The Blues will kick off 2018 at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, with the second edition of the showcase pre-season tournament to be held on Friday 9 and Saturday February 10 at Suncorp Stadium.
Following a hugely popular debut in 2017, the event switches to a day-night format, with matches to begin in the afternoon and run into the evenings.
After a thrilling first up draw with a power-packed Queensland Reds side, the Blues were defeated by Samoa and the Crusaders, failing to emerge from the pool of death in 2017.
They’ll be hoping for a bit more luck when the draw for 2018 is revealed, fullback Michael Collins said.
“The boys raved about the experience this year and I can’t wait to be part of it in February,” Collins said. “Hopefully we can have a decent shot at the title.”
Chief executive Michael Redman said he expected a large contingent of Blues fans would get in behind the team at the tournament after seeing the entertainment on offer earlier this year.
“The 2017 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens was a tremendous way to start the season,” Redman said. “I’d encourage fans to support this form of the game.”
The 2018 tournament is set to feature some incredible new talent, with French powerhouse club Pau – the current home of former All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor – set to make their debut alongside fellow newcomers Fiji.
“Pau have already confirmed that Conrad Smith will be in their line-up and they’ll be bringing a side stacked full of international talent,” tournament chief executive Rachael Carroll said.
“And we’re also delighted to have Fiji taking part. There was a very strong Fijian presence across the 14 teams last year so it’s fitting that Fiji will now join Samoa, Pau and Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights at the tournament.
“We’ve got an incredible amount of top class rugby talent lining up to take part – and with the move to a day-night format – Brisbane will be in full party mode. The 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will be an unmissable event.”
General Admission tickets are on sale now at ticketek.co.nz/brisbanetens. Travel packages coming soon.