournament in round one with a full round of seven matches to kick off Super Rugby.’
The first round of matches will be played in five countries, with the Chiefs hosting the Highlanders in Hamilton and the Blues facing the Crusaders in Auckland, the Brumbies welcoming the Rebels in Canberra and the Waratahs playing the Hurricanes in Sydney, the Sharks travelling to Singapore to take on the Sunwolves, the Stormers opening their season against the Bulls in Pretoria and the Jaguares hosting the Lions in Buenos Aires.