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, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4