The Melbourne Rebels have welcomed the inclusions of Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika to an exciting new-look provincial competition for seasons 2022 and 2023.
The world’s premier rugby competition today confirmed the additions, with Rugby Australia (RA) and New Zealand Rugby (NZR) officially announcing the formation of Super Rugby Pacific for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
The ground-breaking 12-team competition involving five Australian and five New Zealand sides, is set to kick-off on February 18, with the Final to be played on June 18, 2022.
The complete competition structure for Super Rugby Pacific for 2022 and 2023 will be as follows:
- 12 teams (alphabetical order) with Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs, Crusaders, Fiji Drua, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Melbourne Rebels, Moana Pasifika, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Western Force
- 18-week competition window from 18 February to 18 June 2022 and 24 February to 24 June 2023
- 91 matches in total Teams will play 14 regular season matches with each team to host seven matches
- Teams will play 8 teams once and 3 teams twice with a focus on derby matches
- One competition table with teams ranked 1 to 12 based on competition points
- Three-week playoff format involving the top eight teams on the overall competition table with quarters, semis and final as follows:
- Quarterfinals – 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 with the top ranked team hosting
- Semi-Finals – top ranked quarter-final winner hosts against lowest ranked quarter-final winner & 2nd highest ranked quarterfinal winner hosts 3rd highest ranked quarterfinal winner
- Final – top ranked semi-final winner hosts the other semi-final winner
Melbourne Rebels’ CEO, Baden Stephenson said:
“This is an exciting announcement for Australian, New Zealand and Fijian rugby. Australian rugby holds a strong history of Pacific heritage representation, particularly here in Victoria."
"I believe today’s announcement will have a significant impact on our grassroots clubs, as we continue to grow the game across Victoria, where we hold such a strong and proud Pasifika community.
“After two interrupted campaigns, I’m extremely happy that our loyal members and fans will now have the opportunity to attend 7 home games at AAMI Park, watching some of the best rugby talent in the world,” Stephenson said.
Echoing Stephenson’s thoughts was Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, Kevin Foote:
“The 2021 Trans-Tasman competition was a huge success both in Australia and New Zealand, so it’s exciting to now add two more teams, particularly from such a strong contributor to the game, like Fiji.
“Fiji is one of the most talented and respected rugby communities in the world, and thoroughly deserves this wonderful opportunity to showcase its electrifying talent on the global Super Rugby stage,” said Foote.