Super Rugby is expected to resume in Australia on July 3, in a big victory for the troubled sport in Australia. Rugby Australia announced that a revamped Super Rugby contest will feature the Queensland Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies and the Western Force return.
The competition will kick-off at Suncorp Stadium with a first-up State of Origin derby between the Reds and Waratahs. The Brumbies are going to clash with the Rebels, so the Western Force is going to have to wait another week before returning from exile.
The rejigged competition format will see each other compete twice on both hands, ending with a Grand Final September 19. Once the competition kicks off, all sides will be on an even footing, starting at zero points. Seven rounds of the original competitive format for Super Rugby were played in 2020, before the season was suspended.
In a further boost to the law, the Australian government declared that a limited number of seats would be sold in stadiums with a capacity of less than 40,000. Instead of cardboard cut-outs, crowds of no more than 10,000 will greet the players.
In an effort to capitalise on the success of Super Rugby Aotearoa in New Zealand, some new rules have been introduced by the Australian competition designed to speed up the game.
Rob Clarke, CEO of Rugby Australia, was pleased with the latest rule changes.
“Fans can also expect to see something different during the new season, as we use the opportunity to innovate and push the boundaries and we look forward to showcasing a new brand of Rugby throughout this 12-week competition,” he said.
The seven recent amendments to the law include goal line dropouts, red card replacements and golden point. The changes aim to speed up the game and cut down on stoppages, creating more opportunities for sides to attack.
With the television contract with Fox Sports set to cover the remainder of the 2020 domestic season, questions persist about the long term future of the game.