The Reds will host the Waratahs in the 2021 Super Rugby AU season opener on 19 February at Suncorp Stadium.
Rugby Australia confirmed the fixtures of the second edition of its new premier domestic competition on Wednesday, with the tournament set to run for 11 weeks between 19 February and 8 May, the date set schedule for the final.
After the opening match between the Reds and Waratahs, inaugural champions the Brumbies will then take on the Western Force to complete the first round of action.
Following the opening Friday night double-header, Super Rugby AU will return to the same format of 2020 where one Friday-night and one Saturday-night match are played each weekend, with all 22 matches to be broadcast live.
The log leaders after the regular season will automatically advance to the final and will host the title decider, with the second-placed team to once again host the third-ranked side in a playoff match for a spot in the final.
‘What a way to start 2021 and our new partnership with Stan and Nine,’ Rugby Australia interim CEO Rob Clarke said on Wednesday.
‘Our players are raring to go and are really keen put on a show for fans, with Super Rugby AU to light up living rooms right around the country.
‘Super Rugby AU was terrific in 2020 and will get better next year as this next crop of Australian rugby stars continue to develop, and they are complemented by some genuinely talented international players who have since arrived on our shores.
‘The 2021 season promises to be a great one for Australian fans with every game in prime time and with the added support of our new broadcast partners.’
Rugby Australia also confirmed that it is working with New Zealand Rugby on a trans-Tasman competition, set to follow the two countries’ respective domestic competitions.
New Zealand Rugby announced its Super Rugby Aotearoa competition on Tuesday night. The competition will kick off one week later than Super Rugby AU, but the respective tournaments will finish on the same weekend with Super Rugby Aotearoa having a straight-up final between the top two teams.
Photo: Rugby AU