Super 15 2015 Schedule Revealed
The Waratahs will get their Super Rugby title defence underway on February 15 with an Australian derby against the Force.
The Waratahs, who won the title for the first time when they edged out the Crusaders 33-32 in the 2014 final, will tackle the Force in the last match of the opening weekend of the new season.
With no break this year for the June internationals due to the World Cup, all the teams will play their first matches on the same weekend (although the Highlanders have a bye).
The action kicks off on February 13 when the Crusaders entertain the Rebels at AMI Stadium, while the Brumbies face the Reds and the Lions welcome the Hurricanes.
On February 14, there is the mouth-watering clash between the Blues and Chiefs, while there is a South African double-header with the Sharks taking on the Cheetahs and the Bulls entertaining the Stormers.
Round One fixtures
Friday 13 February
Crusaders v Rebels
Brumbies v Reds
Lions v Hurricanes
Saturday 14 February
Blues v Chiefs
Sharks v Cheetahs
Bulls v Stormers
Sunday 15 February
Waratahs v Force
There is a repeat of the record-breaking 2014 final, the Waratahs host the Crusaders at ANZ Stadium in Round 15.
And tournament organisers SANZAR have planned a bumper weekend to celebrate the Anzac Centenary, with five matches involving all the Australian and New Zealand teams.
The Chiefs entertain the Force and the Brumbies play the Highlanders on Friday April 24, while on Anzac Day the Blues renew their rivalry with the Crusaders and the Waratahs host the Rebels. The Reds round off the action on Sunday April 26 when they take on the Hurricanes.
SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters said: “A great deal of thought and planning has gone into the 2015 draw and we are absolutely thrilled to have produced an outcome that sees Australian and New Zealand teams all in action across the Anzac Centenary weekend.
“It will be a tremendous occasion for people to come together to reflect on the significance of the day beyond the rugby field and we expect this will be a highly poignant and memorable occasion.
“The 2015 season marks the final year of Super Rugby in its current format before the competition expands into a bold new era from 2016.
“As we plan for the future, we also eagerly look forward to seeing how the coming season pans out following one of the most competitive years in the history of Super Rugby.”