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sup er r u g b y

Contents Welcome to your FREE guide to the 2013 INVESTEC SUPER RUGBY season.

happy chiefs: Celebrating with the INVESTEC Super Rugby Trophy are, from left, Aaron Cruden, Wayne Smith, Tim Nanai-Williams and Tanerau Latimer.

Managing editor: Oliver Lee

INVESTEC SUPER RUGBY PREVIEW........................ 6 BLUES........................................................................... 8 CRUSADERS ............................................................... 10 CHIEFS.......................................................................... 13 HIGHLANDERS............................................................. 14 INVESTEC SUPER rugby DRAW 2013..................... 16-17 HURRICANES . ............................................................ 18 AIG SPONSORSHIP..................................................... 20 BRUMBIES .................................................................. 22 WARATAHS................................................................... 23 REDS............................................................................. 23 WESTERN FORCE........................................................ 24 MELBOURNE REBELS................................................. 24 STORMERS.................................................................. 25 SHARKS........................................................................ 26 CHEETAHS................................................................... 26 BULLS........................................................................... 27 SOUTHERN KINGS...................................................... 27 PINK BATTS................................................................. 28 NZRU: NZ’S BIGGEST TEAM...................................... 30

Publisher:

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Printing: WEBSTAR, MASTERTON

PO Box 331-667, Takapuna, Auckland 0740, New Zealand T: 09 486 6966 E: oliver@oliverlee.co.nz W: www.oliverlee.co.nz

Copyright: Reproduction in whole or in part by any means is prohibited. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Although all material is checked for accuracy, no liability is assumed by the publisher for any loss due to use of material in this magazine.

PLACEMAKERS

TIGHT 5 PROUD TO BE OFFICIALLY BACKING

NEW ZEALAND’S SUPER RUGBY TEAMS Back row (left to right):

ANDY ANDERSON Andy Anderson Builder Ltd, JARROD WERDER Werder Construction Ltd

Front row (left to right): NICK FARRELLY Edge City Builders, SEAN SWEENEY Sweeney Builders MARK HAIMES Haimes Building Ltd

The Official Community Partner of


2013 s e a s on

Super Rugby preview Can the Chiefs repeat last year’s stunning victory or will the Crusaders end their four year drought and again be champions? Will the new South African team be competitive? Welcome to the new Super Rugby season. As the long hot summer here in New Zealand continues on, the new Super Rugby season is about to start. Supporters of the 15 teams that make up the three conferences in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will all be looking forward to the matches to come and the hope that rises before every new competition that “this is going to be our year!” The reality is the usual suspects will once again dominate and it is hard to go past last year’s top six that contested the play-offs of Stormers, Chiefs, Crusaders, Bulls, Sharks and Reds. The Chiefs are confident they can defend the title they won in style last year and the biggest advantage they have – apart from confidence that comes with winning – is the consistency in their squad selection. They have made very few changes and can expect to play in front of a packed out Waikato Stadium, which may well give them the extra lift to win again. The Highlanders are the outfit most likely to force out one of that top six from 2012. They have recruited exceptionally well in All Blacks Tony Woodcock and Ma’a Nonu, plus have the best motivator among all the coaches in Jamie Joseph. The Blues – under the two Knights Kirwan and Henry – are very inexperienced and are on a learning curve but will play an expansive game with plenty of thrills and spills. WINNING FEELING: The Chiefs celebrate after beating the Sharks in last year’s final.

The Crusaders can never be disregarded in any competition preview and with a settled home base at the revamped AMI Park in Christchurch, they will once again be in the mix come the key weeks when

the title is decided. How they cope without Richie McCaw for one of the rare times since he burst onto the scene will be interesting to watch but it does give new captain Kieran Read a chance to shine. Across the Tasman there is little reason for optimism. Their playing pool of talent is just not up to it, which is why so many Kiwis are in their squads. Only the Reds look likely contenders and they are always tough to beat in Brisbane. With Wallabies captain Will Genia and bad boy Quade Cooper both fit again, the Reds will be exciting to watch. South Africa have always struggled to field consistently competitive teams and this season will be no exception. At the top the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls will fight it out for top dog in their conference and the next best team to try and make the playoffs. Any of those three will be hard to beat at their home stadiums. The major change in the South African line up this year is that the Lions, who finished at the bottom in 2012, have made way for the Southern Kings based at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Like last year the Super Rugby programme takes a break in June for the three SANZAR partners to play Northern Hemisphere opponents. The Wallabies host the British and Irish Lions, the Springboks are part of the inaugural South African Quadrangular Tournament with Samoa, Scotland and Italy, while the All Blacks face the might of France in three highly anticipated tests. France have beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand more than any other team other than the two main rivals in Australia and South Africa. And of course two of the defeats in World Cups in the 1999 semifinal and the 2007 quarter-final are particularly painful memories for New Zealand rugby fans. The Rugby World Cup final against France was won – only just – 8-7 and France beat the All Blacks 2722 in Dunedin in 2009. One thing for sure is the French at full strength do not fear the All Blacks as other Northern Hemisphere teams do and will rate themselves a great chance of winning their second series in New Zealand, after the famous victories in the two test matches played in 1994. It should be a fascinating few months of rugby ahead!

FRENCH TOUR June 8

v All Blacks Eden Park 7.35pm

June 15 v All Blacks Christchurch 7.35pm June 22 v All Blacks New Plymouth 7.35pm

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A word from the wise.

‘‘ You should not go home after the game and drink and fry. That is bad news, bad news all round.’’ Hamish, turkey gobbler, 3am

Don’t Drink & Fry. Eat before you head home.


B LUES

Journey into the unknown The Blues are talking up their chances with Mr. Positive Sir John Kirwan at the helm but the squad simply lacks sufficient experience and depth to be title challengers in 2013. Last Year: 12th Their fans got the blues early on and the feeling never went away, as their team stumbled through an appalling campaign. They finished 12th on the table with 12 losses from 16 games – their worst result since Super Rugby’s inception in 1996.

NEW LEADER: All Black Ali Williams will captain the Blues.

Luck of the Draw: The Blues face a tough draw with a first up trip to the Hurricanes before two games at Eden Park against the Crusaders and Bulls in front of expected crowds over 30,000. Two of the hardest away games follow to the Waratahs and Chiefs Campaign Preview: The absolute fall from grace by the Blues to finish 12th in 2012, after making the semis the year before, was unexpected with a strong squad on paper. In hindsight Piri Weepu and Ma’a Nonu were never going to settle in Auckland after being fired by the Hurricanes, but Weepu is in great shape and determined to do well. Now a new broom has cleared out most of the squad and Sir John Kirwin has moved quickly to establish a new attitude in the team and to talk up the chances of his brand new, young squad. Website: www.theblues.co.nz Tickets: www.ticketmaster.co.nz Ph 0800 111 999 Contact: PO Box 56-153, Dominion Road, Auckland 1446 Phone: 09 815 4850

