An unbroken Super Rugby competition will celebrate next year’s Anzac centenary with five Australasian matches in late April.
Super Rugby will make a feature out of next year’s Anzac weekend by scheduling five matches between Australasian rivals.
In releasing the 2015 draw on Thursday, governing body SANZAR has revealed three trans-Tasman clashes, plus Australian and New Zealand derby matches, as part of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.
Defending champions NSW will take on the Melbourne Rebels at ANZ Stadium on April 25 in a showpiece battle for the Weary Dunlop Shield.
The Western Force meet the Chiefs in Hamilton and the Brumbies play the Highlanders in Canberra the day before, while Queensland host the Hurricanes on April 26.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have produced an outcome that sees Australian and New Zealand teams all in action across the Anzac Centenary weekend,” said SANZAR chief Greg Peters.
“It will be a tremendous occasion for people to come together to reflect on the significance of the day beyond the rugby field and we expect this will be a highly poignant and memorable occasion.”
For the first time in four seasons, Super Rugby will not take a three-week break for scheduled June internationals, and will run from mid-February through to a July 4 final.
The 2015 World Cup, to be hosted in England in September and October, ensures no in-bound tours from northern hemisphere nations which have halted the momentum of the competition.
The season kicks off with the Rebels travelling to Christchurch to play the seven-time champion Crusaders on February 13 before a Brumbies-Reds derby in Canberra.
The Waratahs start their title defence against the Force in a Sunday afternoon clash at Allianz Stadium.