Sky Super Rugby Aupiki Draw set to light up rugby landscape in March

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The countdown to the start of Sky Super Rugby Aupiki is officially on with the draw and naming rights partner announced today.

Mirroring the first ever women’s Super Rugby match in New Zealand last May, the Blues will host the Waitomo Chiefs Manawa at Eden Park on Saturday 5 March to get the inaugural season underway.

The Waitomo Chiefs Manawa will host their first home game on Sunday 13 March at FMG Stadium Waikato in round two. The final round robin matches will see all four teams’ descend on Hamilton for the Sky Super Rugby Aupiki Super Round.

Waitomo Chiefs Manawa Memberships will be on sale next week from chiefs.co.nz with a chance for fans to make history as the very first members of the team, scoring their own membership numbers. Memberships will include a Waitomo Chiefs Manawa home match, Super Round match plus free entry into the Clash of the Codes T10 cricket match on Feb 2 and loads more. Register interest via emailing members@chiefs.co.nz

The two top placed teams will battle it out for the title in a Final in the last weekend of March.

Waitomo Chiefs Manawa Head Coach Allan Bunting is excited for Super Rugby Aupiki to kick-off.

“We are incredibly excited as a team to kick off Sky Super Rugby Aupiki. Preparations for our campaign are well underway, we have a talented squad and they are all eager to demonstrate to our fans and whānau what they can bring to the field.”

New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Lendrum said the inaugural season of Sky Super Rugby Aupiki was a game-changer for the women’s game.

“This year is going to be like nothing we’ve seen before when it comes to the women’s game and Sky Super Rugby Aupiki is a great way to get things underway.

“We’ve seen the four clubs assemble strong, exciting squads and this draw was the last piece of the puzzle before launching the competition in March. We’re looking forward to seeing New Zealand get in behind the players and teams and make this first season really set a benchmark for years to come,” said Lendrum.

All matches are live and exclusive on Sky – who have cemented their support for the women’s game, coming on board as the naming rights partner of the competition.

“As part of Sky’s commitment to elevating women in sport in every aspect, we are absolutely delighted to be naming rights sponsor and official broadcaster for the Sky Super Rugby Aupiki competition. New Zealanders are hungry for more with the inaugural Super Rugby match between the Blues and Chiefs among proving popular amongst fans in 2021,” said Sky CEO Sophie Moloney.

“Our sponsorship and expert coverage of this landmark competition for women’s rugby in Aotearoa will enable us to showcase their skill and talent and tell the stories of the wāhine toa who love this game. But our support doesn’t stop there.

“Sky is committed to ensuring everyone in Aotearoa can watch our wāhine in action, so to support this new exciting competition we will proudly offer all Sky Super Rugby Aupiki games free to air on Prime as well as Sky Sport,” said Moloney.

Sponsorship packages for the Waitomo Chiefs Manawa programme are still available. To find out more contact Sponsorship & Events Manager Emma Langman at EmmaL@chiefs.co.nz.

2022 Waitomo Chiefs Manawa Super Rugby Aupiki Draw
Round One:
Saturday 5 March – Blues v Chiefs Manawa, Eden Park, kick off 1:45pm

Round Two: Sunday 13 March – Waitomo Chiefs Manawa v Matatū, FMG Stadium, kick off 3:45pm

Round Three: Super Round – FMG Stadium Waikato, Saturday 19 March – Waitomo Chiefs Manawa v Hurricanes, kick off 4:35pm

Final: Saturday 26 March or Sunday 27 March

Sky Super Rugby Aupiki Format:
• 4 teams: Blues, Waitomo Chiefs Manawa, Hurricanes, Matatū
• 3 regular season matches (one home, one away, one Super Round fixture)

Playoffs:
• 1v2 play standalone Final on 26 March or 27 March

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