Newsletter

Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!

LIVE

    Stormers v Bulls derby to open 2017 season

    2016-09-20 08:36

    Cape Town - The 2017 Super Rugby tournament kicks-off on Thursday, February 23 with the Melbourne Rebels hosting the Auckland-based Blues at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

    Download the full 2017 Super Rugby schedule

    The Thursday night kick-off is a first for Super Rugby and is followed a week later by another Thursday night match between Western Force and the Reds at Perth’s nib Stadium.
     
    Defending champions, the Hurricanes will start off their title defence in Tokyo against the Sunwolves. 2016 Australian conference winners, the Brumbies will play the Crusaders in Christchurch.

    SA DERBIES

    The Lions, beaten finalists in 2016, start their campaign against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, February 25 (15:05), while Southern Kings host the Jaguares in Port Elizabeth on the same day (17:15).

    The Stormers will host the Bulls in an exciting derby at Newlands in the day’s final game (19:30).

    The Sharks open their campaign away to the Reds in Brisbane on Friday, February 24 (11:00 SA time).
     
    It will be the second season for the 17-round, four-conference tournament structure that sees each team play 15 matches and have two byes. As in 2016 each team will play six matches within its own conference and nine matches against other conference teams.
     
    In its inaugural year, the 18-team tournament produced some wonderful rugby where analysis of the new bonus point system showed it provided an increased level of competitiveness and rewarded those teams with an attacking mindset. Despite the increase in the number of matches on previous years the average number of points scored per match increased from 45.3 to 52.0 while tries were up from 5.1 to 6.4 per match.
     
    The 17-round regular season and the finals series produced a final in Wellington between the two best teams in the tournament, the Hurricanes and Lions, highlighting the integrity of the tournament structure. The Hurricanes were the fourth new champion in the last five years of Super Rugby, thereby securing a clean sweep of New Zealand teams having won the Super Rugby competition since its inception, and again highlighting the competitiveness of the tournament.
     
    The 2017 June Test window and in particular the British & Irish Lions series in New Zealand has an impact on the match schedule. Fixtures in early June and July have therefore been scheduled around the various June Tests and the matches between the British and Irish Lions and the five New Zealand Super Rugby teams.
     
    SANZAAR CEO, Andy Marinos, commented: “The new season is set to be another enthralling, action-packed one as we enter the second year of the 18-team conference-style tournament.
     
    “The tournament saw some fantastic rugby last year and we look forward in particular to the continued development of the new franchises that added exciting new territories and colour to the tournament.”
     
    “The schedule will see four Sunwolves matches played in Tokyo and three matches in Singapore, while eight matches will be hosted by the Jaguares in Buenos Aires. Both these teams made their Super Rugby debuts in 2016, with the Kings from South Africa returning after their brief spell in 2013.
     
    “It is anticipated that all three teams will be better for the experience of 2016 as we look forward to seeing their continued improvement. Super Rugby continues to be the toughest rugby tournament in the world given the high level, week-to-week competition and the travelling that is undertaken.
     
    “We enjoyed a global audience of just over 50 million viewers for the 20th edition of Super Rugby with just over 2 million fans attending the matches. I would like to say a big thank you to all the fans and supporters for their support through 2016 and look forward to having our competition entertain and entice you through 2017,” added Marinos.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read

    Fixtures

    23 February 2017
    • Rebels v Blues, AAMI Park 10:45
    24 February 2017
    • Highlanders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Reds v Sharks, Suncorp Stadium 11:00
    25 February 2017
    • Sunwolves v Hurricanes, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Brumbies, AMI Stadium 08:35
    • Waratahs v Force, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Cheetahs v Lions, Toyota Stadium 15:05
    • Kings v Jaguares, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:15
    • Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town 19:30

    Results

    06 August 2016
    30 July 2016
    23 July 2016
    22 July 2016
    16 July 2016
    15 July 2016
    09 July 2016
    08 July 2016
    02 July 2016
    01 July 2016
    29 May 2016
    28 May 2016
    27 May 2016
    21 May 2016
    20 May 2016
    14 May 2016
    13 May 2016
    07 May 2016
    06 May 2016
    30 April 2016
    29 April 2016
    24 April 2016
    23 April 2016
    22 April 2016
    16 April 2016
    15 April 2016
    09 April 2016
    08 April 2016
    03 April 2016
    02 April 2016
    01 April 2016
    27 March 2016
    26 March 2016
    25 March 2016
    19 March 2016
    18 March 2016
    12 March 2016
    11 March 2016
    05 March 2016
    04 March 2016
    27 February 2016
    26 February 2016

    Opinion Poll

    The Kings will play this year's Currie Cup in the "B" First Division. How will this impact their Super Rugby participation next year?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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