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Super Rugby looks forward to expanded new season
The official launch of the 2016 Super Rugby season has been marked by a high level of anticipation among players, coaches and fans for the expanded competition.
The 21st season of the world’s premier provincial rugby competition will see two new international teams - the Sunwolves from Japan and Argentina’s Jaguares – join the race for Super Rugby supremacy, while another, South Africa’s Southern Kings return to the fold in an 18 team competition.
With all five of Australia’s teams wrapping up their pre-season preparations ahead of another tilt at the title, and new broadcast arrangements delivering unprecedented amounts of Super Rugby to fans, the 2016 Super Rugby season will ignite Australia’s passion for the global game.
Australian rugby’s pathways were also strengthened with the announcement of the first-ever Super Under 20s competition, which will provide a crucial stepping stone for emerging Australian rugby talent to showcase and hone their skills.
Some of Australia’s Super Rugby stars including Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), James Slipper (Reds), Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies), Matt Hodgson (Force) and Nic Stirzaker (Rebels) shared their anticipation for the upcoming campaign and indulged in some pre-season fun with special guests at the official media launch at the Wet’n’Wild Sydney waterpark.
Australian Rugby Union’s Chief Operating Officer, Rob Clarke, believes the 2016 Super Rugby season will captivate the global rugby community.
Clarke explains “the Asteron Life Super Rugby competition is without peer as an international provincial rugby competition.
“It pits the best of the best against each other on a weekly basis, featuring teams from the four best Rugby nations in the world – as evidenced by the recent Rugby World Cup in England.
"The inclusion of the Jaguares from Argentina and the Sunwolves from Japan in 2016 only enhances the ‘world best’ claim and the impact that both will have on the competition will be significant, in particular with the new fans that they will bring to Super Rugby.”
The Australian conference will kick off on Friday 26th February when last year’s semi-finalists, the Brumbies, take on the 2015 runners up, the Hurricanes, at GIO Stadium in Canberra (7.40pm local time) with co-captains Stephen Moore and Christian Lealiifano leading the charge.
Then on Saturday 27th February, two highly-anticipated Australian derbies will delight fans across the country.
The Western Force will take on the big improvers of 2015, the Melbourne Rebels at Perth’s nib Stadium (6.50pm local time).
Hours later, a new-look Waratahs team under new coach Daryl Gibson will run out at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium to take on the Reds whose new recruits, including Japanese cult hero Ayumu Goromaru, will be itching to make their mark for the Queenslanders (7.40pm local time).
Fox Sports will deliver live, High Definition coverage of every match in the 2016 Super Rugby season, and for the first time in the competition’s history, Network Ten will broadcast a full replay of one Australian Super Rugby match per round, nationally on the ONE channel.
Images (from top): 2016 Super Rugby Referee Will Houston, Matt Hodgson (Force), Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), James Slipper (Reds), Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies) and Nic Stirzaker (Rebels) and 2016 Super Rugby Referee Angus Gardiner at the 2016 Asteron Life Super Rugby launch at Wet'n'Wild Sydney and the 2016 Asteron Life Super Rugby trophy. Courtesy: Karen Watson/ARU Media
23rd January 2016 - BRUMBIES AGREE FIVE YEAR GIO STADIUM DEAL
4th December 2015 - TICKETDIRECT FOUNDER MATT DAVEY LEADS NEW HIGHLANDERS OWNERSHIP
24th November 2015 - NEW SANZAR CHIEF EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT
13th November 2015 - SANZAR TO STAGE SUPER RUGBY FIXTURE IN FIJI
12th November 2015 - SYDNEY TO HOST FOUR DAY FESTIVAL OF RUGBY
27th August 2015 - UNCERTAINTY OVER ENTRY OF JAPANESE CLUB INTO 2016 SUPER RUGBY COMPETITION
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