Kirwin does optimistim better than anyone else in sport coaching. He turned heavy defeats into moments of inspiration when he was in charge of Italy and Japan but he may find himself needing to take a more realistic view this time round. The Blues lack experience in some key areas and if they suffer injuries they may struggle to cover off the bench.But this needs to be looked at as a starting year in a five-year plan for Kirwan and his able lieutenant Sir Graham Henry. Blues fans must be patient as the brilliant talents of fullback Charles Piutau, flanker Steven Luatua, midfielder Malakai Fekitoa and winger George Moala will not all gel

together instantly. They will make mistakes and lose games but they will also play some sizzling footy along the way. Making Ali Williams captain was a move from left field and a bit hard on Luke Braid, who led the team with such dignity last year. Williams though has many attributes but can be hot and cold with the media, so expect the unexpected at the post-match interviews. Every great team has a strong axis in the No 8, 9 and 10 jerseys and this is a definite weak area for the Blues as only Piri Weepu is in contention to make the All Blacks in 2013. First-five Bayden Kerr and halfback Bryn Hall will have to go from ITM Cup level to Super Rugby standard in a heart-beat – how they handle the step up could well have a say in how well the Blues perform. Who’s New: Henry joins fellow knight Kirwan, Mick Byrne and Grant Doorey in a new-look coaching group. Bryn Hall, Quentin MacDonald, Culum Retallick, Ronald Raaymakers, Kane Barrett, Brendon O’Connor and Jamison Gibson-Park will need to step up quickly. Who’s Through: The Blues have turned over 16 players with nine overseas, five dumped and one injured. Daniel Braid (Sale) will be sorely missed, as will All Blacks loosehead prop Tony Woodcock, but not Ma’a Nonu. Likely Finish: The Blues may surprise but they are in the toughest conference of all. Expectations will be so high on the shoulders of Kirwan’s young recruits that just getting them through the mental tribulations of professional sport could be his first triumph. BLUES SQUAD Backs: Frank Halai, Waisake Naholo, Charles Piutau, Rene Ranger, Marty McKenzie, Malakai Fekitoa, George Moala, Francis Saili, Jackson Willison, Baden Kerr, Chris Noakes, Bryn Hall, Piri Weepu, Jamison Gibson-Park. Forwards: Flankers: Kane Barrett, Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Brendon O’Connor, Ronald Raaymakers, Peter Saili. Locks: Anthony Boric, Liaki Moli, Culum Retallick, Ali Williams. Props: Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tim Perry, Angus Ta’avao, Ofa Tu’ungafasi. Hookers: Keven Mealamu, Quentin MacDonald, James Parsons.

Careers in sport start at Unitec www.sport.unitec.ac.nz 8

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> EvEnt transport

Your rugby ticket’s your ticket to ride. Investec Super Rugby, Blues, Eden Park, 2013. Did you know travel on trains and special event buses is included in your game ticket? You can travel on event trains from 3 hours prior to kick-off, until the end of service. Additional services will operate on all lines to Kingsland Station. Event buses depart from Albany (running via all Northern Busway stations), Takapuna Manukau, Botany, Pakuranga, Newmarket, and Mt Eden. Road closures and parking restrictions will affect streets around Eden Park on game day. Limited mobility parking areas are available on Cricket Ave. For more information about parking and road closures see aucklandtransport.govt.nz Terms and Conditions apply, visit AT.co.nz. Services are funded by The Auckland Rugby Football Union in partnership with Auckland Transport.

For more information visit AT.co.nz or phone 09 366 6400 @AklTransport


CRUS AD ERS

Shaken but not stirred The Crusaders and their fans have had much to deal with in recent years but they may have to wait a little longer for their eighth Super Rugby title. Last Year Semi-finals: For most franchises to win 11 of 16 games and reach the semi-finals would be regarded as a good season but for the Crusaders it was a poor return a year after their exhausted squad fell to the Reds in the 2011 final. Luck of the Draw: The usual opening trip to Eden Park to play the Blues will be seen as points to win before a tough away trip to play the Hurricanes. The Bulls and Kings are the first visitors to Christchurch before the South African trip.

Website: www.crusaders.co.nz Tickets: www.ticketdirect.co.nz Ph 0800 224 224. Contact: Level 1, 5 Durham St, PO Box 755, Christchurch Phone: 03 379 8300

STAR QUALITY: Israel Dagg.

Campaign Preview: It seems remarkable that there is speculation coach Todd Blackadder’s job is on the line if he can’t guide the Crusaders to their first title win since 2008 but that is what happens at ultra successful sports franchises, where the expectation is to win titles – or at least make the finals – every year. Blackadder will be without his trump card in captain Richie McCaw, who is on a six-month break from rugby, which will give the outstanding Kieran Read the opportunity to fine tune his leadership skills before he takes over from McCaw as the All Blacks captain in June. Dan Carter had a relatively quiet Super Rugby campaign last year and he will need to be in top form if the Crusaders are to press for another title. The biggest change ahead of the new campaign is the appointment of two new assistant coaches in Tabai Matson and Aaron Mauger. The two former red and black men were the master minds behind Canterbury’s ITM Cup success in 2012. The Crusaders pack looks as tough as ever, despite Ben Franks joining the Hurricanes to get a starting role and try to revive his flagging All Blacks career. Much will depend on the youngest of the four Whitelock brothers in the squad –

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Sam and Luke – and the powerful front row of Owen Franks, Wyatt Crockett and Corey Flynn. Matt Todd was seen as the logical successor to McCaw in the All Blacks and was called into the squad as cover during the Rugby World Cup. But since then he has lost his place in the pecking order to Bay of Plenty’s Sam Cane so will be chafing at the bit to start every game for the Crusaders and show he has what it takes to perform consistently. Of the newcomers, winger Jimmy McNicholl looks the best prospect to get regular game time and will love to get a chance to showcase his pace on the harder grounds. Tom Taylor was called in to cover the All Blacks in November and will have more pressure on him this year, but his goal kicking may well be a trump card if Carter’s off his game. Who’s New: The player depth in the Crusaders rugby is evident as eight of the nine new players are from within the catchment area. Dominic Bird, Johnny McNicholl, Joe Moody and Codie Taylor were part of the wider training group while Counties Manukau flanker Jimmy Tupou is the only import. Who’s Through: The biggest loss is that of Superman himself, Richie McCaw. Sean Maitland has moved to Glasgow, Scotland, while All Blacks prop Ben Franks has joined the Hurricanes. Likely Finish – Semi-finals: With every Crusaders campaign the goal is the same – winning the title. This year’s squad has a distinctively youthful look to it and it will be interesting to see how quickly the new players and coaching team can develop into a potential title winner. CRUSADERS SQUAD Backs: Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Carter, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Andy Ellis, Robbie Fruean, Zac Guildford, Willi Heinz, Tom Marshall, Johnny McNicholl, Jeremy Su’a, Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock. Forwards: Dominic Bird, Shane Christie, Wyatt Crockett, Tom Donnelly, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Nepo Laulala, Richie McCaw, Joe Moody, Kieran Read, Luke Romano, Jordan Taufua, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, George Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Sam Whitelock. 19 Branches Nationwide | Phone 0800 93 39 39 www.GoughCat.co.nz


MATCH WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE.

