Bubble boost for trans-Tasman rugby comp

Tue, 06/04/2021, 09:34 pm
Murray Wenzel - AAP
by Murray Wenzel - AAP
James O'Connor says New Zealand's Super Rugby teams will bring out the best in the Queensland Reds | Getty Images

Wallabies and Queensland Reds five-eighth James O'Connor is keen to break out the popcorn and study a new opposition after confirmation of a travel bubble gave Super Rugby Trans-Tasman new life.

The five-week, home-and-away tournament set for mid-May, featuring all 10 Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby outfits, hinges on the existence of a travel bubble that on Tuesday was given the green light from April 19.

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Quarantine-free travel between the countries will allow teams to fly in and out for games in a massive boost for Rugby Australia, who are desperate for the tournament to be played in some shape or form after the domestic champion is crowned.

It's also a boost for the unbeaten Reds, who have their eyes on a May 22 Suncorp Stadium clash with the Crusaders, who they beat to claim their only Super Rugby title at the same ground 10 years ago.

That game should attract a large crowd and O'Connor said the chance to tussle again with the New Zealand franchises excited him.

The Queensland Reds are ready to tussle against the Kiwi sides

"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."

Both countries will hold their domestic finals on May 8 before each team plays each other over the next month and a champion is crowned in a one-off grand final on June 19.

A Super Round, where all 10 teams play in one location on one weekend, has also been mooted for May 28-29.

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