Rugby Australia (RA) has announced the 2021 Super Rugby AU draw, with the Plus500 Brumbies kicking off their title defence away to the Western Force on Friday 19 February.
Part of a Friday night double-header, the clash will be the Brumbies first trip to Perth since 2017 and will be live, ad-free and on demand on the new home of rugby, Stan, which will launch a new sport streaming package in 2021.
The 2021 season will see 22 games played over 12 action-packed weekends, with a winner to be crowned with the final on 8 May.
The Final will be hosted by the team that finishes top of the ladder after the 10-round regular season, and they will play the winner of a two-versus-three Qualifying Final in the decider.
All 22 matches in the tournament will be live and on demand, ad-free, through Stan, with Saturday night clashes and finals matches also being live and free-to-air on the Nine Network.
Kick-off times and some away locations are still to be confirmed, with Brumbies home matches to be hosted at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
Information on Brumbies memberships and ticketing for the 2021 season is expected to be announced shortly.
RA sealed a new broadcast agreement for the next three seasons with Channel 9 and Stan earlier this week, with four of the Brumbies Super Rugby AU fixtures in 2021 being on Free-to-air including a Grand-Final rematch against the Queensland Reds at GIO Stadium in round 4.
Plus500 Brumbies CEO, Phil Thomson said: “This has been an exciting week for us at the Brumbies and for Rugby in Australia.”
“Having a broadcast deal and a draw in place gives us a level of certainty to plan towards, and we hope to have news on a trans-Tasman competition shortly.
“Once all details are in place, including kick-off times and all ground allocations, we will have more information for our Brumbies family about memberships and ticketing for the 2021 season.”
Rugby Australia interim Chief Executive, Rob Clarke said: “What a way to start 2021 and our new partnership with Stan and Nine. Our players are raring to go and are really keen put on a show for fans, with Super Rugby AU to light up living rooms right around the country.
“Super Rugby AU was terrific in 2020 and will get better next year as this next crop of Australian Rugby stars continue to develop, and they are complimented by some genuinely talented international players who have since arrived on our shores.
“The 2021 season promises to be a great one for Australians fans with every game in primetime and with the added support of our new partners, Stan and Nine,” Clarke said.
Stan CEO Mike Sneesby said: “This partnership with Rugby Australia will see Stan launch its live streaming capability in 2021, as we take Australian sports television into a new era.
“Through the combined audience reach and engagement across Nine’s television platforms, we are well positioned to bring Rugby Union to more Australians than ever before,” Sneesby said.
Rugby Australia is also working closely with New Zealand Rugby Union on a trans-Tasman competition to follow the Super Rugby AU competition in 2021 and plans to announce details shortly.
Plus500 Brumbies 2020 Super Rugby AU Fixtures
Western Force v Plus500 Brumbies, Friday 19 February, HBF Park, Perth
Plus500 Brumbies v NSW Waratahs, Saturday 27 February, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Melbourne Rebels v Plus500 Brumbies, Saturday 6 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Plus500 Brumbies v Queensland Reds, Saturday 13 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Plus500 Brumbies v Western Force, Friday 26 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra
NSW Waratahs v Plus500 Brumbies, Friday 2 April, Venue TBC
Queensland Reds v Plus500 Brumbies, Saturday 10 April, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Plus500 Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels, Friday 16 April, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 1 May
Saturday 8 May
*All kick off times to be confirmed