2013 adidas Super Rugby supporters’ gear in store now. Show your true colours with Rebel Sport, where the biggest range of 2013 adidas Super Rugby supporters’ gear is available at the best prices in store and online. www.rebelsport.co.nz


Backing the Chiefs all the way

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CH I E FS

Champions set to defend title The Chiefs were thoroughly professional in every aspect of their 2012 campaign, and eventually won the franchise’s first Super Rugby title with ease. Last Year – Champions: Head coach Dave Rennie and brilliant tactical mastermind Wayne Smith put together a squad of tough characters and simply blew away the rest of the competition. They were confrontational and in the faces of their opposition, and the team had quality all over the park. Luck of the Draw: The Chiefs have what looks like a favourable draw. The Highlanders in round two in Dunedin will be a clash to savour, and then they have the poorly performed Cheetahs at home and two matches in South Africa. Campaign Preview: Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said at the season launch that “we are very happy with our squad. We know a lot about these players, their work ethic and character, therefore we have picked the new guys coming in on those attributes too”. That says a lot about why the Chiefs were so good last year and will be again this campaign. Players are selected for more than their rugby ability or what province they play for. It is the same team culture Robbie Deans installed in the Crusaders during their glory days and means the players are accountable for their actions on and off the field. Rennie and his key assistant, former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith, were never interested in a oneoff successful season and took measures last year to ensure they can build a long term legacy of success at the Chiefs by re-signing the bulk of the squad. That means the co-captain experiment that worked so well of Craig Clarke and Liam Messam will again dominate the leadership group and ensure both players get some personal space from media commitments other captains can only dream about. But do not under estimate the influence of other natural leaders in the squad like NZ Maori All Blacks captain Tanerau Latimer, former Samoan skipper Mo Schwalger and All Blacks midfielder Richard Kahui. This is a squad with no obvious weaknesses and enough depth for real competition for places in the match day 22.

in when fatigue set in from the likes of Aaron Cruden, Robbie Robinson, Tim Nanai-Williams and Lelia Masaga, all set alight by the precociously talented Tawera Kerr-Barlow at halfback. Who’s New: Former All Black Ross Filipo, Canterbury’s Fijian-born winger Patrick Osborne and former NZ Under-20 prop Solomona Sakalia. Unwanted Blues first-five Gareth Anscombe will need to learn quickly to follow the game plan set by Rennie and Smith or his time at the Chiefs will be short lived. Who’s Through: Sonny Bill Williams was a captivating factor in the Chiefs success last time round, and he will be sorely missed, as will the underrated Jackson Willison who has gone to the Blues. Likely Finish – Champions: There is no reason at all why the Chiefs cannot win back-to-back titles. All the attributes are there that so typified the glory days of the Crusaders under Robbie Deans – highly competent and confident coaches, well-worked game plans that succeed, passionate and dedicated players with the right work ethic and a fortress-like home stadium. Chiefs Squad Backs: Tim Nanai-Williams, Andrew Horrell, Robbie Robinson, Lelia Masaga, Patrick Osborne, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Bundee Aki, Richard Kahui, Charlie Ngatai, Gareth Anscombe, Aaron Cruden, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Brendon Leonard, August Pulu. Forwards: Fritz Lee, Sam Cane, Nick Crosswell, Ross Filipo, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam, Craig Clarke, Mike Fitzgerald, Romana Graham, Brodie Retallick, Ben Afeaki, Josh Hohneck, Toby Smith, Solomona Sakalia, Ben Tameifuna, Hika Elliot, Rhys Marshall, Mahonri Schwalger.

Website: www.chiefs.co.nz Tickets: 0800 4 CHIEFS (0880 224 224) or www.ticketdirect.co.nz Contact: Ruakura Research Centre, East Street, PO Box 4292, Hamilton East 3247 Phone: 07 853 0231

OPENSIDE STAR: All Black flanker Sam Cane is set to play a starring role for the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have also made some smart signings. Former All Black Ross Filipo is a tough journeyman who will not take a backwards step and there is an exciting look about young midfielders Bundee Aki and Charlie Ngatai. Canterbury winger Patrick Osborne is a powerhouse out wide while former NZ Under-20 prop Solomona Sakalia is highly regarded at scrum time. Do not expect to see any change of tactics in 2013. The formula that worked so well was based on high intensity, aggressive, territory-based rugby, with a selection of brilliant steppers and finishers to cash

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HIG H LAND ERS CRUS AD ERS

Southern men highly regarded Highlanders fans have every right to look forward to the new season as they will field an outstanding squad with their best chance of success since they last made the semi-finals in 2002. Last Year 9th: Jamie Joseph’s team was a mix of talented young players and experienced tough old campaigners, and boy did he get the team buzzing. They won five of their first six games and looked semi-final material until they dropped their final three difficult games. Luck of the Draw: The Highlanders have been given four home games in their first five fixtures, plus a bye in round three. They play the Chiefs at home first up – and again in round 6 in Hamilton – plus favourable home games against the Cheetahs and Reds. Campaign Preview: What do you get when you take one of the most passionate players ever to wear the Otago jersey with a group of players from all over New Zealand with the right attitude?

Website: www.thehighlanders. co.nz Tickets:  www.ticketdirect.co.nz or see website for details Contact: Level 1, High Performance Sport Building, 130 Anzac Avenue, PO Box 6070, Dunedin 9054 Phone: 03 479 9280

The 2013 Highlanders is the answer and no team will look forward to playing Jamie Joseph’s boys in the red hot atmosphere inside their covered stadium in Dunedin. They played an exciting brand of rugby last year but eventually missed the semis because the squad was not strong enough to handle a string of crippling injuries to key players. But the squad looks better this time round. All Black second-five Ma’a Nonu was a troubled figure at the Blues last year but he is world class and if anyone can get him firing it is Joseph. Colin Slade, the unluckiest player in recent memory – two broken jaws and a broken leg in two seasons – will add quality in the No 10 jersey they lacked in 2012 and his goalkicking will be a welcome benefit. Lima Sopoaga is another class act who missed months with injury in 2012, while Hosea Gear is a destructive ball runner and prolific try scorer.

KEY PLAYER: All Black halfback Aaron Smith will play an important role in the Highlanders success.

