Rugby Australia

RA, NZR launch new era with formation of Super Rugby Pacific

The 12-team tournament will see Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika join the five Australian and five New Zealand sides, set to kick off on 18 February 2022.

Teams will play each other once across the 14-week regular season, along with playing three teams twice, with an added focus on delivering more local derbies following the success of Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa.

The final series will see the top eight teams battle it out, with quarters, semis and final as follows:

Rugby Australia hopeful of Perth Bledisloe

But plans for the four-team Rugby Championship, also including world champions South Africa and Argentina, being played solely in Perth look to have been knocked on the head.

The Bledisloe match is scheduled for Optus Stadium on August 28, however doubts surfaced with the All Blacks caught up in New Zealand’s snap lockdown on Tuesday.

Following the outbreak the West Australian government changed the border arrangements so all arrivals from New Zealand must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Wallabies snatch victory at death after French error

Les Bleus led by 15 points in the first half after two Gabin Villiere tries but Wallabies captain Michael Hooper's late try closed France's lead to one.

France then kicked a penalty to touch but fumbled the resulting line-out and Australia won the decisive penalty.

The sides meet again on Tuesday in the second game of the three-match series.

It was Australia's second Test victory since the 2019 World Cup against a French side that have rested most of their Test starters.

     

Rugby Championship set for August kick-off

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said that would give the Wallabies time to rest after the bunched-up three-test series against France.

"At a worst case we're looking at August 7th as the first possible date that (the Rugby Championship) could happen," he told reporters.

"There's a good two, maybe three weeks after this (France) test series in order for the guys to recoup, refresh and get themselves ready."

World champions South Africa pulled out of last year's Rugby Championship against Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, citing player welfare concerns.

France set for two mid-week tests in Australia as tour itinerary confirmed

The first test is in Sydney on Wednesday, July 7 at the SCG followed by a Tuesday night Melbourne match at AAMI Park on July 13 and a final test on Saturday, July 17 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

The condensed series is due to French club commitments and hotel quarantine for the visitors.

It’s the first time since 2012 that the Wallabies have played a midweek test, with Australia losing that match to Scotland.

Both countries will name larger squads than normal for the series given it’s unlikely they can field the same starting side in successive tests.

Hypothetical teams show how Fiji, Tonga and Samoa could be world class

Many of the Pacific Islands‘ brightest stars have been hoovered up by the likes of Australia and New Zealand for many years, while even the northern hemisphere nations have done the same in recent years.

Independent not-for-profit players association Pacific Rugby Welfare posted hypothetical teams for the three Pacific Island nations, which are made up of players who could have represented Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Travel bubble benefits Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

Planning for the mooted six-week competition had continued between New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and Sanzaar with hopes that a trans-Tasman travel bubble would open in time.

"Today's news gives us even greater confidence to push forward with our plans and provides certainty to our teams, fans and stakeholders," New Zealand Rugby said in a statement.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman would follow on from the conclusion of the Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU competitions.

Rebels open to hubs for trans-Tasman rugby

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce at 4pm on Tuesday a potential date for the opening of a travel bubble with Australia.

Currently, there is only quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia and not the other way round.

The five-week Super Rugby trans-Tasman competition is scheduled to kick off on May 14 in Dunedin when the Highlanders host Queensland, with the five teams from each country squaring off each week.

Dave Rennie confirms first Wallabies squad of 2021 ahead of camp next month

There are 14 uncapped players in the squad, including Australian Sevens representative Tim Anstee, former Junior Wallabies hooker Lachlan Lonergan and veteran David Porecki.

Reds off-season signing Suliasi Vunivalu has also earned selection in the Wallabies camp squad, following an impressive return to the 15-man game in Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU.

Western Force recruit Sitaleki Timani is set to return to the national fold after an eight year absence, with the 34-year-old named in a Wallabies squad for the first time since the 2013 Spring Tour.

Rennie lays out Rugby Australia's stance amid Koroibete rumours

The Melbourne Rebels flyer can command more than $1 million a year playing overseas and is expected to quit Australian rugby at the end of 2021 when his contract is up.

Rennie said he’d love to keep Koroibete, who had gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months and is now a global star.

“I agree, he’s been fantastic, phenomenal,” Rennie said.

“There’s been a couple of games he’s played this year where he’s been the best player on the field and you’ve only got to reflect back to the Bledisloe Cup game in Brisbane, he was sensational that day.