The Queensland Reds will launch their Super Rugby Pacific campaign with an all-Australian blockbuster against the Melbourne Rebels at Suncorp Stadium after a revised draw was announced by joint venture partners New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Rugby Australia today.
A local derby between Moana Pasifika and the Blues at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on Friday 18 February 2022 will kick off the inaugural season of the competition, commencing the start of a new era.
The new schedule retains the same competition format announced in November with a full round robin and single points table, but will see the six New Zealand-based teams and six Australian based teams play their opening eight matches on different sides of the Tasman due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Following their Round 1 clash, Queensland take to the road for two weeks to face the New South Wales Waratahs and Western Force, before returning to Brisbane to take on the Fijian Drua on Saturday 12 March.
Suncorp Stadium then hosts two huge clashes in consecutive weeks, with the Reds taking on their traditional rivals the Waratahs followed by the Super Rugby AU Grand Final rematch against the Brumbies on Saturday 2 April.
After a Round 8 bye, Queensland travel south for the inaugural Super Round in Melbourne which will see the Reds take on the Hurricanes.
With Trans-Tasman travel back, the Chiefs come to Suncorp Stadium on Friday 29 April, with the Highlanders taking to Brisbane the week later on Friday 6 May.
Queensland play their final home game against Moana Pasifika on Friday 20 May before ending their season against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
All 12 clubs will converge on Melbourne in Round 10 for a Super Round that will feature a unique celebration of the ANZAC spirit and trans-Tasman fixtures will resume in Round 11 (29 April-1 May).
The Super Round Melbourne is being backed by TEG Live, Asia Pacific’s leading live entertainment company and supported by the Victorian Government and Visit Victoria.
The revised draw maintains the same key elements of the original draw with each team to play a total of 14 matches during the regular season, 11 round-robin fixtures plus three additional rivalry matches which will see each team play a home and away series against three other teams.
Themed rounds celebrating a Women in Rugby Round, Culture Round, and Heritage Round will also remain on the schedule with confirmation of new dates and other details to be announced early next year.
All 12 clubs will still have their bye in either Round 7, Round 8 or Round 9 providing a fair chance for all teams to recharge as they launch their final push for a place in the Grand Final with all 91 matches ad-free, live and on-demand on Stan Sport with Saturday night’s game simulcast free-to-air on the Nine Network.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “We’re pleased to be able to confirm the revised draw for Super Rugby Pacific.
“We believe these changes will allow us to navigate the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, while ensuring we maintain the integrity of the draw and the format of the new Super Rugby Pacific competition.
“It’s been a challenging environment over the last two years, but we’re thankful to our teams and our partners in New Zealand Rugby, SANZAAR and our broadcasters for their support as we worked through this process together.
“This is an exciting new era for Rugby in the Pacific and I would encourage all fans to get out and support their teams and sign up to catch all the action on Stan Sport.”
Secure your 2022 Reds membership via https://bit.ly/3qvilsP.
Queensland Reds 2022 Super Rugby Pacific Draw
Round 1 – v Rebels, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 19 February, 6:45pm
Round 2 – v Waratahs, TBC, Friday 25 February, 6:45pm
Round 3 – v Force, HBF Park, Perth, Friday 4 March, 9:00pm
Round 4 – v Fijian Drua, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 12 March, 6:45pm
Round 5 – v Brumbies, GIO Stadium, Canberra, Friday 18 March, 6:45pm
Round 6 – v Waratahs, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 26 March, 6:45pm
Round 7 – v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 2 April, 6:45pm
Round 8 – BYE
Round 9 – v Rebels, AAMI Park, Melbourne, Friday 15 April, 7:45pm
Round 10 – v Hurricanes, AAMI Park, Melbourne, Saturday 23 April, 7:45pm
Round 11 – v Chiefs, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Friday 29 April, 7:45pm
Round 12 – v Highlanders, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Friday 6 May, 7:45pm
Round 13 – v Blues, Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 14 May, 5:05pm
Round 14 – v Moana Pasifika, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Friday 20 May, 7:45pm
Round 15 – v Crusaders, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, Friday 27 May, 5:05pm
*all times in AEST
SUPER RUGBY PACIFIC AT A GLANCE
Friday 18 February: Moana Pasifika v Blues @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland.
12 teams: Moana Pasifika, Fijian Drua, Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders, Waratahs, Reds, Force, Brumbies, Rebels
14 regular season matches = 11 round-robin matches + 3 rivalry matches
One bye round per team (all byes in Rounds 7, 8 & 9)
18 weeks = 15-week regular season + three-week playoff series
Total Matches: 91
8-team playoffs format - QFs: June 3-5; SFs: 10-11 June; FINAL 18 June.