Flanker John Hardie is highly regarded down south and there is no doubt he is a great fetcher and scrapper for the ball. The key difference in 2013 may well be the recruitment of the world’s best loosehead prop Tony Woodcock. The Highlanders scrum has been their Achilles heel in recent years so his selection will help toughen that area up beside hooker and fellow All Black Andrew Hore. But the real grunt in the scrum will come from the ageless former Crusaders and All Blacks lock Brad Thorn. He is home after playing in Japan and helping Leinster win the Heineken Cup in 2012, and the man who turned 38 on February 3 wants one last season of top rugby in New Zealand. His influence on Jarrad Hoeata may help reinvigorate the hard working flanker/lock after the former All Black lost ground to several other players last year. Hoeata made the All Blacks after proving to be a fearless, tough character who could be relied on to do the hard yards. He needs to go back to that approach this Super campaign. Who’s New: Hard old All Blacks who know what it is like to win the World cup in Brad Thorn and Tony Woodcock top the list. Ma’a Nonu will be a handful in midfield and has a lot to prove after his poor performances with the Blues. Otago hooker/prop Liam Coltman impressed in the 2012 ITM Cup. Who’s Through: All Blacks loose forward Adam Thomson is expected to take up an overseas contract. Other notable players to move on are Jimmy Cowan, Kurt Baker, Jason Rutledge, Kendrick Lynn, Chris Noakes, Bronson Murray and Culum Retallick. Likely Finish: Semi-finals – Many New Zealand rugby fans hold the Highlanders as their second favourite team. There is a lot to like about what has been done to turn around their fortunes and 2013 seems as good a time as any to make a statement like the Chiefs did last year. Definite play-off prospects. Highlanders Squad Forwards: Josh Bekhuis, Tim Boys, Liam Coltman, Elliot Dixon, Ma’afu Fia, John Hardie, Jarrad Hoeata, Andrew Hore, Chris King, Jamie Mackintosh, Nasi Manu, Brayden Mitchell, Jake Paringatai, Brad Thorn, Joe Wheeler, Tony Woodcock . Backs: Phil Burleigh, Tamati Ellison, Jason Emery, Hosea Gear, Ma’a Nonu, Declan O’Donnell, Kade Poki, Hayden Parker, Buxton Popoali’i, Colin Slade, Aaron Smith, Ben Smith, Lima Sopoaga, Fumiaki Tanaka, Shaun Treeby.

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SEAS O N’S d r aw

Investec Super Rugby 2013 Game Sc GAME

VENUE

NZ TIME

WEEK ONE

GAME

VENUE

NZ TIME

WEEK SIX (Daylight Saving ends in Australia and New Zealand on April 1)

Fri, 15 Feb

Rebels

v

Force

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Fri, 22 March

Chiefs

v

Highlanders Hamilton

Sat, 16 Feb

Brumbies

v

Reds

Canberra

9.40 pm

Sat, 23 March

Crusaders

v

Kings

Christchurch

5.30 pm

Sat, 23 March

Reds

v

Bulls

Brisbane

9.40 pm

Sat, 23 March

Force

v

Cheetahs

Perth

11.45 pm

Bye: Waratahs

WEEK TWO

7.35 pm

Sun, 24 March

Sharks

v

Rebels

Durban

4.05 am

Chiefs

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Sun, 24 March

Stormers

v

Brumbies

Cape Town

6.10 am

v

Brumbies

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Sun, 24 March

Waratahs

v

Blues

Sydney

6.05 pm

Bulls

v

Stormers

Pretoria

6.10 am

Bye: Hurricanes

Sat, 23 Feb

Hurricanes

v

Blues

Wellington

7.35 pm

Sat, 23 Feb

Reds

v

Waratahs

Brisbane

9.40 pm

WEEK SEVEN (Easter)

Sun, 24 Feb

Cheetahs

v

Sharks

Bloemfontein

4.05 am

Fri, 29 March

Highlanders v

Reds

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Sun, 24 Feb

Kings

v

Force

Port Elizabeth

6.10 am

Sat, 30 March

Hurricanes

v

Kings

Wellington

4.35 pm

Sat, 30 March

Chiefs

v

Blues

Mt Maunganui

7.35 pm

Sat, 30 March

Brumbies

v

Bulls

Canberra

9.40 pm

Sun, 31 March

Cheetahs

v

Rebels

Bloemfontein

4.05 am

Sun, 31 March

Stormers

v

Crusaders

Cape Town

6.10 am

Sun, 31 March

Waratahs

v

Force

Sydney

6.05 pm

Fri, 22 Feb

Highlanders v

Fri, 22 Feb

Rebels

Sat, 23 Feb

Bye: Crusaders

WEEK THREE Fri, 01 March

Blues

v

Crusaders

Auckland

7.35 pm

Fri, 01 March

Reds

v

Hurricanes

Brisbane

1 1.20 pm

Sat, 02 March

Chiefs

v

Cheetahs

Hamilton

7.35 pm

Sat, 02 March

Waratahs

v

Rebels

Sydney

9.40 pm

Sun, 03 March

Bulls

v

Force

Pretoria

4.05 am

WEEK EIGHT

Sun, 03 March

Sharks

v

Stormers

Durban

6.10 am

Fri, 05 April

Blues

v

Highlanders Auckland

7.35 pm

Fri, 05 April

Brumbies

v

Kings

Canberra

9.40 pm

Sat, 06 April

Sharks

v

Crusaders

Durban

6.10 am

Sat, 06 April

Hurricanes

v

Waratahs

Wellington

7.35 pm

Sat, 06 April

Force

v

Rebels

Perth

9.40 pm

Sun, 07 April

Cheetahs

v

Stormers

Bloemfontein

3.05 am

Fri, 12 April

Highlanders v

Brumbies

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Sat, 13 April

Chiefs

v

Reds

Hamilton

4.35 pm

Sat, 13 April

Blues

v

Hurricanes

Auckland

7.35 pm

Sat, 13 April

Rebels

v

Kings

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Sat, 13 April

Force

v

Crusaders

Perth

11.45 pm

Sun, 14 April

Stormers

v

Sharks

Cape Town

3.05 am

Sun, 14 April

Bulls

v

Cheetahs

Pretoria

5.10 am

Fri, 19 April

Hurricanes

v

Force

Wellington

7.35 pm

Fri, 19 April

Waratahs

v

Chiefs

Sydney

9.40 pm

Sat, 20 April

Crusaders

v

Highlanders Christchurch

Sat, 20 April

Reds

v

Bye: Kings, Brumbies, Highlanders

WEEK FOUR Fri, 08 March

Hurricanes

v

Crusaders

Wellington

7.35 pm

Fri, 08 March

Rebels

v

Reds

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Sat, 09 March

Highlanders v

Cheetahs

Invercargill

7.35 pm

Sat, 09 March

Brumbies

v

Waratahs

Canberra

9.40 pm

Sun, 10 March

Stormers

v

Chiefs

Cape Town

4.05 am

Sun, 10 March

Kings

v

Sharks

Port Elizabeth

6.10 am

Sun, 10 March

Blues

v

Bulls

Auckland

4.05 pm

Bye: Force

WEEK FIVE Fri, 15 March

Highlanders v

Hurricanes

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Fri, 15 March

Waratahs

v

Cheetahs

Sydney

9.40 pm

Sat, 16 March

Kings

v

Chiefs

Port Elizabeth

6.10 am

Sat, 16 March

Crusaders

v

Bulls

Christchurch

7.35 pm

Sat, 16 March

Reds

v

Force

Brisbane

9.40 pm

Sun, 17 March

Sharks

v

Brumbies

Durban

4.05 am

Bye: Stormers, Blues, Rebels

GAME

VENUE

NZ TIME

INTERNATIONALS All Blacks v France

Bye: Sharks

Bye: Reds, Chiefs, Bulls

WEEK NINE

Bye: Waratahs

WEEK TEN

7.35 pm

Brumbies

Brisbane

9.40 pm

Sat, 8 June

All Blacks

v

France

Eden Park

7.35 pm

Sun, 21 April

Sharks

v

Cheetahs

Durban

3.05 am

Sat, 15 June

All Blacks

v

France

Christchurch

7.35 pm

Sun, 21 April

Kings

v

Bulls

Port Elizabeth

5.10 pm

Sat, 22 June

All Blacks

v

France

New Plymouth

7.35 pm

Bye: Stormers, Rebels, Blues

The Official Community Partner of


chedule

For up to date information visit www.superrugby.co.nz All times listed below are New Zealand local times and were correct at time of print.

