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Home derbies to kick off Super Rugby 2018

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Thursday, September 21, 2017    allblacks.com    Getty Images

As announced in April this year, Super Rugby will change from an 18-team, four conference format to a 15-team, three conference format for the 2018 season.

Click HERE for 2018 Super Rugby match schedule.

Each team will play 16 Conference matches that include eight matches within their own Conference (home and away) and four matches against teams from each of the other Conferences (home or away). The finals will comprise an eight team, seven match series.

New Zealand Conference:
Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes

Australian Conference:
Brumbies, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs, Sunwolves

South African Conference:
Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Jaguares.

The 2018 Super Rugby tournament starts on Saturday 17 February when the South African Conference kicks-off with the Stormers hosting the Jaguares in Cape Town. The Lions, runners-up the last two years, host the Sharks in Johannesburg, while Bulls have a bye.

QUICK TAP: THE 2017 INVESTEC SUPER RUGBY FORM XV

The Australian and New Zealand Conferences will kick-off a week later in round two. There are two big home derbies to look forward to in round two with the defending champions the Crusaders opening the defence of their title at home against the Chiefs and the Highlanders hosting the Blues. The Hurricanes begin their season with a clash against the Bulls in Pretoria.

The Brumbies, last year’s Australian Conference winner, open the season against the Sunwolves in Tokyo who are now positioned in the Australian Conference.

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said, “Super Rugby is one of, if not the best club rugby tournaments in the world highlighted this year by a global TV audience of nearly 50 million and a final crowd in Johannesburg of 60,000. It is a key high performance pathway for players from the SANZAAR Unions to transition from club to test rugby, and this will continue to be the case in the future."