Waratahs 2013 Super Rugby Draw Announced
by Jim Davis –
Although the Waratahs’ first home game of 2013 isn’t until round three against the Rebels, Sydney fans have the chance to see the side in action two weeks beforehand in a trial match against the Canterbury Crusaders at Allianz Stadium on February 14th.
In addition to eight home Super Rugby games – including two afternoon matches at Allianz Stadium – the Waratahs host the touring British and Irish Lions giving supporters 10 opportunities to see their side in action.
“In 2013, NSW rugby fans will get the best of both worlds – a Super Rugby competition that continues to deliver exciting rugby played by some of the best teams in the southern hemisphere, and a tour by the British & Irish Lions, the very best of the northern hemisphere, that has been 12 years in the making,” said Waratahs Rugby CEO Jason Allen.
The Waratahs open the year with a trial match against the Rebels in Hobart then take on an as yet to be confirmed Kiwi side in New Zealand the following week before the Crusaders trial match in Sydney on Valentine’s Day.
To accommodate the Lions tour, week one of the Super Rugby season only features Australian sides while the Waratahs have a first-up bye. The Crusaders clash – being played on the Thursday before round one – will be a star studded affair as fans get the chance to see the new-look Waratahs under head coach Michael Cheika take on the likes of Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Israel Dagg.
“Our trial matches, particularly the home match against the Crusaders, give us the ideal chance to put into practice the new style that we will be looking to bring to our game,” said Cheika.
“As well as the chance to see some of the Super Rugby opposition live for the first time, the trials are a chance to learn more about the players within his squad. How they handle pressure, the opposition, how they react to certain situations – these are all game-related things that you can’t simulate in training.”
The Waratahs follow up their round two clash against the Reds in Brisbane with two more Australian derbies against the Rebels at home then away to the Brumbies. After hosting the Cheetahs in round five, afternoon football returns to Allianz Stadium in round six against the Blues and round seven against the Force before an away match against the Hurricanes and another bye.
A tough couple of weeks follow the bye with a home game against the reigning champion Waikato Chiefs and a two week South African road trip to take on the Bulls and newcomers Southern Kings before returning home to face 2012 table topping Stormers at Allianz and the Brumbies at ANZ Stadium.
Away games against the Rebels, Crusaders and Force precede the much anticipated Lions match on Saturday June 15th before the final game of the Super Rugby regular season against the Reds at ANZ Stadium in round 20.