Local derbies are back for Super Rugby in 2018
LOCAL derbies are back and the NSW Waratahs could play the Queensland Reds at the Sydney Cricket Ground and another game away from Allianz Stadium in the new Super Rugby draw for 2018.
The Tahs have a couple of scheduling clashes with Sydney FC and are at the moment weighing up a number of options about where the best place to run these game – the first against the Queensland Reds on April 14 and the second against the Blues on May 5.
Under the new 15-team format for 2018, each Australian team will face off with each of their Australian Conference rivals at home and away, intensifying the battle for the all-important Australian Conference title which offers a guaranteed finals berth.
Four Australian teams – NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Melbourne Rebels and the Brumbies, will be joined by the Sunwolves of Japan in the five-team Australian Conference.
The 2018 season will kick off on February 17 in South Africa, however all eyes will be on AAMI Park the following week when the Rebels host the Reds in the first Aussie showdown on Friday, February 23.
The following day, 2017 Australian Conference champions the Brumbies meet new Conference rivals the Sunwolves in Tokyo, before the Waratahs take on South Africa’s Stormers at Allianz Stadium.
The rest of the draw is littered with highlights, including a bumper Easter weekend featuring a Good Friday clash between the Rebels and Hurricanes at AAMI Park and an Easter Saturday blockbuster between the Brumbies and Waratahs at GIO Stadium.
A fortnight later, in Week 9, Australian teams will feature in a “Super Saturday” triple-header which culminates in the traditional rivalry between the Waratahs and Reds on Saturday, April 14.
Week 11 falls on the weekend following ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand and the feature match of the round sees the Brumbies tackle the defending champion Crusaders at GIO Stadium on Saturday, April 28.
Earlier that day, Queensland host 2017 Finalists the Lions in an afternoon clash at Suncorp Stadium.
In another great development, only four matches involving Australian teams will kick off between the hours of midnight and 3:30am Australian (eastern) time throughout the course of the season.
Super Rugby will once again feature an eight-team, seven-match Finals Series which kicks off on the weekend of July 21-22.
The new champion will be crowned after the Vodafone Super Rugby Final on the weekend of August 4-5.
AUSSIE TEAMS DRAW (all times SYDNEY)
No matches involving Australian teams (matches in South Africa Conference only)
Rebels v Reds 23 Feb Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunwolves v Brumbies 24 Feb Sat 3:15pm Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo
Waratahs v Stormers 24 Feb Sat 7:45pm Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Reds v Brumbies 2 Mar Fri 8:00pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (7:00pm local)
Sunwolves v Rebels 3 Mar Sat 8:00pm Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
Sharks v Waratahs 4 Mar Sun 12:05am Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Rebels v Brumbies 9 Mar Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Reds v Bulls 10 Mar Sat 7:45pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (6:45pm local)
Jaguares v Waratahs 11 Mar Sun 8:40am Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Brumbies v Sharks 17 Mar Sat 7:45pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Jaguares v Reds 18 Mar Sun 8:40am Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Waratahs v Rebels 18 Mar Sun 4:05pm Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Rebels v Sharks 23 Mar Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Stormers v Reds 25 Mar Sun 2:15am DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Brumbies, Waratahs bye
Week 7 (EASTER)
Rebels v Hurricanes 30 Mar Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne (Good Friday)
Brumbies v Waratahs 31 Mar Sat 7:45pm GIO Stadium, Canberra (Easter Saturday)
Sunwolves v Waratahs 7 Apr Sat 3:15pm Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo
Brumbies v Reds 7 Apr Sat 7:45pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Rebels v Jaguares 14 Apr Sat 3:15pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Highlanders v Brumbies 14 Apr Sat 5:35pm venue TBC
Waratahs v Reds 14 Apr Sat 7:45pm venue TBC
Waratahs v Lions 20 Apr Fri 7:45pm Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Reds v Chiefs 21 Apr Sat 7:45pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Bulls v Rebels 21 Apr Sat 11:05pm Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Brumbies v Jaguares 22 Apr Sun 4:05pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Week 11 (ANZAC)
Stormers v Rebels 28 Apr Sat 3:10am DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Reds v Lions 28 Apr Sat 3:05pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brumbies v Crusaders 28 Apr Sat 7:45pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Rebels v Crusaders 4 May Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Waratahs v Blues 5 May Sat 3:05pm venue TBC
Brumbies, Reds bye
Sunwolves v Reds 12 May Sat 1:05pm Prince Chichibu Stadium, Tokyo
Crusaders v Waratahs 12 May Sat 3:15pm venue TBC
Brumbies v Rebels 12 May Sat 7:45pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Hurricanes v Reds 18 May Fri 5:35pm venue TBC
Waratahs v Highlanders 19 May Sat 7:45pm Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Lions v Brumbies 20 May Sun 1:15am Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Rebels v Sunwolves 25 May Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Chiefs v Waratahs 26 May Sat 5:35pm venue TBC
Reds v Highlanders 26 May Sat 7:45pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Bulls v Brumbies 26 May Sat 11:05pm Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Blues v Rebels 2 Jun Sat 3:15pm venue TBC
Reds v Waratahs 2 Jun Sat 7:45pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brumbies v Sunwolves 3 Jun Sun 4:05pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Blues v Reds 29 June Fri 5:35pm venue TBC
Rebels v Waratahs 29 Jun Fri 7:45pm AAMI Park, Melbourne
Brumbies v Hurricanes 30 Jun Sat 7:45pm GIO Stadium, Canberra
Reds v Rebels 6 Jul Fri 7:45pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Chiefs v Brumbies 7 Jul Sat 3:15pm venue TBC
Waratahs v Sunwolves 7 Jul Sat 7:45pm Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Reds v Sunwolves 13 Jul Fri 7:45pm Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Highlanders v Rebels 14 Jul Sat 3:15pm venue TBC
Waratahs v Brumbies 14 Jul Sat 7:45pm Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Sat 21 Jul
Sat 28 Jul
Sat 4 Aug