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Super Rugby Pacific: How the new tournament will work

Super Rugby Pacific
Photo by The Daily Rugby

Australia and New Zealand have formed a new partnership to deliver Super Rugby Pacific from 2022, here’s how the tournament will operate. The new 12-team Super Rugby Pacific competition welcomes the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika who join the five Australian and five New Zealand sides.

THE 12 SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC TEAMS

The teams entered are 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 8 teams once and 3 teams twice with a focus on derby matches.

The conference system will fall away with one competition table to be employed and teams ranked 1 to 12 based on competition points.

PLAYOFFS

Eight of the 12 teams will earn a spot in the knockout stages of the competition. 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 quarterfinal winner hosts against lowest-ranked quarterfinal winner & 2nd highest ranked quarterfinal winner hosts 3rd highest ranked winner
  • Final – top-ranked semifinal winner hosts the other semi-final winner

NEW ENTRANTS

Pacific Island teams rejoin Super Rugby for the first time since the days of the Super Ten. Moana Pasifika will play their home fixtures primarily in New Zealand while the Fijian Drua will operate from a base in Australia.

Super Rugby Pacific’s 18-week competition window will run from 18 February to 18 June 2022. There are set to be 91 Super Rugby Pacific matches in total.

South African teams will no longer be part of Super Rugby as administrators seek to further a partnership with the former Pro14 teams in Europe.

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