The new Super 15 Competition will kick off on the weekend of Friday 18 February in 2011 and feature a host of innovations to provide the ultimate goal of more rugby content!
- One new team – the Melbourne Rebels.
- An expanded format in which teams are grouped into conferences (the 5 Aussie teams, the 5 Kiwi teams and the 5 SAF teams). Throughout the season each team plays every other team in their conference twice (both home and away) and four of the five teams in each of the other conferences.
- Sixteen games (compared to 13 now) in the regular season.
- Each team will play 12 of its 16 games within its own country (ie. only four over seas games).
- The finals will feature the top team from each conference plus the next three highest ranking teams (based on most points) – called the “Wild Card Qualifiers”. The top two ranked teams will have the first week of the finals off.
- Three weeks of finals. Week 1 will see 3rd ranked team v 6th ranked team and 4th v 5th, both elimination finals.
- In Week 2 the 1st ranked team plays the lowest ranked winner and the 2nd ranked team plays the highest placed winner (clear?). Week 3 will be the final!
- The Rebels have avoided the Crusaders and the Lions; the Tahs have avoided the Hurricanes and the Stormers; the Reds avoid the Highlanders and the Sharks; the Brumbies avoid the Blues and the Bulls; and the Force avoid the Chiefs and the Cheetahs. The Tahs and the Brumbies seem to have come out of that the best.
- The Rebels are going for the Friday night crowd playing all of their home games on a Friday night. Meanwhile the Reds and Brumbies are playing a few Sunday arvo games. The Reds take on the Force (Rnd 1) at 4.40pm on Sunday 20 Feb; the Brumbies take on the Force at 4.10pm on Sunday 17 April; and the Reds play the Crusaders at 4.10pm on Sunday 29 May.
A breakdown of the draw per Aussie Super 15 team is as follows:
For a full copy of the draw, click HERE.