Shaking off the rust

Sun, 12 Jan 2014 18:54
Large frans steyn sharks training Large handre pollard  bulls train Large jeandevilliersstormerstraining5

Super Rugby teams will step up their preparations for the upcoming season and shake off some rust in pre-season friendlies in the coming weeks.

Super Rugby teams will step up their preparations for the upcoming season and shake off some rust in pre-season friendlies in the coming weeks.

Preparing for the gruelling Super Rugby tournament, which gets underway on February 15 and culminates on August 2, is not an exact science.

This is evident in the number of contrasting approaches teams have opted for when it comes to on-field preparation and the number of warm-up matches they have scheduled.

While several sides have lined up three trial games, the Pretoria-based Bulls have scheduled just one pre-season outing.

The Sharks, under new coach Jake White, will undertake the longest trip for a warm-up game when they head to London to play England Premiership side Saracens on January 25.

These games are scheduled independently and will often feature changed aspects such as unlimited substitutions and 20-minute quarters, pending an agreement between the teams.

Here’s the schedule of confirmed pre-season clashes (kick-off times are local)   

Blues:

Saturday, February 1:
v Hurricanes, Memorial Park, Masterton - 15.00

Friday, February 7:
v Waratahs, Allianz Stadium, Sydney - 19.30

Friday, February 14:
v Chiefs, Rotorua - 18.00

Brumbies:

Friday, January 31:
v Highlanders, Queenstown Recreation Ground - 18.00

Bulls:

Saturday, February 1:
v Stormers, Peter Mokaba Stadium - 17.00

Cheetahs:

Friday, January 17:
v Shimlas and Griquas, Bloemfontein - TBC

Saturday, January 25:
v Southern Kings, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - 19.00

Saturday, February 1:
v Pumas, Parys - TBC

Chiefs:

Saturday, February 8:
v Reds, Toowoomba Sports Ground - 18.30

Friday, February 14:
v Blues, Rotorua - 18.00

Crusaders:

Friday, February 7:
v Highlanders, Motueka - 17.30

Friday, February 14:
v Hurricanes, Levin - 16.00

Hurricanes:

Saturday, February 1:
v Blues, Memorial Park, Masterton - 15.00

Saturday, February 8:
v Melbourne Rebels, Simonds Stadium, Geelong - 21.30

Friday, February 14:
v Crusaders, Levin - 16.00

Highlanders:

Friday, January 31:
v Brumbies, Queenstown Recreation Ground - 18.00

Friday, February 7:
v Crusaders, Motueka - 17.30

Friday, February 14:
v Waratahs, Hunter Stadium - 19.30  

Lions:

Friday, January 24:
v Leopards, Ellis Park - TBC

Saturday, February 1:
v Southern Kings, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - TBC

Friday, February 7:
v the Sharks, Ellis Park - TBC

Melbourne Rebels:

Saturday, February 1:
v Waratahs, Albury Sports Ground - 17.00

Saturday, February 8
v Hurricanes, Simonds Stadium, Geelong - 19.30

Friday, February 14:
v Reds, Ballymore - 19.40

Reds:

Saturday, February 8:
v Chiefs, Toowoomba Sports Ground - 18.30

Friday, February 14:
v Melbourne Rebels, Ballymore - 19.40

Sharks:

Saturday, January 25:
v Saracens, Allianz Stadium - 14.30; 16.30 SA time

Friday, February 7:
v the Lions, Ellis Park - TBC

Stormers:

Saturday, February 1:
v Bulls, Peter Mokaba Stadium - 17.00

Friday, February 7:
v Southern Kings, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium - 19.00

Saturday, February 15:
v Boland, Wellington - TBC

Waratahs:

Saturday, February 1:
v Melbourne Rebels, Albury Sports Ground - 17.00

Friday, February 7:
v Blues, Allianz Stadium - 19.30

Friday, February 14:
v Highlanders, Hunter Stadium - 19.30  

Western Force:

Friday, February 7:
v Samoa A, Lark Hill Sportsplex - 19.30

Friday, February 14:
v Pampas XV, Arena Joondalup - 19.30

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 29 April 2016
Boland v Griquas 12h30 Wellington
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Treviso v Connacht 19h30 Stadio Monigo
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Munster v Edinburgh 19h35 Irish Independent Park
Sat, 30 April 2016
Blues v Rebels 05h15 Auckland
Highlanders v Brumbies 07h35 Dunedin
Reds v Cheetahs 09h40 Brisbane
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
Namibia v EP Kings 13h00 Windhoek
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 8 5 0 3 22
Brumbies 8 5 0 3 21
Waratahs 7 3 0 4 17
Reds 8 1 1 6 8
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 8 5 0 3 26
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 24
Blues 7 3 1 3 16
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 28
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 6 0 2 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4