The NSW Waratahs’ fixtures for the 2023 Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific season have been revealed.
Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific’s full potential will be unleashed in 2023 with the announcement of a schedule that will ignite trans-Tasman and Pasifika rivalries like never before.
The defending Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific Champion Crusaders will kick the competition off against the Chiefs during an opening round that focuses on traditional rivalries, while the NSW Waratahs open their tenure at Allianz Stadium in Sydney against the ACT Brumbies.
Opening weekend will also see Pasifika pride on the line as Moana Pasifika host the Fijian Drua at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland in what will be the start of historic campaigns for last year’s two competition newcomers. The Drua will play six home matches in Fiji, while Moana Pasifika will take a home match to Apia in what will be the second Super Rugby game in Samoa and a first for Moana Pasifika.
The final fixtures of the opening weekend will see the Highlanders host the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, the Hurricanes travel to Brisbane to play the Reds, and the Force host the Rebels in Perth.
Round 2 is the previously announced Super Round at AAMI Park in Melbourne where all 12 teams will gather for a high-stakes festival of rugby.
The 2023 draw will see all 12 teams play 14 matches during the regular season, 11 round-robin fixtures, and three additional rivalry matches, which will see each team play a home and away series against three other teams.
Family friendly afternoon kick-offs are a feature of the draw with 24 daytime matches in total with all 91 matches live and exclusive on Stan Sport, including the eight-team finals series, which kicks off in the second weekend of June.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “Being able to play regularly in front of home fans, and to travel across the Tasman and around the Pacific is massive for the competition, especially for fans, who can support their teams through a full home schedule.”
“Everyone saw what Super Rugby Pacific had to offer in its first season and all 12 clubs have taken that excitement into the off-season and will be primed for a shot at the title in 2023.”
After spending the past four seasons playing out of multiple venues across Sydney and its greater metropolitan area, the Waratahs will return home to Allianz Stadium for all home matches in 2023.
Darren Coleman’s team is set to open their campaign at home in Round one with a blockbuster clash against traditional rivals the ACT Brumbies on Friday 24 February.
The Waratahs’ home fixtures then include the Chiefs (Round 5), Force (Round 8), Highlanders (Round 10), Rebels (Round 12), Fijian Drua (Round 13), before rounding out the season against Moana Pasifika (Round 15).
NSW Waratahs CEO Paul Doorn said, “We are finally home.”
“I’d like to thank our members, fans, partners, and Venues NSW for their continued support through the re-development of Allianz Stadium and cannot wait to usher in a new era for the Waratahs and NSW Rugby when we host the Brumbies in round one.
“Our home at Allianz Stadium is the envy of the competition, offering a game-day rugby experience like no other in the country.
“Alongside our new home, we are also launching a brand-new membership offering on sale this Wednesday – the NSW Rugby Waratahs Club, which allows the rugby community to connect and help grow the game while enjoying a range of world-class benefits which can be bundled with discounted ticket packages.”
In line with previous seasons all registered NSW junior rugby players aged 16 and under will be able to attend Waratah’s home matches free of charge.
For more information on Waratahs 2023 memberships click here