With no clear solution on how to fix the mess rugby has fallen into, Australia and New Zealand have kissed and made up.
With no clear solution on how to fix the mess rugby has fallen into, Australia and New Zealand have kissed and made up.

Revealed: New trans-Tasman footy comp set for 2021

Australia and New Zealand have agreed to play a shortened trans-Tasman competition in 2021 to buy themselves more time to figure out what to do next to save Super Rugby after losing the support of world champions South Africa.

Unsurprisingly, all the hollow promises to fill the gaps with a Pacific Island team have once again failed to materialise so the five Australian teams - the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies, Rebels and Western Force - will play only against Kiwi teams - the Crusaders, Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders.

The five round competition will be held between May and June next year, after the completion of the Australian and New Zealand domestic seasons, with the top two teams meeting in a final on June 19.

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It is still uncertain whether the crossover competition will become a regular event or will just be a one off as Australian and New Zealand officials are still at odds over how to fix the mess the game has fallen into.

New Zealand Rugby have already made it clear they don't want more than three Australian sides in a permanent joint competition because of the massive gap in playing standards - which they cruelly backed up with actions when the All Blacks humiliated the Wallabies 43-5 at a sparsely attended ANZ Stadium two weeks ago to retain the Bledisloe Cup for the 18th year in a row.

But New Zealand's selfish Kiwi-first approach has unwittingly resulted in a massive fallout with South Africa - now the biggest drawcard in international rugby - who are ditching the southern hemisphere for the more lucrative and popular European competitions.

Increasingly isolated, Australia and New Zealand have been forced to kiss and make up - at least in public - so have promised each other a bunch of sweeteners - including RA's jaw-dropping offer to allow New Zealand to host a pool of the 2027 Rugby World Cup if Australia is awarded the tournament.

That's a gift that would not only hand the All Blacks a huge advantage on the field but would also pump millions of dollars into the New Zealand economy that would have otherwise gone to Australia.

"It's been a testing time for rugby in both countries, but also a chance to reimagine the game in our part of the world for 2021," New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Mark Robinson said.

 

2021 Super Rugby trans-Tasman draw

Round One

14-15 May 2021

Crusaders v Brumbies

Western Force v Chiefs

Melbourne Rebels v Blues

Highlanders v Queensland Reds

NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes

 

Round Two

21-22 May 2021

Chiefs v Brumbies

Western Force v Highlanders

Hurricanes v Melbourne Rebels

Queensland Reds v Crusaders

Blues v NSW Waratahs

 

Round Three - Super Round

28-29 May 2021

Brumbies v Blues

Hurricanes v Western Force

Melbourne Rebels v Highlanders

Queensland Reds v Chiefs

NSW Waratahs v Crusaders

 

Round Four

4-5 June 2021

Brumbies v Hurricanes

Crusaders v Western Force

Chiefs v Melbourne Rebels

Queensland Reds v Blues

Highlanders v NSW Waratahs

 

Round Five

11-12 June 2021

Brumbies v Highlanders

Blues v Western Force

Melbourne Rebels v Crusaders

Hurricanes v Queensland Reds

NSW Waratahs v Chiefs

 

Final

Saturday 19 June 2021

Originally published as Revealed: New trans-Tasman comp set for 2021


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