Super Rugby Pacific will kick off a new era for the world’s most exciting professional rugby competition next February with a 15-week regular season and a refreshed finals format, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Rugby Australia (RA) have announced.
The 2022 season will be historic for rugby in the Pacific region with the introduction of the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika who will join New Zealand’s five clubs and Australia’s five clubs in a 12-team tournament.
Delivered by the joint venture partnership between NZR and RA, Super Rugby Pacific will kick off on 18 February next year with an eight-team playoff series culminating in a final on 18 June with NZR’s long-standing broadcast partner Sky providing live and exclusive access to all 91 matches.
Features of the Super Rugby Pacific competition structure are:
– 12 teams (in alphabetical order), being the Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs, Crusaders, Fijian Drua, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Melbourne Rebels, Moana Pasifika, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds and Western Force
– Teams will play 14 regular season matches with each team to host seven matches
– Teams will play eight teams once and three teams twice with an emphasis on derby matches
– There will be one points table with teams ranked one to 12 based on competition points
– The top eight teams on the points table will qualify for a three-week playoff format
– Quarterfinals will be – 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 with the top ranked team playing at home
– Top ranked quarter-final winners will host the semi-finals, and top-ranked winner of the semi-finals will host the final
– 18-week season all completed prior to the July international window