GAME

VENUE

NZ TIME

WEEK ELEVEN

GAME

VENUE

NZ TIME

WEEK SIXTEEN

Fri, 26 April

Hurricanes

v

Stormers

Palmerston North 7.35 pm

Fri, 31 May

Crusaders

v

Waratahs

Christchurch

7.35 pm

Fri, 26 April

Reds

v

Blues

Brisbane

9.40 pm

Fri, 31 May

Brumbies

v

Hurricanes

Canberra

9.40 pm

Sat, 27 April

Chiefs

v

Sharks

Hamilton

7.35 pm

Sat, 1 June

Highlanders v

Blues

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Sat, 27 April

Brumbies

v

Force

Canberra

9.40 pm

Sat, 1 June

Reds

v

Rebels

Brisbane

9.40 pm

Sun, 28 April

Bulls

v

Waratahs

Pretoria

3.05 am

Sun, 2 June

Stormers

v

Kings

Cape Town

3.05 am

Sun, 28 April

Cheetahs

v

Kings

Bloemfontein

5.10 am

Sun, 2 June

Cheetahs

v

Bulls

Bloemfontein

5.10 am

Sun, 28 April

Crusaders

v

Rebels

Christchurch

4.05 pm

Bye: Sharks, Chiefs

Bye: Highlanders

WEEK SEVENTEEN

WEEK TWELVE

Fri, 7 June

Brumbies

v

Rebels

Canberra

9.40 pm

Fri, 03 May

Blues

v

Stormers

Albany

7.35 pm

Sun, 9 June

Force

v

Waratahs

Perth

6.05 pm

Fri, 03 May

Rebels

v

Chiefs

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Bye: Reds

Sat, 04 May

Highlanders v

Sharks

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Sat, 04 May

Force

v

Reds

Perth

9.40 pm

WEEK EIGHTEEN

Sun, 04 May

Kings

v

Waratahs

Port Elizabeth

3.05 am

Sun, 05 May

Bulls

v

Hurricanes

Pretoria

5.10 am

Sun, 05 May

Brumbies

v

Crusaders

Canberra

6.05 pm

Bye: Cheetahs

Chiefs

Chiefs

v

Hurricanes

Hamilton

7.35 pm

Sat, 29 June

Highlanders v

Crusaders

Dunedin

7.35 pm

Sun, 30 June

Sharks

v

Blues

Durban

1.00 am

Sun, 30 June

Bulls

v

Kings

Pretoria

3.05 am

Sun, 30 June

Stormers

v

Cheetahs

Cape Town

5.10 am

Christchurch

7.35 pm

WEEK NINETEEN

WEEK THIRTEEN Fri, 10 May

Fri, 28 June

v

Force

Pukekohe

7.35 pm

Fri, 05 July

Crusaders

v

Chiefs

Hurricanes

v

Highlanders Wellington

7.35 pm

v

Sharks

Brisbane

9.40 pm

Sat, 06 July

Cheetahs

v

Hurricanes

Bloemfontein

5.10 am

Sun, 07 July

Cheetahs

v

Blues

Bloemfontein

1.00 am

Blues

v

Rebels

Auckland

7.35 pm

Sun, 07 July

Kings

v

Stormers

Port Elizabeth

3.05 am

Sat, 11 May

Waratahs

v

Stormers

Sydney

9.40 pm

Sun, 07 July

Bulls

v

Sharks

Pretoria

5.10 am

Sun, 12 May

Kings

v

Highlanders Port Elizabeth

3.05 am

WEEK TWENTY Christchurch

7.35 pm

Sat, 11 May

Reds

Sat, 11 May Sat, 11 May

Bye: Brumbies, Bulls, Crusaders

WEEK fourteen Fri, 17 May

Hurricanes

v

Chiefs

Wellington

7.35 pm

Fri, 17 May

Rebels

v

Stormers

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Fri, 17 May

Force

v

Sharks

Perth

11.45 pm

Sat, 18 May

Crusaders

v

Blues

Christchurch

7.35 pm

Sat, 18 May

Waratahs

v

Brumbies

Sydney

9.40 pm

Sun, 19 May

Bulls

v

Highlanders Pretoria

3.05 am

Sun, 19 May

Cheetahs

v

Reds

Bloemfontein

5.10 am

Bye: Kings

Fri, 12 July

Crusaders

v

Hurricanes

Fri, 12 July

Rebels

v

Highlanders Melbourne

Sat, 13 July

Blues

v

Chiefs

Auckland

7.35 pm

Sat, 13 July

Waratahs

v

Reds

Sydney

9.40 pm

Sat, 13 July

Force

v

Brumbies

Perth

11.45 pm

Sun, 14 July

Sharks

v

Kings

Durban

3.05 am

Sun, 14 July

Stormers

v

Bulls

Cape Town

5.10 am

9.40 pm

Bye: Cheetahs

THE FINALS WEEK ONE: QUALIFIERS ONE & TWO Bye: Team 1 and Team 2

WEEK FIFTEEN

Fri July 19

Team 3

v

Team 6

Sat July 20

Team 4

v

Team 5

Fri, 24 May

Chiefs

v

Crusaders

Hamilton

7.35 pm

Fri, 24 May

Rebels

v

Waratahs

Melbourne

9.40 pm

Sat, 25 May

Blues

v

Brumbies

Auckland

7.35 pm

WEEK TWO: SEMIFINALS ONE & TWO

Sat, 25 May

Force

v

Highlanders Perth

9.40 pm

Fri July 26

Team 1

v

Lowest Ranked Qualifier Winner

Team 2

v

Highest Ranked Qualifier Winner

Sun, 26 May

Kings

v

Cheetahs

Port Elizabeth

1.00 am

Sat July 27

Sun, 26 May

Stormers

v

Reds

Cape Town

3.05 am

WEEK THREE: FINAL SAT, AUGUST 3

Sun, 26 May

Sharks

v

Bulls

Durban

5.10 am

FINAL

Bye: Hurricanes

Winner of Semi 1 v

Winner of Semi 2

NB: Times, dates and venues subject to change

TOGETHER, WE’RE BUILDING NEW ZEALAND


hur r ican es CRUSAD ERS

Looking good for a top season The Hurricanes have never managed to perform to the level their talented squads have promised in the past but is this the year they finally get it right? Last Year 8th: The campaign began with hostility towards head coach Mark Hammett after the previous season’s problems, but by the end he had regained the fans’ faith. With All Black Conrad Smith captaining the team, the Hurricanes were outstanding on attack and just missed the semis. Luck of the Draw: There is no doubt the Hurricanes will need to start well as they have one of the toughest draws imaginable. They host the Blues, then face the Reds in Brisbane before the Crusaders come to Wellington. A trip to Dunedin to play the Highlanders ends a tough opening month. Website: www.hurricanes.co.nz Tickets: www.ticketmaster.co.nz or call 0800 842 538 Contact: Level 1, 113 Adelaide Road, Newton, PO Box 7201, Wellington South Phone: 04 389 0020

Campaign Preview: Head coach Hammett and his capable assistant Alama Ieremia have 26 of last season’s squad back and that stability has been lacking in recent years at the Hurricanes. After the tumultuous 2011 campaign, which led to the removal of All Blacks Andrew Hore, Piri Weepu and Ma’a Nonu, there was rejuvenation in the Hurricanes camp. They scored 58 tries, way more than the other New Zealand franchises, with the Crusaders and Chiefs next best with 47. Hammett had the forward pack nicely fired up and they generally provided good ball to a brilliant backline featuring Smith, Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane, Julian Savea and Andre Taylor, who was arguably the best attacking fullback in the Super Rugby competition.

