Super Rugby

Super Rugby Pacific preparing for Omicron

Like a number of sports, Super Rugby is now looking at the likely impact of Omicron Covid-19 now that New Zealand has moved to a red light setting.

Crusaders boss Colin Mansbridge says while there will probably be limited fan access to games, their main concern is that the games can still go ahead.

The Crusaders have moved a pre-season game against the Hurricanes from Blenheim to Christchurch because it will be easier to manage under the current Covid guidelines.

Moana Pasifika recruit two new coaches on eve of Super Rugby Pacific

The side confirmed on Monday that Southland head coach Dale MacLeod and former Blues, Chiefs and Sunwolves prop Pauliasi Manu will join Moana Pasifika for its inaugural season.

Together, the pair join head coach Aaron Mauger and assistant coach Filo Tiatia on the Moana Pasifika coaching team.

MacLeod joins the franchise as a defence coach after having served as Southland assistant coach in 2018 and 2019, and then as head coach between 2020 and 2021.

'Like-minded' business types pitch in to purchase 40 percent stake in Blues rugby

The franchise announced on Friday the Better Blues Company Limited would purchase the 40 percent holding in the Blues which had previously been held by New Zealand Rugby after they bought back the shareholding from the previous private owners three years ago.

The remaining 60 percent has been shared since 2013 between the provincial unions of Auckland, Northland and North Harbour.

Moana Pasifika to host Blues, Drua to play Tahs in opening round of Super Rugby

The draw has been revised due to new Covid-19 trans-Tasman travel restrictions.

The five New Zealand-based teams, and the six Australian-based teams will play their first eight games in their respective countries.

Moana Pasifika will be based in New Zealand and the Fijian Drua are based in Australia.

Moana Pasifika's game against the Blues takes place at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday February 18; the Drua's game against the Waratahs follows that game on the same evening at a venue to be confirmed.

NZ's delayed border reopening could impact Super Rugby Pacific

Non-quarantine travel, which was set to be opened for New Zealanders in Australia on 17 January, would be pushed back until the end of February, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said at a media conference on Tuesday.

The length of stay in MIQ facilities would be temporarily increased from a week to 10 days.

The new Super Rugby Pacific competition will feature five teams each from New Zealand and Australia and two sides representing the Pacific Islands -- Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua.

Super Rugby Pacific: Revised draw expected next week as Covid-19 strikes again

The new competition was thrown into confusion after the New Zealand government revealed a border opening plan that made it impossible for the trans-Tasman competition to proceed as planned.

However, Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos told reporters on Friday that Super Rugby clubs on both sides of the Tasman were committed to getting contingency plans over the line, and were close to doing so.

“What I can say is that our teams and the New Zealand teams are working furiously to get a revised draw,” Marinos said.

Chiefs women's team reveal 'Manawa' as their identity for Super Rugby Aupiki

The Hamilton-based franchise announced on Friday their women's team would be known as the Manawa, following an extensive process to develop an appropriate name for their debut in the inaugural competition.

Chiefs women's coach Allan Bunting led the process of developing the new team identity alongside men’s coach Clayton McMillan, New Zealand Rugby Māori Cultural Advisor Luke Crawford, Chiefs jersey designer Dave Burke, the franchise’s commercial manager Kate Rawnsley and a number of the women's players.

Moana Pasifika ready to inject new energy into Super Rugby

While players were gradually revealed over the last six weeks, Monday marked another major milestone for Moana Pasifika as their first ever squad was confirmed, with former Highlanders and Crusaders outside back Tima Fainga'anuku completing the 38-man roster.

A Pacific Island franchise in Super Rugby has been a long time coming but having only been granted an unconditional licence in July, Moana Pasifika have worked around the clock to build the team from scratch.

Chiefs playmakers challenged to step up with Damian McKenzie absent

The All Blacks playmaker has been the spark lighting up the Chiefs' attack, but he will spend the first half of next year in Japanese rugby with Tokyo Sungoliath.

The 26-year-old is almost irreplaceable after returning to top form last season as the Chiefs made the Super Rugby Aotearoa final in Clayton McMillan's first year as coach.

Newcomers kick off Super Rugby Pacific

The draw for the 15-week regular season, announced on Monday, gives teams a total of 14 matches. These are made up of 11 round-robin fixtures plus the introduction of three additional rivalry matches which will see each team play a home and away series against three other teams.

The top eight teams will join a play-off series in the first week of June. The final is scheduled for 18 June.

New Zealand Rugby General Manager Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Lendrum said the draw was easy to understand and a level playing field for the teams involved.