Chasing an incredible fifth straight title, the Crusaders again start favourites for Super Rugby Aotearoa. The competition didn't disappoint last year and, further COVID breakouts aside, it again promises to be something special -- Liam Napier reports.
Super Rugby Aoteroa have introduced two new law variations, including captain's call and goal line drop-outs, for the 2021 season kicking off in just over two weeks.
A "Super Round" highlights the creation of a crossover trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition for 2021, with one lucky city set to host five games on the one weekend in a similar concept to the NRL's Magic Round of 2019.
Highlanders will welcome defending champions Crusaders in the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa on Feb. 26 after New Zealand Rugby (NZR) announced the schedule for the second edition of the domestic competition on Tuesday.
Winger Will Jordan scored his second try of the game five minutes into extra time to give the South a 38-35 victory over the North in New Zealand's first inter-island match since 2012 on Saturday.
The 23-man squads for New Zealand's first North vs. South match in eight years are in and there are key match-ups right across the paddock.
Super Rugby Aotearoa returns to action this weekend, while Super Rugby AU is a week ahead and preparing for Round 2. Follow all the latest team news, match odds and verdicts here.
Right from the outset, Super Rugby Aotearoa established itself as the greatest domestic rugby competition the world had seen. But it remains unknown what shape the competition it could take in 2021, with several issues still to be sorted.
Warren Gatland's first season in charge of the Chiefs ended far from the way he had planned, but he expects the team will be better for the experience next year under his temporary replacement, Clayton McMillan.
We have ourselves a competition. The Hurricanes' upset of the Crusaders has set up a thrilling conclusion to Super Rugby Aotearoa, just as the battle for All Blacks spots is also really starting to hot up.
The Blues got back on the winning path as they sent the Chiefs crashing to an unwanted record with a 21-17 victory in a defensively focussed Super Rugby Aotearoa clash at Eden Park.
Round 6 of Super Rugby Aotearoa produced two further gripping encounters, but it was the performance of Ngani Laumape that left a significant impact on several Blues players and certainly should silence some "disrespectful" critics.
Sio Tomkinson scored a try after the final siren as the Otago Highlanders rallied from an early 24-0 deficit and produced a storming second half to beat the Waikato Chiefs 33-31.
Stricter interpretations around the tackle in Super Rugby Aotearoa are allowing sides to ignore contesting the breakdown and fan out across the field making defences more like rugby league, Chiefs assistant Roger Randle has said.
The Hurricanes virtually ended the Chiefs' Super Rugby Aotearoa title ambitions with a 25-18 victory, despite playing most of the second half with 14 men.
Just how good do you have to be to beat the Crusaders right now? Well you have to take every opportunity that comes your way for a start. Meanwhile, something is just not quite right with the Chiefs.
The results in Round 3 of Super Rugby Aotearoa went to plan, but the games were closer than many thought they would be. It also showcased two rising talents in New Zealand rugby, and the importance of good decision-making.
Fullback Will Jordan scored a try either side of halftime as the Crusaders outlasted the Chiefs 18-13 in the Super Rugby Aotearoa at a rain-drenched Christchurch Stadium on Sunday.
Super Rugby Aotearoa again produced a heap of penalties as players continue to adapt to a greater focus on the game's laws at the breakdown. But the Blues are two from two, and their big No. 8 continues to impress right across the paddock.
Beauden Barrett sparked a final quarter resurgence by the Blues that carried them to a 24-12 win over the Chiefs in New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa competition on Saturday.
Australia's Super Rugby chief executives have been invited to be part of a conference call with their New Zealand counterparts as All Blacks great Justin Marshall says both nations need each other moving forward.
Penalties might have flowed freely, but that did little to diminish Super Rugby Aotearoa's opening weekend, the competition reaping the rewards as the public fell for the national sport again, Liam Napier writes.
New Zealand on Saturday became one of the first nations in the world to welcome hordes of fans back into a packed sports stadium.
Bryn Gatland slotted a 79th minute drop goal to give the Highlanders a 28-27 victory over the Chiefs as professional rugby union resumed after a three-month COVID-19 shutdown.
New Zealand Rugby is the beneficiary of the nation's outstanding response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Super Rugby Aotearoa to kick-off this weekend. The first rugby competition to return across the globe, it will look a little bit different.