Harvey Norman, the Australia-based retailer, has secured the naming rights to this year’s Super Rugby Pacific, the southern hemisphere’s premier rugby union clubs competition.

Through the sponsorship, the newly remodeled tournament will be known as Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific.

Harvey Norman previously served as the naming rights partner to last year’s Super Rugby AU, the domestic competition in Australia, and the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition that was contested by clubs from Australia and New Zealand last year.

Andy Marinos, chief executive at Rugby Australia, said: “A new era is upon us as we prepare to welcome the inaugural season of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific.

“I would like to thank Katie Page and her team at Harvey Norman for their continued support and enthusiasm in partnering for the inaugural season of this new competition. We have enjoyed a great partnership since they joined the Rugby family ahead of last season.”

Super Rugby AU and New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa were formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented the usual Super Rugby competition from going ahead.

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This year’s Super Rugby Pacific competition is scheduled to run from February 18 to June 18 and will comprise 12 teams.

There will be five each from Australia and New Zealand – the Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Melbourne Rebels, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, and Western Force.

There will also be two new teams – Fijian Drua, the country’s rugby union team, and Moana Pasifika, the team made up from the Pacific island nations.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the competition included teams from Argentina, Japan, and South Africa.

Each team will play 14 games in the 2022 season – seven at home and seven away.

The top eight ranked teams advance to a three-week playoff series in which the top team will play the eighth-placed team, the second against the seventh, the third against the sixth, and the fourth against the fifth.

The tournament will be available to watch in Australia both live and on-demand via Stan Sport.

Elsewhere, French real estate company IAD has sealed sponsorship deals with both the French National Rugby League (LNR) and the country’s premium rugby union Top 14 competition.

This will see the company serve as the real estate partner to both operations until 2025.

Other LNR partners include Canal Plus, La Poste, Betclic, Land Rover, and Andros.