Kings start at home

The Kings will kick off their 2013 Super Rugby campaign with a match against the Force in PE on 23 February.

Super Rugby was last played in the Eastern Cape region 13 years ago. The Coastal Sharks played one match in Port Elizabeth in 1998 and a second in 1999 as well as one match in East London in the latter year.

Last season’s finalists, the Sharks, travel to Bloemfontein to meet the Cheetahs while the season opens in South Africa with the North-South derby at Loftus Versfeld with the Bulls hosting 2012 conference winners, the Stormers.

The fixtures were announced by Sanzar on Friday in a new-look draw which features a staggered start, and staggered resumption after the June internationals, to accommodate the British & Irish Lions’ tour of Australia. The Australian teams kick off one week earlier, and close one week later, as well as resuming two weeks later in July after the international window, in order to manage the extended Lions’ schedule.

South Africa’s conference is unaffected with the Kings going into the bye week SA’s first round and then hosting the Sharks in the third round of South African action. They then host the champion Chiefs in round five before heading overseas for the first time for matches against the Crusaders, Hurricanes, Brumbies and Rebels.

The Sharks have their first home match in South Africa’s second round when they face the Stormers, who play their first home match in Cape Town on 9 March.

The tournament actually kicks off on 15 February but only Australian conference teams will be in action. The same will occur in round 17 (just before the Super Rugby season breaks for the June Tests), while rounds 18 and 19 (after the break) will feature only New Zealand and South African conference teams.

2013 SUPER RUGBY FIXTURES

ROUND 1 (Australian teams only)
15 February – Rebels vs Force, Melbourne
16 February – Brumbies vs Reds, Canberra
Bye: Waratahs

ROUND 2
22 February – Highlanders vs Chiefs, TBC
22 February – Rebels vs Brumbies, Melbourne
22 February – Bulls vs Stormers, Pretoria
23 February – Hurricanes vs Blues, TBC
23 February – Reds vs Waratahs, Brisbane
23 February – Cheetahs vs Sharks, Bloemfontein
23 February – Kings vs Force, Port Elizabeth
Bye: Crusaders

ROUND 3
1 March – Blues vs Crusaders, TBC
1 March – Reds vs Hurricanes, Brisbane
2 March – Chiefs vs Cheetahs, TBC
2 March – Waratahs vs Rebels, Sydney
2 March – Bulls vs Force, Pretoria
2 March – Sharks vs Stormers, Durban
Bye: Brumbies, Highlanders, Kings

ROUND 4
8 March – Hurricanes vs Crusaders, TBC
8 March – Rebles vs Reds, Melbourne
9 March – Highlanders vs Cheetahs, TBC
9 March – Brumbies vs Waratahs, Canberra
9 March – Stormers vs Chiefs, Cape Town
9 March – Kings vs Sharks, Port Elizabeth
10 March – Blues vs Bulls, TBC
Bye: Force

ROUND 5
15 March – Highlanders vs Hurricanes, TBC
15 March – Waratahs vs Cheetahs, Sydney
15 March – Kings vs Chiefs, Port Elizabeth
16 March – Crusaders vs Bulls, Christchurch
16 March – Reds vs Force, Brisbane
16 March – Sharks vs Brumbies, Durban
Byes: Blues, Rebels, Stormers

ROUND 6
22 March – Chiefs vs Highlanders, TBC
23 March – Crusaders vs Kings, Christchurch
23 March – Reds vs Bulls, Brisbane
23 March – Force vs Cheetahs, Perth
23 March – Sharks vs Rebels, Durban
23 March – Stormers vs Brumbies, Cape Town
24 March – Waratahs vs Blues, Sydney
Bye: Hurricanes

ROUND 7
29 March – Highlanders vs Reds, TBC
30 March – Hurricanes vs Kings, TBC
30 March – Chiefs vs Blues, TBC
30 March – Brumbies vs Bulls, Canberra
30 March – Cheetahs vs Rebels, Bloemfontein
30 March – Stormers vs Crusaders, Cape Town
31 March – Waratahs vs Force, Sydney
Bye: Sharks

ROUND 8
5 April – Blues vs Highlanders, TBC
5 April – Brumbies vs Kings, Canberra
5 April – Sharks vs Crusaders, Durban
6 April – Hurricanes vs Waratahs, TBC
6 April – Force vs Rebels, Perth
6 April – Cheetahs vs Stormers, Bloemfontein
Bye: Bulls, Chiefs, Reds

