The Blues are excited at the prospect of a second Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa competition after the 2021 draw was announced today.
The 2020 SRA was an unqualified success with sold-out crowds flocking to Eden Park, especially with family-friendly afternoon kick-offs. Additionally Blues games attracted significantly increased television audience numbers and social media following.
“It was a remarkable competition in the history of our game, and in the context of the equally remarkable challenge that this country and the world is facing,” said Blues CEO Andrew Hore.
“We know that our fans loved the format, the return of live rugby and the quality of the product which the whole family was able to enjoy.
“We are confident that our fans will be excited by Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa competition in 2021, this time in the summer which will make it even more enjoyable for families to experience.
“We will ensure that the price-point next season will continue to be within reach of families in these uncertain times and that transport to and from Eden Park from key parts of our region remains included in ticket prices.”
The Blues travel to Wellington for the opening round of SRA against the Hurricanes before a second-round bye. They have two home games in succession, both on Sunday afternoon against the Highlanders and the Crusaders before closing out the first round away to the Chiefs in Hamilton.
The Blues are at home against the Hurricanes to start the second round, away to the Highlanders and Crusaders, with the final pool game at Eden Park hosting the Chiefs.
Hore said while all New Zealand Super teams are enthusiastic for a second series of Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa, he believes teams are equally hopeful of expanding to a trans-tasman competition this season.
“We believe it is a natural progression that will add real interest, and I am sure that the recent performances of the Australian team against the All Blacks shows that they will be highly competitive and play an exciting and different brand of rugby.”
Hore said the Blues squad is nearing completion with the team to be announced early next month.
“We have a good nucleus of proven performers already signed up, and some exciting young talent. We are enthusiastic about the group that will assemble and can’t wait.”
The Blues will have their home game season packages on the market in mid-December.
“What better gift could you want for a true-blue Christmas?”
The Blues draw for Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa is:
Round 1 – Saturday 27 February vs Hurricanes (Wellington)
Round 2 – bye
Round 3 – Sunday 14 March vs Highlanders, Eden Park 3.35pm
Round 4 – Sunday 21 March vs Crusaders, Eden Park 3.35pm
Round 5 – Saturday 27 March vs Chiefs (Hamilton)
Round 6 – Saturday 3 April (Easter) vs Hurricanes, Eden Park, 7.05pm
Round 7 – bye; Round 8 Friday 16 April vs Highlanders (Dunedin)
Round 9 – Sunday 25 April vs Crusaders (Christchurch)
Round 10 – Saturday 1 May vs Chiefs, Eden Park, 7.05pm
Final – Saturday 8 May