The dawning of a new Super Rugby W season is upon us with the 2024 Buildcorp fixtures unveiled today.
The draw will see the Rebels Super Rugby W kick off their seventh season on Friday March 15 against the Western Force at HBF Park.
Melbourne will play three doubleheaders across the new season, with back-to-back home matches to finish the regular season, after opening their new campaign with three away matches.
Next year's five-round Super W regular season, plus two-week finals series, will feature a record 12 matches to be played alongside Super Rugby Pacific fixtures in both Australia and Fiji.
With all matches also broadcast live and on-demand on Stan Sport, it will be easier than ever for rugby fans to support their favourite Super W team.
Following a Round 1 season opener in Perth, the Rebels Super Rugby W will travel to Canberra where Jason Rogers’ side will be out for revenge following last year’s nail biting seven-point defeat to the Brumbies at GIO Stadium.
Seven days later, Melbourne travels to Sydney for the team’s third and final away match of the season against the NSW Waratahs.
The Easter Weekend clash will see the Rebels Super W play their first ever match at the new Allianz Stadium, with the contest kicking off at 5:05 PM on Friday March 29.
On April 5, the Rebels Rugby W will play their opening home match of the season, with a Friday night blockbuster against last year’s Grand Finalists, the Queensland Reds, before welcoming Super Rugby W Champions, the Fijiana Drua to AAMI Park for the regular season finale on Saturday, April 13.
The top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals, where they will compete for a place in the Grand Final, to be held on the last weekend in April.
Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby W Head Coach, Jason Rogers, said he was excited to see his side back on the field again.
“We are really looking forward to the privilege and honour it is to represent our families, communities, fans and Club in Australia’s premium women’s rugby competition, Super W,” said Rogers.
“We learnt a lot about ourselves last season, and what it takes to compete at this level. We had a young squad last year and they are now one year older and wiser and hopefully can translate the 2023 experience into a new and improved 2024 season.
“The players are excited by the challenge ahead again for them, and most importantly the opportunity it presents to showcase their skills on the big stage.
“We have got some exciting young talented players coming through the Rebels Pathway programs, we have a couple of players returning, combined with some carefully selected recruits, which we are hoping will create a spectacle that is worthy of our families, community, fans and Club. We can’t wait to get started.”
The 2024 season will also see additional investment into new women's high performance environments and player development pathways, with the Next Gen Sevens evolving into the Super Rugby Women's 7s competition and the launch of an all-new Super Rugby Women's U19 competition.
"The Super W draw for 2024 ensures we will be showcasing the best women's rugby players from across Australia and Fiji to the biggest possible audience," Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh said.
"We are also excited to implement an official three-week pre-season window next season, which will see our Australian clubs host a number of trial games against teams from Oceania and Japan.
"At the same time we are building our development pathways through the Super W 7s and Super W U19s, to help grow the next generation of Super W, Wallaroos and Sevens stars.
"Combined with the strong growth in women's Sevens and XVs participation at a community level, the future is undoubtedly bright for women's rugby in Australia.
"While we would have loved to expand the Super W competition - and we remain committed to doing so - the reality is that the investment required to do so for 2024 would have required the removal of funding from other areas of the women's program, such as development, the new high performance staff and player payments.
"As we continue to take deliberate and strategic steps to grow and enhance the women's game, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Buildcorp, who continue to be an incredible supporter of women's rugby and a key participant in the journey.
"In the near future we will be able to share more details about the second phase of Rugby Australia's strategic plan for the growth of the women's game, encompassing the 2024 and 2025 seasons leading into the next Rugby World Cup in England."