Super 14 Rugby

Super 14 draw confirmed for Five years




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New Super 14 draw confirmed for next five years Expanded tournament to kick off in 2006 with Blues v Hurricanes.

The draw for the showcase of Southern Hemisphere rugby – the Tooheys New Super 14 – has been confirmed for the next five years, as SANZAR prepares for the next phase of the global competition.

The Board of SANZAR, representing the South African, New Zealand and Australian Rugby Unions, today released a detailed draw for next year as well as a home-and-away draw for 2007 – 2010.

New Zealand Rugby Union and current SANZAR Chief Executive Chris Moller said all three countries were excited by the inaugural Tooheys New Super 14 competition which sees the Western Force from Perth, Australia, and the Central Cheetahs from Bloemfontein, South Africa, join the original 12 franchises.

“From that very first game when the Hurricanes hosted the Blues back in 1996, the Super 12 has grown into a hugely popular competition with match attendances and TV viewership on the rise,” he said.

“As we now move into the Tooheys New Super 14, the addition of the two new teams will provide an exciting boost to what is widely acknowledged as one of the most thrilling rugby tournaments in the world,” he added.

South African Rugby Union CEO Johan Prinsloo said: “The re-launched Super 14 offers an air of excitement for South African rugby supporters as the Central Cheetahs will now join the four traditional franchises. The

additional franchise means more of our players will now be exposed to the intense and hugely entertaining level of international rugby.”

Australian Rugby Union CEO Gary Flowers said: “Packed houses in Perth and Brisbane could not provide a better backdrop to the new competition. The four Australian teams going at each other in the opening round is just the perfect start.”

“New South Wales and Queensland renew a rugby rivalry that goes back to 1882, while our newest team, the Western Force, pit themselves against the most successful Australian team of the past ten years, the Brumbies.”

As they did in 1996, the Blues and the Hurricanes will kick off the expanded Tooheys New Super 14 competition, with their match taking place at Eden Park on Friday 10 February next year.

Other New Zealand highlights of next year’s draw include an opening round clash between the Crusaders and the Highlanders, and the Hurricanes hosting the Western Force in round two. The Chiefs will start their campaign overseas with matches against the Sharks and Cats in South Africa and the Western Force in Perth. The Crusaders will host the Waratahs in a rematch of this year’s Tooheys New Super 12 final in round nine.

The semifinals of the Tooheys New Super 14 will be held on 19-20 May with the final a week later on 27 May.

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