But 2013 is looking as promising as any for the Hurricanes. TJ Perenara is back from a broken ankle that severely dented his team’s chances last year, so good was his form in the early rounds, and it certainly cost him an All Blacks jersey. Barrett has proved he can handle Super Rugby and test match levels so expect to see more running and evidence of his new found confidence. Barrett will need to keep out of trouble early on as his back-up first fiveeighth Tusi Pusi will be a late starter because of club commitments in Japan. Ardie Savea is just 19 but in last year’s ITM Cup he showed some sublime skills that could ignite the Hurricanes off the bench. He will be well mentored by All Black Victor Vito, who is one player Hammett will want extra effort from on a consistent basis. Who’s New: Tongan halfback Samisoni Fisilau was a surprise selection but did well for Northland last year. James Marshall is a versatile five-eight and fullback, and young Ardie Savea is a superstar in waiting. All Black prop Ben Franks is the big signing. Who’s Through: The Hurricanes squad has 26 of last year’s players back and of those who have gone only new Chiefs midfielder Charlie Ngatai was a regular option in the match day 22. Justin Hayward, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Michael Bent and Tristan Moran are others to move on. Likely Finish: Semi-finals There is no doubt that if the Hurricanes can keep their core group of outstanding players on the field for most of the campaign, and they take their goal kicking opportunities, then they have a realistic chance of finals footy in 2013.

BRILLIANT FINISHER: Julian Savea should enjoy a try-fest with the Hurricanes.

Hurricanes Squad: Backs: Beauden Barrett, Tim Bateman, Samisoni Fisilau, Cory Jane, Rey Lee-Lo, Alapati Leuia, James Marshall, TJ Perenara, Tusi Pisi, Matt Proctor, Julian Savea, Conrad Smith, Chris Smylie, Andre Taylor. Forwards: James Broadhurst, Dane Coles, Jason Eaton, Ben Franks, Reggie Goodes, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Karl Lowe, Motu Matu’u, Ben May, Mark Reddish, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Eric Sione, Blade Thomson, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Victor Vito.

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As an organisation that operates in over 90 countries around the world, AIG‘s employees rely on each other’s passion, skills, and support to overcome obstacles and get the job done. Partnership enabled us to defy all odds and emerge successful out of our own troubled times. And now, as AIG enters a new era focused on global unity, we are partnering with a sport that places equal importance on playing for a team. AIG’s new sponsorship is more than just a statement about our company, it’s a commitment to a tremendous global sport. We didn’t take our search for a new team to sponsor lightly – we wanted to make sure we chose a sport whose values were aligned with our own. Rugby is about passion, and AIG knows all about passion. Rugby players and fans believe deeply in the sport and its ceremony. Their passion is bigger than any single game or team, and unites rugby fans around the world. The

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same way rugby fans stand by the sport and their teams no matter what, we stand by our clients when times get rough. We are also proud to become part of rugby’s global growth. As diverse as the rugby world is, so too are the employees and customers that we serve each and every day. While the sport continues to grow in popularity, attracting fans and players of all ages, genders, races, backgrounds, and ideologies, and inspiring an incredibly diverse set of communities; AIG serves a uniquely broad group of individual and commercial clients. We are confident that the deeply ingrained spirit we hold in common has the power to unify us all. AIG and rugby stand for teamwork. We know that success doesn’t always come easily, but it’s easier to achieve when everyone works together. CRIS KNELL, CEO, AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited.

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A USTAD R ALI A CRUS ERS

Lacklustre Aussies no threat The lack of depth in Australian rugby is cruelly exposed as they try to fill five Super Rugby sides. None of their teams look capable of being title contenders.

b r um b i e s Last Year: Seventh spot was a better performance than 2011’s disastrous 13th place and under former Springboks coach Jake White they were more competitive and consistent.

www.brumbies.com.au

Luck of the Draw: The Brumbies have been given a better draw than the other Aussie teams and will benefit from being in the weakest conference. They have three tough away games in the Sharks, Reds and Highlanders but should do very well at home, especially down the home stretch. What’s New: Jake White saw a lack of toughness as a weakness last year so he has recruited some gnarly players with South African connections to beef up the physical confrontations and add big match experience to the squad. Former Wallaby Clyde Rathbone is back from long term injury and joins David Pocock, Etienne Oosthuizen, Mark Swanepoel, Stephan Van der Walt and Ruan Smith in an impressive looking squad. Who’s Through: White has managed to hold onto all the key players he wanted. The biggest loss is Wallaby flanker Michael Hooper, who has gone home to Sydney and links with the Waratahs, as does Cam Crawford. Grenoble in France have grabbed Ben Hand and Anthony Hegarty while Jerry Yanuyanutawa has moved to London Irish. MERCURIAL TALENT: The gifted Christian Lealiifano is due to make a real impact for the Bumbies.

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WA R ATA H S

www.waratahs.com.au

Last Year: Only once before, in 2007, have the Waratahs finished in a worse position than last year’s 11th as they lost their last eight games. Luck of the Draw: Not the best possible start for the Sydneysiders with an opening clash in Melbourne against the fired-up Rebels, followed by the Reds at home and the Crusaders away in Christchurch. What’s New: New head coach Michael Cheika replaces Michael Foley, who was unable to inspire his players last year. Key signing is former NRL and

RED S

www.redsrugby.com.au

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: The Reds welcome back their best player and leader in halfback Will Genia.

Last Year: The Reds finished sixth as defending champions but were soundly defeated at home by the Sharks 30-17 in the play-offs. Injuries to Quade Cooper and Will Genia hurt the Reds.

AFL star Israel Folau, who could be a sensation. Michael Hooper (Brumbies), Reds fly half Sam Lane, former Blues halfback Grayson Hart, Lopeti Timani and Peter Betham are new this year. Who’s Through: The Waratahs have lost plenty of experience from last season’s squad, with the departures of Rocky Elsom, Dean Mumm, Daniel Halangahu and Dan Vickerman. Others shown the door are Sarel Pretoruious (Cheetahs), Chris Alcock (Force), Jono Jenkins (Narbonne) and Atieli Pakalani. The clear-out is a bold move that has not gone down well with their critical fans.

