The Emirates Lions will host six home games at Emirates Airline Park when the Vodacom Super Rugby kicks off in 2018 with a visit to the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria and the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in between before they embark on their overseas trip to Australasia.
With the change in the VSR format the Lions will face a good mixture of teams from Australia and New Zealand which include the 2017 winners, the Crusaders, as well as the 2016 champions, the Hurricanes.
Emirates Airline Park season ticket packages for the 2018 season go on sale in October 2017.
They kick off their VSR campaign on 17 February against the Cell C Sharks before hosting the Jaguares from Argentina at home at Emirates Airline Park on 24 February.
This is followed by an away game against the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versveld in Pretoria. These two teams also face each other in a pre-season warm-up on 27 January at Emirates Airline Park.
The Lions then host two overseas teams, the Blues (10 March) and the Sunwolves (17 March) before they embark on the first of their overseas matches when they travel to Buenos Aires for their second Jaguares (24 March) clash.
Back home they host the Crusaders (31 March) of New Zealand and the DHL Stormers (7 April) before the first of two byes (14 April and 7 July).
They end their round robin fixtures on 14 July at home against the Bulls before the play-offs start.
Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions Rugby Company, said: “I would like to thank SANZAAR for the early release of these dates and fixtures as it will assist with planning both on the rugby side as well as commercially. We believe that the reduced number of teams will enhance the value of this tournament for all stakeholders and re-establish Super Rugby as the leading club competition in the world.”
Edgar Rathbone, Managing Director of EPS (Pty) Ltd, was delighted that all the Lions matches will be played on Saturdays and Sundays. “It has been a challenge for our supporters to get to the stadium on Fridays. Our supporters can now look forward to some exciting new season ticket packages that will be launched during October.”
Emirates Lions VSR 2018 schedule:
17 February: Emirates Lions vs Cell C Sharks (17:15, Emirates Airline Park)
24 February: Emirates Lions vs Jaguares (15:05, Emirates Airline Park)
3 March: Vodacom Bulls vs Emirates Lions (Pretoria)
10 March: Emirates Lions vs Blues (17:15, Emirates Airline Park)
17 March: Emirates Lions vs Sunwolves (17:15, Emirates Airline Park)
24 March: Jaguares vs Emirates Lions (Buenos Aires)
31 March; Emirates Lions vs Crusaders (14:30, Emirates Airline Park)
7 April: Emirates Lions vs DHL Stormers (17:15, Emirates Airline Park)
14 April: Bye
21 April: Waratahs vs Emirates Lions (Sydney)
28 April: Reds vs Emirates Lions (Brisbane)
5 May: Hurricanes vs Emirates Lions (Wellington)
12 May: Highlanders vs Emirates Lions (Dunedin)
19 May: Emirates Lions vs Brumbies (17:15, Emirates Airline Park)
26 May: DHL Stormers vs Emirates Lions (Cape Town)
30 June: Cell C Sharks vs Emirates Lions (Durban)
7 July: Bye
14 July: Emirates Lions vs Vodacom Bulls (15:05, Emirates Airline Park