That’s the message from yesterday’s Investec Super Rugby 2018 launch as a new format, new jerseys and plenty of fresh talent are set to come together for a season of fast-paced action, kicking off in New Zealand when the Highlanders host the Blues in Dunedin next weekend.
The 2018 season was officially launched in Auckland yesterday at a special event featuring the Kiwi hip-hop sensation Kings, with the artist also releasing his track Play the Game, which heroes this season’s campaign and features on his second album.
Kings debut single Don’t Worry ‘Bout It won Single of the Year at the New Zealand Music Awards and broke records by staying at the top of the New Zealand charts for more than 30 weeks. Play The Game is the first single to be released from Kings’ upcoming, and as yet unnamed, album.
New Zealand Rugby’s Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said a partnership with Kings was a great fit for the entertaining style of Super Rugby.
“Super Rugby brings an exciting, action-packed brand of rugby to New Zealanders, having Kings join us for the 2018 campaign brings together audiences looking for top quality entertainment,” said Lendrum.
Investec Super Rugby kicks off in South Africa this weekend before New Zealand teams take the field from 23 February. Lendrum said the start of a new season is cause for excitement.
“Every year, Super Rugby never fails to disappoint. With new coaches and new players complimenting old rivalries, I know I am really looking forward to watching more of the outstanding rugby we know this competition produces.”
The new format, with a reduced 15 teams, sees New Zealand teams have home and away fixtures against each of their New Zealand rivals, and eight further matches against opposition from the other two conferences.
An updated finals series see the three conference leaders joined by five wild cards (the next best performing teams based on competition points), in the quarter finals.