The Blues could not have asked for a better draw to open the season at next year's Brisbane Global Tens.

The Super Rugby preseason tournament is unpredictable but, given the Chiefs and Crusaders contested the final last year, the fact the Blues avoid another Kiwi team in pool play should work in their favour.

Tana Umaga's men have been drawn to face Robbie Deans' Panasonic Wild Knights, Melbourne Rebels and Brad Thorn's Queensland Reds.

It will be the first time Augustine Pulu captains the Blues and a chance for talented first five-eighth Stephen Perofeta and fringe All Blacks midfielder George Moala to kick start their season.


The Chiefs, inaugural Tens champions, will face the Highlanders, Waratahs and Conrad Smith's Kiwi-laden Pau.

"The wildcard will be Pau for sure," Wallabies and Waratahs star Kurtley Beale said. "I'm sure Conrad Smith will lead these guys and look to have a good tournament."

The Crusaders and Hurricanes, boosted by Julian Savea's presence, appear to have the toughest pool alongside the Brumbies and Olympic sevens gold medallist Fiji.

Four women's teams – Brumbies, Melbourne, Queensland and NSW – will also compete over full round robin at Suncorp Stadium over Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 10.

Today's draw underlines the fact that rugby fans are in for a spectacular experience in 2018," tournament chief executive Rachael Carroll.

"The men's competition will be just as action-packed and thrilling as it was earlier this year, while the expanded women's tournament will be a real highlight.

"Once again, the action on the pitch will be sensational. And the move to a Friday-Saturday, day-night format means the stands will be fizzing.

"There's no doubt the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will be the biggest party in Queensland in 2018."

Reds prop James Slipper said he was relieved his team had avoided Fiji and the rugged looking Pool C.

"We've got a tough pool but I am pretty excited about it," Slipper said. "I was a bit worried we'd end up in Pool C with the Fijians."

"I had a lot of fun last year. It was a new experience for me. I'm not used to having that sort of space on the field."


Pool A: Panasonic Wild Knights; Melbourne Rebels; Blues; Queensland Reds
Pool B: Pau; NSW Waratahs; Chiefs; Highlanders
Pool C: Fiji; Brumbies; Hurricanes; Crusaders