A Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition between the New Zealand and Australian franchises is back on track and set to start on 14 May after confirmation of a travel bubble in line with Covid-19 protocols.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday announced that quarantine-free travel between the countries will allow the five Australian teams and the five Kiwi sides to fly in and out for games in a six-week, home-and-away tournament set for mid-May.
The competition is scheduled to get under way with a game between the Highlanders and Reds in Dunedin on 14 May and will conclude with a final between the two top-ranked teams on 19 June. A Super Round, where all 10 teams play in one location on one weekend, has also been mooted for 28-29 May.
Reds and Wallabies playmaker James O’Connor says confirmation that the tournament will go ahead will stand Australian rugby in good stead, because playing against New Zealand teams brings out the best in them.
‘We want to play the Kiwis and everyone wants to see it and we think it will bring the best out of us at all,’ he said.
‘Everyone brings something different, like Australian rugby it’s similar styles but intricacies within that and the Kiwis are the same and I can’t wait to unlock their defence.
‘We’ll watch some game footage, kick it old school, get the popcorn out and blackboard up and start writing some plays up, I’m really excited to do that.’
Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images