Luck of the Draw: The Reds have possibly the toughest draw of all the Super Rugby teams. They have away matches against the only other competitive Aussie teams, the Waratahs and Brumbies, the Chiefs, Highlanders, and Stormers, plus the Bulls and Sharks at home. The fixture list could well be too much for them to handle. What’s New: The news is all bad here. Inspirational coach Ewen McKenzie is now Director of Coaching, replaced as head coach by Richard Graham, who walked out on the Force in 2012. The Reds have lost 10 players from last year, which has been forced on them to pay for superstars Genia and Cooper and stay under the salary cap. Who’s Through: Basically the Reds have no depth left as they decided keeping marquee players was more important than building the squad. So out go 10 players including Dallan Murphy, Guy Shepherdson, Peter Hynes, Scott Higginbotham, Sam Lane, Van Humphries, and in comes just Jono Owen from the Rebels. A few injuries into the campaign and the Reds will struggle.


w e s t e r n for ce Last Year: Their 14th placing equaled their worst performance in their debut season of 2006. It was a poor campaign on and off the pitch.

www.rugbywa.com.au

Luck of the Draw: The draw has been kind to the Perth-based Force, with the Bulls and Chiefs the toughest of their away games. With the British and Irish Lions touring, the Force will be less affected than other Australian teams with Wallaby selections which will help them. What’s New: Coaches don’t last long at the Force

rebels Last Year: They finished 13th which is better than their debut season in 2011 when they were last. The 28-19 win over the Crusaders was the highlight before they lost their last five games. www.melbournerebels. com.au

Luck of the Draw: The Rebels have a reasonable draw on paper but whether they are good enough to make use of it is anyone’s guess. They have some tough away games which they will struggle to get a point out of against the Sharks, Crusaders, Brumbies and Reds. What’s New: The Rebels have suffered some bad luck in the pre-season. Wellington and former NZ Under-20 fullback Jason Woodward will miss six weeks with a finger injury. Scott Higginbotham is a key signing from the Reds. Promising young prop Cruze Ah Nau, Tom English, Lachie Mitchell, Gus Roberts and Bryce Hegarty are highly regarded new players.

GREAT TALENT: Wallaby Kurtley Beale is likely to play at five-eighth for the Rebels.

Who’s Through: It is out with the oldies at the Rebels with veterans Stirling Mortlock, Mark Gerrard, Adam Freier, Adam Byrnes, Alister Campbell, Michael Lipman and Rodney Blake all retiring. Danny Cipriani and Julian Huxley are also

but they have recruited well in head coach Michael Foley and defense coach David Wessels. Former All Black halfback Alby Mathewson has much to prove and joins new boys Chris Alcock (Waratahs), Hugh McMeniman (Kubota), Jayden Hayward (Hurricanes), Sam Norton-Knight (Sanyo Wild Knights), Sias Ebersohn (Cheetahs). Who’s Through: The revolving door at the Force continues with a huge clear out of journeymen players. Anare Koliavu, Ben Seymour, Cameron Shepherd, David Harvey, Elvis Taione, Gene Fairbanks, James Stannard, Joshua Holmes, Justin Turner, Napolioni Nalaga, Oliver Atkins, Rory Sidey, Ruan Smith, Samu Wara have all left. out and star winger Cooper Vuna will miss four rounds with a shoulder fracture.


south afERS r ica CRUS AD

Stormers could go all the way The Bulls three title wins in 2007, 2009 and 2010 are the only South African success in Super Rugby but the Stormers have come close and look likely again in 2013.

Last Year: They were the best team in the competition last year, winning 14 and losing just two of their 16 games, before they stumbled in the semifinals against the Sharks.

What’s New: Coach Allister Coetzee has added to the very strong base depth in his squad by hunting down five Lions players in Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute, Michael Rhodes, Pat Cilliers and Ruan Botha. The cover is needed as Scarra Ntubeni is out for three months after shoulder surgery and Tiaan Liebenberg is sidelined with a back complaint.

Luck of the Draw: The Stormers have a tough start, with two away games against the Bulls and Sharks, before they host the defending champions the Chiefs. The Stormers have the best away wins record in Super Rugby history of 81% (the Reds are next best with 63%) but it is a difficult start.

Who’s Through: Demetri Catrakilis has gone to new boys Southern Kings while other useful performers to move on are Nick Koster (Bath), Quinn Roux (Leinster), Tyrone Holmes (US Colomiers). But essentially the Stormers have last year’s team back again for another title bid.

Stor MERS

www.thestormers.com

FEARLESS LEADER: Stormers captain Schalk Burger is a contender to lift the Super Rugby trophy.


SHARKS Last Year: What a roller coaster ride for Sharks fans! They lost games they should have won and then became the first side to win two away playoff matches to make the final. www.sharksrugby.co.za

LIGHTENING QUICK: Lwazi Mvovo is one of the fastest wingers in Super Rugby.

Luck of the Draw: The Sharks have one of the sweetest draws in the competition. They play nearly all the top teams at home which means greater opportunities to pick up points on the road. Visiting teams will likely suffer playing in Durban’s fierce heat in the early rounds. What’s New: Former All Black and Lions assistant coach Carlos Spencer has been brought in by head coach John Plumtree to help prepare the backline for the new campaign and to work closely with the talented Patrick Lambie. Springbok legend Frans Steyn has recovered from serious injury last year while the hugely experienced Butch James and Franco van der Merwe move from the Lions. Who’s Through: Coach Plumtree looks to favour playing the versatile Springbok Pat Lambie at first-

C H EETA H S

www.fscheetahs.co.za

five which is probably his best position. He will have big boots to fill as the brilliant Frenchman Frederic Michalak has moved back to France to play with Toulon. The squad is fairly settled from last year with just Ross Skeate (Agen) and Steven Sykes (Southern Kings) moving on.

Last Year: The Cheetahs equaled their best previous finish in Super Rugby of 10th and they played an entertaining, high-scoring style of rugby, but lacked the defence to go with it. The Cheetahs have become the second favourite team of many fans in South Africa, and have impressed fans here in New Zealand with the style of rugby they place. Entertainment rather than field position, is their motto, and if they can keep their composure they should have a good season. Luck of the Draw: They have a tough start with the Sharks at home before a road trip to play the Chiefs, Highlanders, Waratahs and Force. With relegation looming for the last South African team, beating the

Southern Kings in rounds 11 and 15 is crucial to staying up. What’s New: New players in are Caylib Oosthuizen (Lions), Cornal Hendricks (Boland), Elgar Watts (Boland), Johann Sadie (Bulls), Joubert Engelbrecht (Leopards), JP Nel (Shining Arcs), Lodewyk de Jager (Leopards), Rossouw de Klerk (Bulls), Sarel Pretorius (Waratahs), Tertius Daniller (Western Province), Torsten van Jaarsveld (Pumas). Who’s Through: The Cheetahs have lost some good players to overseas contracts in Ashley Johnson (London Wasps), George Earle (Llanelli Scarlets), Izak van der Westhuizen (Edinburgh), Sias Ebersohn (Western Force) and WP Nel (Edinburgh). Bullsbound Marcel van der Merwe and Phillip Snyman, who is playing Sevens full time, will be missed.


