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Trans-Tasman Super Rugby matches returning in 2021 after months of negotiations

Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby have resolved to stage an exciting six-week trans-Tasman tournament next year following their respective domestic Super Rugby competitions.

Blues player Beauden Barrett Source: Photosport

The trans-Tasman tournament will feature five teams from each country with the Western Force the big winners, the Perth franchise effectively resurrected as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Featuring 26 games over six straight weeks, the tournament will kick off on May 14 with the final taking place on June 19.

Ending months of negotiations, each Australian team will play every New Zealand side in 25 crossover games before the championship decider.

All teams will play two home games and two away games as well as a 'Super Round', where all matches played in round three will be played at the one location, over the one weekend.

The final will be played between the top-two placed teams on the combined competition table with the team who finished first to host the decider.

"This is a truly historic day for rugby in the southern hemisphere, with the first-ever Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby competition," Rugby Australia boss Rob Clarke said.

"This will generate enormous excitement across both countries with some of the best players in the world set to challenge each other after the conclusion of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa."

Today's announcement comes in the same week that RA revealed its new broadcast deal with Stan and Nine.

"The Super Round is also great initiative with one lucky city to host all 10 teams on one weekend in a Super Rugby extravaganza," Clarke said.

"I'd like to thank Mark Robinson and his team at New Zealand Rugby for working so closely with us. Bring on 2021."

New Zealand Rugby chief Mark Robinson said: "Super Rugby Trans-Tasman is a great result for fans on both sides of the Tasman and is testament to the strength of the relationship between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia.

"It's been a testing time for rugby in both countries, but also a chance to re-imagine the game in our part of the world for 2021."