Details for New Zealand's newest women's competition 'Sky Super Rugby Aupiki' have been released.
Mirroring the first ever women’s Super Rugby match in New Zealand last May, the Blues will host the Chiefs Manawa at Eden Park on Saturday 5 March to get the inaugural season underway.
The opening weekend concludes with Matatū going head-to-head with the Hurricanes at Orangetheory Stadium.
The four clubs all get one home match, with round three dubbed the ‘Super Round’ with the competition descending on Hamilton for a women’s rugby weekend.
The two top placed teams will battle it out for the title in a Final in the last weekend of March.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Lendrum said the inaugural season of Sky Super Rugby Aupiki was a game-changer for the women’s game.
“This year is going to be like nothing we’ve seen before when it comes to the women’s game and Sky Super Rugby Aupiki is a great way to get things underway.
“We’ve seen the four clubs assemble strong, exciting squads and this draw was the last piece of the puzzle before launching the competition in March. We’re looking forward to seeing New Zealand get in behind the players and teams and make this first season really set a benchmark for years to come,” said Lendrum.
All matches are live and exclusive on Sky - who have cemented their support for the women’s game, coming on board as the naming rights partner of the competition.
“As part of Sky’s commitment to elevating women in sport in every aspect, we are absolutely delighted to be naming rights sponsor and official broadcaster for the Sky Super Rugby Aupiki competition. New Zealanders are hungry for more with the inaugural Super Rugby match between Blues and Chiefs among proving popular amongst fans in 2021,” said Sky CEO Sophie Moloney.
“Our sponsorship and expert coverage of this landmark competition for women’s rugby in Aotearoa will enable us to showcase their skill and talent and tell the stories of the wāhine toa who love this game. But our support doesn’t stop there.
“Sky is committed to ensuring everyone in Aotearoa can watch our wāhine in action, so to support this new exciting competition we will proudly offer all Sky Super Rugby Aupiki games free to air on Prime as well as Sky Sport,” said Moloney.
Super Rugby Aupiki at a glance
• 4 teams: Blues, Chiefs Manawa, Hurricanes, Matatū
• 3 regular season matches (one home, one away, one Super Round fixture)
• 1v2 play standalone Final on the weekend of 26-27 March
Super Rugby Aupiki draw
Saturday 5 March
Blues v Chiefs Manawa, Eden Park, kick off 1:45pm
Sunday 6 March
Matatū v Hurricanes, Orangetheory Stadium, kick off 3:45pm
Saturday 12 March
Hurricanes v Blues, Sky Stadium, kick off 1:45pm
Sunday 13 March
Chiefs Manawa v Matatū, FMG Stadium, kick off 3:45pm
Round Three - Super Round - FMG Stadium
Saturday 19 March
Blues v Matatū, kick off 1:45pm
Chiefs Manawa v Hurricanes, kick off 4:35pm
Saturday 26 or Sunday 27 March