BU LLS Last Year: Frans Ludeke coached the team to 5th spot last year and the three times Super Rugby champions were difficult opponents throughout but lacked a cutting edge in the backs.

certainly looks very sound on paper. They kept all their big names and have let go CJ Stander (Munster), Gerrit-Jan Van Velze (Northampton), Johann Sadie (Cheetahs) and Rayno Gerber (Rovigo). SHARP PASSER: Springbok Francois Hougaard can play halfback or wing.

www.bluebull.co.za

Luck of the Draw: After two home games to start against the top ranked South African side the Stormers, and the weak Force, the Bulls have the road trip from hell. They play the Blues, Crusaders, Reds and Brumbies in four games that may decide their season, although they have a good home run to finish. What’s New: Bulls flanker Deon Stegmann returns after missing most of the 2012 season and Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies will lead a youthful squad which include five of the champion 2012 Junior Springbok in Travis Ismaiel, Jan Serfontein, Paul Willemse, Wiaan Liebenberg and Handre Pollard. Callie Visagie (Lions), Grant Hattingh (Lions), Lionel Mapoe (Lions), Marcell van der Merwe (Cheetahs), Paul Willemse (Lions) and Willie Wepener (Clermont) are other new faces. Who’s Through: News coming out of the Bulls camp is they are very satisfied with the quality and depth of talent they have throughout their squad, and it

SOU T H ERN K I N GS Luck of the Draw: The brand new franchise, introduced to replace the Lions in controversial fashion, has been given a good draw. The opening game at their home of Mandela Bay Stadium is winnable against the Rebels and then two home games follow a bye against the Sharks and Chiefs. The Australasian road trip will be a tough test. Players To Watch: Captained by former Springbok Luke Watson, the Southern Kings squad is made up of solid but unspectacular players like Auckland and

Blues midfielder Hadleigh Parkes. There are few stars and even less household names but a new team like this is likely to have a tremendous team spirit and will no doubt cause an upset or two along the way. Kenyan giant and loose forward Daniel Adongo impressed with his powerhouse performances for Counties Manukau in last year’s ITM Cup but this is a big step up for him. Stormers first-five Demetri Catrakilis is a class act while former Lions hooker Edgar Marutlulle has plenty to prove in the top league after spending last season on the sub’s bench. Winger Michael Killian from the Lions is a fine finisher but has a broken arm and will miss the first few rounds.

www.skings.co.za


201 3 s ea s on

NZ referees tickled pink Pink® Batts® to sponsor referees and Pink® Batts® Heartland Championship

New Zealand’s rugby referees will be stepping out in pink this year thanks to an exciting threeyear sponsorship, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and Pink® Batts® announced this week. Pink® Batts® will sponsor New Zealand’s referees for the Investec Super Rugby, ITM Cup and Heartland Championship competitions under a deal that includes naming rights for the Heartland Championship. The deal means a new pink strip for the whistle-blowers, as well as additional referee recruitment and mentoring programmes. A new strip which will see referees in hot pink socks, shorts and shirt, will debut next weekend in round two of Investec Super Rugby when the Highlanders host the reigning champions the Chiefs in Dunedin and the Hurricanes host the Blues in Wellington.

Silhouette International Schmied AG, adidas Global Licensee, adidas, the 3-Bars logo, and the 3-Stripes mark are registered trademarks of the adidas Group Silhouette International Schmied AG, adidas Global Licensee. Le nom adidas, le logo 3-Barres et la marque aux 3 Bandes sont des marques deposées par le Groupe adidas.

REFEREES IN THE PINK: Glen Jackson Super Rugby referee sports new pink kit.

NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew welcomed the new partnership as a great acknowledgement of the role referees play in rugby. “We are delighted to have Pink® Batts® join our community of rugby sponsors in such a significant way through sponsorship of referees across three levels of competition. We welcome their commitment to supporting the recruitment and mentoring of referees at all levels of the game. Pink® Batts® General Manager Tony Te Au said: “We’re proud to get in behind referees and show support for the guys on the field who are often the unsung heroes of any match. We’re thrilled that because of our iconic colour the referees will really stand out and be noticed. And we’re working with the NZRU to develop further mentoring opportunities for refs,” he said. New Zealand referee Chris Pollock said: “If wearing pink means we can encourage more people into the job at all levels of the game, and that more people recognise that refereeing can be great fun, then I’m all for it.”

Supporting catastrophically injured rugby players, both emotionally and financially. No one wants to consider the unimaginable; to permanently lose their mobility due to a rugby accident. But sadly it does occur, as in other physical sports and recreational activities. The NZRU is leading the world in developing programmes and initiatives, like the compulsory course RugbySmart, that keep players as safe as possible. For more info visit www.rugbysmart.com How you can help: • support our events • purchase the NZ Rugby Kitchen • purchase the Dick Frizzell prints • become a member and make an annual / monthly donation.

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For more information go to www.rugbyfoundation.com or call us on 09 623 7980.

individual fit TERREX™ Beside100% UV protection the Terrex incorporates the Tri-Fit temple and the Double Snap Nose Bridge making it your perfect partner in sports or casual wearing. support your vision — adidas.com/eyewear

Dan Carter, NZL

The New Zealand Rugby Foundation is an Incorporated Society and registered charity.


another

good call Pink Batts is tickled pink to be the new sponsor of Super Rugby referees.

TAS0304

another good call


NZRU

Join NZ’S BIGGEST team Join 75,000 other Small Blacks around New Zealand in 2013 and be part of New Zealand’s biggest team! Small Blacks Rugby is a dynamic and exciting introduction to rugby for under 13s that is a whole lot of fun, and helps develop friendships that can last a lifetime. Small Blacks Rugby has been designed to help players develop their rugby skills as their physical ability develops, making the game as simple and safe as possible for all Kiwi kids, regardless of their age, shape or size. And it’s a great way of getting kids involved in a team sport. Remember to APPLAUD Parents, family, whanau and supporters have a big role in ensuring a great environment for the game – that’s why New Zealand Rugby asks you to APPLAUD. APPLAUD is about encouraging supporters to be good sports at schools and clubs, while also reminding people there is no role for anti-social behaviour on the side-line or anywhere else!

RIGHT: Richie McCaw, Small Black Ambassador.

Small Blacks TV Returns on Saturdays Something you can get over-enthusiastic about – Small Blacks TV - is starting again on TV2, and this year it’s been moved to Saturday morning at 7am and repeated on SKY TV a few times a week. All your favourites like Rugger, DC, Conrad, Kaks and all the All Blacks are back again but there are a whole lot of new segments to watch as well.

BELOW: Small Blacks playing at Rippa Championship.

Be part of the action – talk to your local club about registering for rugby and be part of NZ’s Biggest Team.

TOP RIGHT: Richard Kahui at Small Blacks TV filming.

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www.superrugby.co.nz


www.superrugby.co.nz


AVAILABLE NOW AT

NIKE FOOTBALL NEW ZEALAND

www.superrugby.co.nz

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Super Rugby 2013  

Your Free Guide to the 2013 Super Rugby Season

Super Rugby 2013  

Your Free Guide to the 2013 Super Rugby Season