After 288 days, the Melbourne Rebels will make their long-awaited return to AAMI Park with a Round 2 Super Round clash against the Brumbies, after today’s unveiling of the inaugural Super Rugby Pacific draw.
New rivalries will be born and old ones renewed, as the new competition kicks off on February 18 before concluding with the Final, to be played on June 18.
The Rebels will play all eleven teams over the fifteen-week regular season, hosting 7 blockbuster games in Melbourne - the most since 2019.
Among the highlights is a Round 6 Cultural Round, a prized Round 10 ANZAC clash, and a historic Round 2 Super Round, which will see all 12 teams descend upon Melbourne to play at AAMI Park, from Friday night to Sunday.
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Melbourne Rebels’ CEO, Baden Stephenson, said season 2022 promises to be a great reward for the Club’s loyal members, who have proudly supported the Rebels through an interrupted two years.
“This is fantastic news for Victorian rugby, our members, fans and valued partners, who will now have the opportunity to attend seven games at AAMI Park, cheering on our team against some of the most electrifying talent in world rugby,” said Stephenson.
“I’m delighted that our proud city has been chosen to host the inaugural Super Round which will see every team and every international star play right in our very own backyard.
“We’re also really excited to have the opportunity to play Cultural Round and ANZAC Round in front of our beloved fans, while receiving the honour of hosting both Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua in their maiden Super Rugby campaigns, which will be a great celebration for our Victorian community which holds such a strong Fijian and Pasifika presence.”
The Rebels will begin its 13th Super Rugby campaign with a Saturday night clash against the Western Force in Perth (7 pm), before returning to AAMI Park to do battle with the Brumbies on a Super Round Sunday afternoon (4 pm)
The Rebels will then be looking to repeat 2018’s memorable 20-10 victory over the Blues, when they face last year’s Trans-Tasman Champions, in Round 3 on Saturday at 2:35 pm.
The Rebels will have the opportunity to celebrate the inclusions of Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika, by hosting both sides during their inaugural season of Super Rugby competition on March 11 (7:45 pm) and April 8 (19:45 pm), respectively, in what shapes as a special moment for Victoria’s grassroots community.
On March 19, the Rebels head to Sydney to lock horns with the Waratahs, as the Club looks to retain its cherished Weary Dunlop Shield for yet another season.
Experienced recruit, Moses Sorovi, will get his first opportunity to face his former side the following week, when Rebels play the Queensland Reds for Cultural Round on Friday night (7:45 pm).
After battling the Crusaders in Christchurch in Round 9, the Rebels return to Melbourne to host a special ANZAC Round match against the Chiefs on April 23 (7:45 pm).
The Round 10 fixture marks the first time the Rebels have hosted an Anzac Round match since the Club’s dominant 36-14 win over the Cheetahs in 2016.
Following back-to-back road games against Fijian Drua and the Reds in Brisbane, the Rebels will welcome the Highlanders in a Super Sunday clash that promises to be a thrilling affair following last year’s Trans-Tasman scoring feast.
In Round 14, the Rebels travel to Wellington to face the Hurricanes at Sky Stadium (4:35 pm), before wrapping up its 2022 regular season campaign with a Sunday afternoon match against the Western Force at AAMI Park (2 pm).
Melbourne Rebels’ Head Coach, Kevin Foote, said the players were thrilled by the prospect of being reunited with the Rebels’ loyal fans once again.
“We’re really excited to begin our Super Rugby Pacific campaign and play in front of our passionate fans back at such a wonderful stadium as AAMI Park,” said Foote.
“Our players hold a great deal of gratitude for the support the Club has and continues to receive, and we’re determined to keep working hard every second and every day in pre-season, to make sure we can be the best Melbourne Rebels we can be for our fans and this State.”
“There’s nothing better than winning in front of your supporters and your community, and that’s been a driving force for us this pre-season.”
Kicking-off on February 18, 2022, all 91 matches will be broadcast ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sports.