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Greg Growden

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After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for ESPNscrum. Never afraid to step on toes, you can expect plenty of compelling insight from one of Australia's most renowned rugby writers.

Super Rugby
Greg Growden lists 10 fixtures to shape the season
Greg Growden
February 18, 2014
Chiefs-Crusaders matches will feature prominently in shaping New Zealand's conference and the 2014 season © Getty Images

Greg Growden's team-by-team preview

© SANZAR (Image Supplied)

Greg Growden has been through the season's fixtures to list the 10 Super Rugby matches he's most looking forward to watching this year.

February 21: Crusaders v Chiefs (Christchurch)

An early guide to who will be New Zealand king-dog.

March 15: Brumbies v Waratahs (Canberra)

This could be the match for important get-squares after some unsavoury off-field incidents during the Wallabies' end-of-season European tour last year.

March 22: Brumbies v Stormers (Canberra)

The Brumbies must be able to back-up against one of the best South African provinces if they are any hope of going anywhere.

April 19: Chiefs v Crusaders (Hamilton)

This will show whether Hamilton is still the Chiefs' impenetrable domain.

May 3: Crusaders v Brumbies (Christchurch)

Australian teams always know where they stand after a trip to claustrophobic Crusaderland.

The Brumbies and the Crusaders have a rich history of combat © Getty Images

May 17: Crusaders v Sharks (Christchurch)

We will know by now how the Crusaders are faring without Dan Carter, and if the Sharks are South Africa's best.

The Sharks and the Stormers could have much on the line in the final round of the competition © Getty Images

May 31: Chiefs v Waratahs (New Plymouth)

The Waratahs should still be threatening, and the Chiefs could even snuff them. Or revitalise them.

June 28: Waratahs v Brumbies (Sydney)

The Test series with France will have just finished, and maybe there are more get-squares in the offing.

July 12: Stormers v Sharks (Cape Town), Reds v Waratahs (Brisbane)

These are two outstanding games in the final round, which could easily determine finals spots.

Which fixtures are you most looking forward to seeing this season, and why? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.

The top ESPNfootytips Super Rugby tipster at the end of the home and away season wins $A2000, with the runner-up claiming $A1000. We also have a pair of Gold Class movie tickets for each weekly winner.

Best of all you and a mate could be heading off to Game II of the Bledisloe Cup series between the Wallabies and the All Blacks in Auckland. The prize includes flight, accommodation, transfers and match tickets. Simply enter your tips WEEKLY to make another entry in the competition.

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