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    'Easy' Super Rugby draw awaits Lions

    2016-09-20 12:10

    Cape Town - The Lions, by some distance South Africa's stand-out side in this year's Super Rugby competition, will face a far more friendly draw in 2017.

    In this season's competition the Lions had to contend with all five New Zealand franchises. Despite having done so, the Lions still made it through to the final, losing to eventual champions, the Hurricanes, in Wellington.

    The Lions kick off their 2017 Super Rugby campaign on Saturday, February 25 against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein and will host the Waratahs the following weekend (Saturday, March 4) in their first home game of the season.

    The Lions will only begin their tour to Australia in Week 10 where they will face the Force, Rebels and Brumbies.

    Another first for the Lions in 2017 will be hosting Japanese outfit, the Sunwolves. That encounter is scheduled for Saturday, July 1.

    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.

    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 & Irish Lions and the five New Zealand Super Rugby teams.

    2017 Lions Super Rugby fixtures:

    Saturday, February 25: Cheetahs v Lions (Bloemfontein, 15:05)

    Saturday, March 4: Lions v Waratahs (Ellis Park, 15:05)

    Saturday, March 11: Jaguares v Lions (Buenos Aires, 23:40)

    Saturday, March 18: Lions v Reds (Ellis Park, 17:15)

    Saturday, March 25: Kings v Lions (Port Elizabeth, 15:05)

    Saturday, April 1: Lions v Sharks (Ellis Park, 17:15)

    BYE WEEKEND

    Saturday, April 15: Stormers v Lions (Cape Town, 17:15)

    Friday, April 21: Lions v Jaguares (Ellis Park, 20:00)

    Saturday, April 29: Force v  Lions (Perth, 13:55)

    Saturday, May 6: Rebels v Lions (Melbourne, 07:00)

    Friday, May 12: Brumbies v Lions (Canberra, 11:45)

    Saturday, May 20: Lions v Bulls (Ellis Park, 17:15)

    Sunday, May 28: Lions v Kings (Ellis Park, 14:30)

    INTERNATIONAL BREAK

    Saturday, July 1: Lions v Sunwolves (Ellis Park 14:30)

    BYE WEEKEND

    Saturday, July 15: Sharks v Lions (Durban, 17:15)

    Super Rugby Qualifiers:                                                

    Friday, July 21                                                                    

    Friday, July 21                                                                     

    Saturday, July 22                                                               

    Saturday, July 22                                                             

    Super Rugby semi-finals:                                                                       

    Friday, July 28                                                                     

    Saturday, July 29                                                               

    Super Rugby final:                                                     

    Saturday, August 5

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