Due to circumstances surrounding Covid-19 SANZAAR has suspended the regular 2020 Super Rugby season but reformatted tournaments will be played within member countries once government restrictions allow it.
Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa will be the first professional rugby competition in the world to have fans return en-masse in the Covid-19 era when the competition kicks off in Dunedin on Saturday, 13th June.
Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand. It was originally used by the Māori people in reference to only the North Island but, since the late 19th century, the word has come to refer to the country as a whole.
Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa is a 10-week competition involving New Zealand’s five Investec Super Rugby clubs – the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – playing each other home and away. There will be two matches every weekend one on Saturdays and another on Sundays.
It will kick off in New Zealand on Saturday, 13th June when the Highlanders host the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, while the following day the Blues host the Hurricanes at Eden Park in Auckland.
Sat 13 June: Highlanders v Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Date Saturday 13 June, kick-off 8.05 am Irish time.
Referee Paul Williams, AR1 Brendon Pickerill, AR2 Ben O’Keeffe, TMO James Doleman.
The Chiefs have lost only one of their last five Super Rugby games against the Highlanders (W3, D1), however, the last encounter between the teams in the competition ended in a 31-31 draw.
The Highlanders have lost five of their last six completed Super Rugby games (W1), including their last three on the bounce.
Each of the Chiefs’ last four Super Rugby games have been won by the away team on the day, with the Hamilton-based squad picking up two wins and two defeats in that stretch.
The Chiefs have conceded 10+ penalties in six of their last seven Super Rugby fixtures, as many times as they had done so in their 24 games prior.
Shannon Frizell (Highlanders) has scored two tries in just 90 minutes of Super Rugby action against the Chiefs, as well as making three offloads in that time.
Sun 14 June: Blues v Hurricanes at Eden Park, Auckland
Date Sunday 14 June, kick-off 4.35am Irish time.
Referee Mike Fraser, AR1 Ben O’Keeffe, AR2 James Doleman, TMO Brendon Pickerill.
The Blues picked up a 24-15 win in their last Super Rugby meeting with the Hurricanes, breaking a nine-game losing streak against them in the process.
The Hurricanes have won on each of their last five visits to face the Blues in Super Rugby, more times than they had won in all 12 such meetings prior (W4).
The Blues have won their last four Super Rugby games on the bounce; the last time they won more in succession was a seven-game stretch in the 2011 campaign which was bookended with wins against the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes have finished each of their last 10 Super Rugby games without losing a single scrum on their own feed, winning a total of 84 scrums in that stretch.
Beauden Barrett has scored three tries and made three try assists across his last four Super Rugby games between the Blues and Hurricanes; however, this will be the first time he’s represented the Auckland side against his former club.
Sky Sports will have live coverage of both games this weekend.