Super Rugby set for early start

Australia are lobbying for an earlier start to the 2013 Super Rugby season in order to accommodate the British & Irish Lions tour.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the ARU wants the 2013 tournament to start at least a week earlier. If they are successful in this bid, the competition is likely to start around 16 February, with only the Australian franchises featuring in Round 1.

‘It is unambiguously challenging to accommodate the Lions tour,’ said ARU chief executive John O’Neill. ‘South Africa and New Zealand have to come along with agreement to some compromises. We’re nearly there. In four years time, New Zealand will be in our shoes. So we’ve all got to give a bit every four years, and I’m sure our SANZAR partners will be willing to compromise.’

The Lions will play the Wallabies in Brisbane on 22 June, Melbourne (29 June) and Sydney (6 July). They will also play the Force, Reds, a combined NSW-Queensland Country line-up, Waratahs, Brumbies and Rebels.