Rugby News

Rugby-Trans-Tasman Super Rugby matches in 2021 - report

WELLINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - New Zealand and Australian Super Rugby sides are due to play a series of crossover matches at the end of their domestic competitions next year, the Otago Highlanders’ chief executive said.

Roger Clark told a meeting of business leaders in Invercargill on Thursday night that the cross-over competition would be confirmed shortly while two teams from the Pacific would be added in 2022, Stuff Media reported.

“I think in ‘21, you’ll find it will be us and the Australians and in 2022 you’ll find Fiji and a Pasifika team fall into that competition,” Clark was quoted as telling the Southland Chamber of Commerce event.

The move comes after Super Rugby, which comprised 15 teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Japan was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with teams only able to compete in separate domestic competitions.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said earlier this month they would reprise their domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2021 because of coronavirus restrictions, with two full rounds of the competition and a final.

They also indicated they were still hoping to have crossover matches with Australian sides at the conclusion of the domestic competition and remained open to sides from the Pacific joining in 2022.

Clark added there was the possibility of crossover matches with South African sides every two years and a potential clash with the European Cup winners every four years.

South Africa Rugby said last month they were walking away from Super Rugby and looking to Europe for their cross-border club competitions.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Richard Pullin