The Blues will take on hosts the Reds in front of a packed-out Suncorp Stadium in their first match at February’s Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
The opening match of Pool B – the third match of the opening day on Saturday February 11 – will be the latest chapter in a rivalry that harks back to the early 1990s when Auckland and Queensland were the teams to beat in the Super 6 and Super 10 competitions.
Blues have today confirmed that new assistant coach Steve Jackson will coach the team for the Tens, having previously coached the Blues to their victory at the Singapore World 10s two years ago.
“The Blues are excited both by the new Brisbane Global Rugby Tens competition and the prospect of taking on the Reds on their home territory in the opening game,” Jackson said.
“We are looking forward to this new competition. We have had success before and love this format of the game. While it is a standalone competition, we will also be using it as a key part of our preparations for the Investec Super Rugby Championship.”
Drawn in what looks to be the most challenging pool, the Blues round out a rugged first day with an evening clash against the hard-hitting Tama Samoa.
They complete pool play on day two with a showdown against the Crusaders – another highly anticipated clash against a fierce rival.
The inaugural tournament kicks off on February 11 with the Chiefs taking on the Melbourne Rebels at midday on Saturday.
Featuring a similar structure to the 15-a-side game but with more space on field for players to showcase their skills, Tens rugby is the perfect format for what will be a hugely entertaining launch of the Super Rugby season in Brisbane for at least the next four years.
Knockout play begins with the first quarterfinal at 12.48pm and ends with the grand final at 5.40pm.
Blues Pool play schedule at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens (local time)
Vs Reds 12.56pm
Vs Samoa 6.28pm
Vs Crusaders 11.22am