The draw for Super Rugby 2013 has been released, with the Sharks getting their campaign started with an away fixture in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs, followed by a home game against the Stormers before going down to Port Elizabeth for the first time.
The Sharks spend the first ten rounds in South Africa before going to Australasia for four weeks, returning for a single home match before getting a mammoth five weeks off, with their bye falling with the four week international break.
The Sharks miss out on clashes with the Hurricanes and the Waratahs.
SANZAR have agreed to allow the Australian teams to start a week earlier, as well as giving them a different break over the International season, to make things easier for their hosting of the British and Irish Lions tour.
Round 1: Australian teams only
Round 2: Cheetahs vs Sharks – Bloemfontein
Round 3: Sharks vs Stormers – Durban
Round 4: Kings vs Sharks – Port Elizabeth
Round 5: Sharks vs Brumbies – Durban
Round 6: Sharks vs Rebels – Durban
Round 7: BYE
Round 8: Sharks vs Crusaders – Durban
Round 9: Stormers vs Sharks – Cape Town
Round 10: Sharks vs Cheetahs – Durban
Round 11: Chiefs vs Sharks – TBC
Round 12: Highlanders vs Sharks – TBC
Round 13: Reds vs Sharks – Brisbane
Round 14: Force vs Sharks – Perth
Round 15: Sharks vs Bulls – Durban
Round 16: BYE
Round 17: Australian teams only
THREE WEEK BREAK
Round 18: Sharks vs Blues – Durban
Round 19: Bulls vs Sharks – Pretoria
Round 20: Sharks vs Kings – Durban