Hurricanes take Sharks to Napier in 2018
Cape Town - Napier in New Zealand will host a Hurricanes home match in 2018 when the Sharks make an historic Super Rugby visit to McLean Park.
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The round eight encounter, scheduled for April 6, will mark the first time South Africa's Sharks have played in the Hawke's Bay and is the latest in a growing tradition of Hurricanes matches in Napier.
More than 13 000 fans spurred the Hurricanes to a 56-21 win over the Brumbies in April this year and Hawke's Bay Rugby Union chief executive Mike Bishop was confident of another big turnout for the Sharks.
"The Hurricanes have a strong history of success at McLean Park with successive wins over the Bulls, Highlanders and Brumbies since 2014 and will be looking to build on that in front of their Hawke's Bay fans in 2018,” he told the Hurricanes’ official website.
"The game will be of special significance for the Magpies quartet of Ihaia West, Gareth Evans, Ben May and Jonah Lowe who will want to add to the rich history of Hawke's Bay players making a big contribution to the Hurricanes brand."
The match will represent the eleventh time the Hurricanes have played a home match in Napier since they beat Transvaal 32-16 in 1996.
The 2018 Super Rugby tournament starts on Saturday, February 17 when the South African Conference kicks-off with the Stormers hosting the Jaguares in Cape Town. The Lions, runners-up the last two years, host the Sharks in Johannesburg, while Bulls have a bye.
The Australian and New Zealand Conferences will kick-off a week later when defending champions the Crusaders open the defence of their title at home against the Chiefs. The Brumbies, last year’s Australian Conference winners, open the season against the Sunwolves in Tokyo who are now positioned in the Australian Conference.