ROUND 9
12 April – Highlanders vs Brumbies, TBC
13 April – Chiefs vs Reds, TBC
13 April – Blues vs Hurricanes, TBC
13 April – Rebels vs Kings, Melbourne
13 April– Force vs Crusaders, Perth
13 April – Stormers vs Sharks, Cape Town
13 April – Bulls vs Cheetahs, Pretoria
Bye: Waratahs

ROUND 10
19 April – Hurricanes vs Force, TBC
19 April – Waratahs vs Chiefs, Sydney
20 April – Crusaders vs Highlanders, Christchurch
20 April – Reds vs Brumbies, Brisbane
20 April – Sharks vs Cheetahs, Durban
20 April – Kings vs Bulls, Port Elizabeth
Bye: Blues, Rebels, Stormers

ROUND 11
26 April – Hurricanes vs Stormers, TBC
26 April – Reds vs Blues, Brisbane
27 April – Chiefs vs Sharks, TBC
27 April – Brumbies vs Force, Canberra
27 April – Bulls vs Waratahs, Pretoria
27 April – Cheetahs vs Kings, Bloemfontein
28 April – Crusaders vs Rebels, Christchurch
Bye: Highlanders

ROUND 12
3 May – Blues vs Stormers, TBC
TBC – Rebels vs Chiefs, Melbourne
4 May – Highlanders vs Sharks, TBC
4 May – Force vs Reds, Perth
4 May – Kings vs Waratahs, Port Elizabeth
4 May – Bulls vs Hurricanes, Pretoria
5 May – Brumbies vs Crusaders, Canberra
Bye: Cheetahs

ROUND 13
10 May – Chiefs vs Force, TBC
10 May – Reds vs Sharks, Brisbane
10 May – Cheetahs vs Hurricanes, Bloemfontein
11 May – Blues vs Rebels, Venue
11 May – Waratahs vs Stormers, Sydney
11 May – Kings vs Highlanders, Port Elizabeth
Bye: Brumbies, Bulls, Crusaders

ROUND 14
17 May – Hurricanes vs Chiefs, TBC
17 May – Rebels vs Stormers, Melbourne
17 May – Force vs Sharks, Perth
18 May  – Crusaders vs Blues, Christchurch
18 May – Waratahs vs Brumbies, Sydney
18 May – Bulls vs Highlanders, Pretoria
18 May – Cheetahs vs Reds, Bloemfontein
Bye: Kings

ROUND 15
24 May – Chiefs vs Crusaders, TBC
24 May – Rebels vs Waratahs, Melbourne
25 May – Blues vs Brumbies, TBC
25 May – Force vs Highlanders, Perth
25 May – Kings vs Cheetahs, Port Elizabeth
25 May – Stormers vs Reds, Cape Town
25 May – Sharks vs Bulls, Durban
Bye: Hurricanes

ROUND 16
31 May – Crusaders vs Waratahs, Christchurch
31 May – Brumbies vs Hurricanes, Canberra
1 June – Highlanders vs Blues, TBC
1 June – Reds vs Rebels, Brisbane
1 June – Stormers vs Kings, Cape Town
1 June – Cheetahs vs Bulls, Bloemfontein
Bye: Chiefs, Force, Sharks

ROUND 17 (Australian teams only)
7 June – Brumbies vs Rebels, Canberra
9 June – Force vs Waratahs, Perth
Bye: Reds

ROUND 18 (South African and New Zealand teams only)
28 June – Chiefs vs Hurricanes, TBC
29 June – Highlanders vs Crusaders, TBC
29 June – Sharks vs Blues, Durban
29 June – Bulls vs Kings, Pretoria
29 June – Stormers vs Cheetahs, Cape Town

ROUND 19 (South African and New Zealand teams only)
5 July – Crusaders vs Chiefs, Christchurch
6 July – Hurricanes vs Highlanders, TBC
6 July – Cheetahs vs Blues, Bloemfontein
6 July – Kings vs Stormers, Port Elizabeth
6 July – Bulls vs Sharks, Pretoria

ROUND 20
12 July – Crusaders vs Hurricanes, Christchurch
12 July – Rebels vs Highlanders, Melbourne
13 July – Blues vs Chiefs, TBC
13 July – Waratahs vs Reds, Sydney
13 July – Force vs Brumbies, Perth
13 July – Sharks vs Kings, Durban
13 July – Stormers v Bulls, Cape Town
Bye: Cheetahs

QUALIFIERS
19 July
20 July

SEMI-FINALS
26 July
27 July

FINAL
3 August