Rugby

S15 draw: Kings open v Force

2012-09-21 07:19
Kings captain Luke Watson (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Super Rugby makes its long-awaited return to the Eastern Cape on February 23 next year when the Southern Kings host Australia’s Western Force (kick off 19:10) in the final match of the first full round.

DRAW: 2013 Super Rugby tournament

The Southern Kings kick off their debut season in the tournament at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth at the end of a round otherwise studded with conference derbies.

The Sharks played one match in Port Elizabeth in 1998 and a second in 1999 as well as one match in East London in the latter year.

This year's finalists travel to Bloemfontein to meet the Cheetahs (kick off 17:05) while the season opens in South Africa with the North-South derby at Loftus Versfeld with the Bulls hosting 2012 conference winners, the Stormers.

The fixtures were announced by SANZAR on Friday in a new-look draw which features a staggered start, and staggered resumption after the June internationals, to accommodate the British & Irish Lions’ tour of Australia.

The Australian teams kick off one week earlier, and close one week later, as well as resuming two weeks later in July after the international window, in order to manage the extended Lions’ schedule.

South Africa’s conference is unaffected with the Kings going into the bye week SA’s first round and then hosting the Sharks in the third round of South African action.

They then host the champion Chiefs in round five before heading overseas for the first time for matches against the Crusaders, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Rebels.

The Sharks have their first home match in South Africa’s second round when they face the Stormers, who play their first home match in Cape Town on March 9.

The tournament actually kicks off on February 15 but only Australian Conference teams will be in action. The same will occur in round 17 (just before the Super Rugby season ‘breaks’ for the June inbounds), while rounds 18 and 19 (after the break) will feature only New Zealand and South African Conference teams.

“The Lions tour to Australia presented some unique challenges in preparing the 2013 Super Rugby draw,” SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said.

“We are very appreciative of the cooperation we received from the National Unions and broadcasters in preparing this draw and working through the issues.”

Peters said there was much excitement building despite being months out.

“Over the last two seasons we have seen two franchises - the Reds and the Chiefs - win the Super Rugby trophy for the first time,” Peters said.

“The emphasis in early rounds is again on local derbies that have again proven to be the most watched and attended matches in 2012.”

There is Sunday play in 2013 with the Blues hosting the Bulls in round four, while the Waratahs will host consecutive Sunday fixtures in rounds six and seven - with the Crusaders, Brumbies and Force other teams to play on the last day of the weekend throughout the season.

Peters said the draw would build on the successes of 2012.

“The 2012 Super Rugby season was the most watched season of Super Rugby ever, both in terms of those attending matches live and also viewing on television. The 2013 draw will hopefully see us grow those numbers again,” he said.

The Super Rugby finals series starts on Friday, July 19, with the Super Rugby qualifiers scheduled for that weekend - while the Super Rugby semi-finals will take place on July 26/27, with the Super Rugby final to be played on Saturday, August 3.
 

Read more on:    southern kings  |  super 15  |  port elizabeth  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Etzebeth ready for action

22 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
149 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS7
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
    05:59
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

We're down to four teams left in contention for the 2014 Super Rugby title. Who will be crowned champions?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.