Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition confirmed for 2021

A "Super Round" highlights the creation of a crossover trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition for 2021, with one lucky city set to host five games on the one weekend in a similar concept to the NRL's Magic Round of 2019.

Rugby Australia [RA] and New Zealand Rugby [NZR] made the announcement on Friday morning in Sydney, the two parties putting aside some squabbles of the past few months to settle on a six-week tournament where the five Australian Super Rugby sides will play their New Zealand counterparts once each.

The competition will be run separately to, and follow, Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The five Australian teams will meet their New Zealand colleagues once each, with the two highest placed sides after the regular season to contest a final and the right to claim genuine trans-Tasman rugby supremacy.

The competition will kick-off and conclude with the final on Jun. 19. "Super Round" will be contested in Week 3 of the competition, with the city still to be chosen.

"This is a truly historic day for Rugby in the southern hemisphere, with the first-ever Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby competition,"RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said.

"This will generate enormous excitement across both countries with some of the best players in the world set to challenge each other after the conclusion of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa.

"It will be a really exciting new product for our 2021 broadcast partners, Stan and Nine, and I know fans right around the world will be glued to their screens and devices to watch it all.

"The Super Round is also great initiative with one lucky city to host all 10 teams on one weekend in a Super Rugby extravaganza.

"I'd like to thank Mark Robinson and his team at New Zealand Rugby for working so closely with us. Bring on 2021."

An agreement on a trans-Tasman tournament for 2021 appeared to be an unlikely prospect just a few months ago when NZR announced it would be expanding its Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, and that it would only have room for "two to three" Australian teams.

The call for "expressions of interest" wasn't received well at RA, with chairman Hamish McLennan later claiming the trans-Tasman rugby relationship was at its lowest ebb ever.

But the two organisations appear to have put those differences behind them, rugby fans in both countries the big winner as they will now get six extra weeks of provincial rugby than what was originally appeared possible.

"Super Rugby Trans-Tasman is a great result for fans on both sides of the Tasman and is testament to the strength of the relationship between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia," NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said.

"It's been a testing time for rugby in both countries, but also a chance to reimagine the game in our part of the world for 2021. The result is an exciting and innovative new competition, which will benefit fans, players, broadcasters and Super clubs.

"We all know how special the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia is when it comes to sport and this tournament will add another exciting chapter. The banter between Rob Clarke and I has already begun and I'm sure fans will feel the same."

Trans-Tasman Super Rugby draw

Round One 14-15 May 2021

Crusaders v Brumbies

Western Force v Chiefs

Melbourne Rebels v Blues

Highlanders v Queensland Reds

NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes

Round Two 21-22 May 2021

Chiefs v Brumbies

Western Force v Highlanders

Hurricanes v Melbourne Rebels

Queensland Reds v Crusaders

Blues v NSW Waratahs

Round Three - Super Round

Brumbies v Blues

Hurricanes v Western Force

Melbourne Rebels v Highlanders

Queensland Reds v Chiefs

NSW Waratahs v Crusaders

Round Four 4-5 June 2021

Brumbies v Hurricanes

Crusaders v Western Force

Chiefs v Melbourne Rebels

Queensland Reds v Blues

Highlanders v NSW Waratahs

Round Five 11-12 June 2021

Brumbies v Highlanders

Blues v Western Force

Melbourne Rebels v Crusaders

Hurricanes v Queensland Reds

NSW Waratahs v Chiefs

Final Saturday 19 June 2021