Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Rejuvenated Aussie Super Rugby ready for NZ litmus test

The success of the inaugural Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition - which begins on Friday - is likely to depend heavily on how competitive the Australian sides are.

After the success of Super Rugby AU, the game's on a high across the Tasman and NZ sides are treading with caution heading into the competition, which kicks off Friday. 

The tournament has breathed new life into the game across the ditch and has Wallabies coach Dave Rennie quietly confident things are looking up for a code that, just a year ago, was on its knees.

"In Australia right now we are cock-a-hoop," former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons tells Newshub.

"We have had very dull, very dreary, very depressing times in Australian Rugby for about twenty years. It has been grim."

Record views, compelling games and over 41,000 fans at the Super Rugby AU final suggest the public believe those grim times are almost over.

"The test will come very shortly to those great Australian - or what seem to be very good Australian - teams up against New Zealanders," FitzSimons adds.

And the threat those teams pose has NZ sides put on notice. 

"Definitely been keeping an eye on them and they've been playing some fantastic footy," says Hurricanes star Ngani Laumape. "It's pretty exciting."

The trans-Tasman competition will also be another test for All Blacks and Wallabies players and, with the international season looming, Rennie reportedly likes what he's seen. 

"He seemed to me to be confident there's very good players coming through and we'll see those in the trans-Tasman competition," says FitzSimons.

"We wish you well. Don't forget we're coming for you."

And Laumape is preparing for a backlash from the Aussies.

"I think they're pumped and excited to play an NZ team, and I know for them they'll be really excited, but so is our group," he warns.

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