The schedule for the 2020 season of Super Rugby has been unveiled with the tournament set to kick-off on 31st January.
The opening game will see Auckland Blues hosting Chiefs at Eden Park while Brumbies and Sharks host Reds and Bulls respectively. The remainder of the first round will see Sunwolves locking horns with Rebels in Fukuoka while Crusaders will face Waratahs in Nelson. Stormers, Jaguares, Hurricanes and Lions will also be in action in the opening round.
The tournament will also run uninterrupted for the first time with the June international window shifted to July.
“Super Rugby remains one of rugby’s premier tournaments and features many of the best teams and players in the world. The unique nature of this tournament, that covers a geographical spread across Argentina, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, not only re-inforces its global reach but the fact that it remains the toughest tournament in the world," said Super Rugby CEO Andy Marinos.
“2020 will see a season of uninterrupted action from February to July due to the shift of the inbound international rugby window from June to July.
"An earlier than usual start has been required to get through the 21-week tournament and provide the SANZAAR National Teams with a clear week leading into the July Test series.
“The complexity of the draw and managing logistics and scheduling that delivers a draw that is fair and equitable has been our priority. This has been achieved with a consultative and collaborative approach with the national unions, Super Rugby teams and Broadcasters."
This will also be the final season for Japanese club Sunwolves while the conference system will make way for round robin in the 2021 season.