New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa to kick off in June

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Highlanders and Chiefs will kick off New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa compeition next month as New Zealand announced another round of restriction easing on Monday.

New Zealand moved to level two restrictions on Monday, allowing Super Rugby teams to return to full training ahead of a Saturday June 13 kick-off in a new five-team, 10-week competition.

New Zealand's five teams will play each other twice in a 10-week competition that centres around afternoon and twilight timeslots.

Matches will be played without crowds until government restrictions are eased and teams will have to adhere to a range of biosecurity measures.

Away teams will travel on chartered flights, arriving and departing on the same day, and will be taken by bus directly between the airport and match venue for games.

New Zealand Rugby also made a point of locking in a start date for its provincial competition the Mitre 10 Cup, in the announcement on Monday.

That tournament is pencilled in to kick off on September 11.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said the teams would be doing everything to ensure a safe resumption.

"The thought of five world-class Kiwi teams battling it out in 20 matches over 10 weeks should put a smile back on the faces of many people. I know our players are excited and I’m sure rugby fans will be as well.”

“Medical and operational staff across NZR, the Players’ Association and the clubs have been working together to ensure we have detailed plans in place to protect the health and safety of everyone involved.”

NZR Medical Manager Karen Rasmussen said they would not be leaving anything to chance.

“A major factor will be ensuring we control who enters the team bubbles and that we have necessary measures in place to mitigate against any risk to the health of all team members, as well as the health of their families and the wider community,” said Rasmussen.

“Team members will be asked to minimise their contacts outside of the team environment and their family bubbles.”

SCHEDULE

All times AEST.

ROUND ONE

Saturday June 13

3:05pm - Highlanders v Chiefs, Dunedin

Sunday June 14

1:05pm - Blues vs Hurricanes, Auckland

Bye: Crusaders

ROUND TWO

Saturday June 20

3:05pm Chiefs vs Blues, Hamilton

Sunday June 21

Hurricanes vs Crusaders, Wellington

Bye: Highlanders

ROUND THREE

Saturday June 27

3:05pm Blues vs Highlanders, Auckland

Sunday June 28

1:05pm - Crusaders vs Chiefs, Christchurch

Bye: Hurricanes

ROUND FOUR

Saturday July 4

3:05pm Highlanders vs Crusaders, Dunedin

Sunday July 5

1:05pm - Chiefs vs Hurricanes, Hamilton

Bye: Blues

ROUND FIVE

Saturday July 11

3:05pm - Crusaders v Blues, Christchurch

Sunday July 12

1:05pm - Hurricanes vs Highlanders, Wellington

Bye: Chiefs

ROUND SIX

Saturday July 18

3:05pm - Hurricanes vs Blues, Wellington

Sunday July 19

1:05pm - Chiefs vs Highlanders, Hamilton

Bye: Crusaders

ROUND SEVEN

Saturday July 25

3:05pm - Crusaders vs Hurricanes, Christchurch

Sunday July 26

1:05pm - Blues vs Chiefs, Auckland 

Bye: Highlanders

ROUND EIGHT

Saturday August 1

3:05pm - Chiefs v Crusaders, Hamilton

Sunday August 2

1:05pm - Highlanders vs Blues, Dunedin

Bye: Hurricanes

ROUND NINE

Saturday August 8

3:05pm Hurricanes vs Chiefs, Wellington

Sunday August 9

1:05pm - Crusaders v Highlanders, Christchurch

Bye: Blues

ROUND 10

Saturday August 15

3:05pm - Highlanders vs Hurricanes, Dunedin

Sunday August 16

1:05pm - Blues vs Crusaders, Auckland

Bye: Chiefs