The Crusaders will kick off of their 2018 Super Rugby title defence at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, with the showcase pre-season tournament to be held on Friday 9 and Saturday February 10 at Suncorp Stadium.

Following a hugely popular debut in 2017, the event switches to a day-night format, with matches to begin in the afternoon and run into the evenings.

Beaten finalists in Brisbane earlier this year, the Crusaders will be out to go one better in 2018, coach Scott Roberston confirmed.

“We had an incredible time in Brisbane at this year’s tournament and it really set us up for success,” Roberston said.

“We loved the format, the venue, the whole experience was great. The atmosphere was terrific and the move to a day-night format should make it even better. We can’t wait.”

Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach encouraged fans to get to Brisbane to support the team as they bid to add the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens title to the Super Rugby championship the club reclaimed in 2017.

“The 2017 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens was a wonderful showcase of fast-paced, exciting rugby and a tremendous way to start the season,” Riach said.

“The 2018 event promises to be even bigger and better. I’d encourage our fans to get to Brisbane to experience what is a truly superb weekend of top class rugby.”

The 2018 tournament is set to feature some incredible new talent, with French powerhouse club Pau – the current home of former All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor – set to make their debut alongside fellow newcomers Fiji.

“Pau have already confirmed that Conrad Smith will be in their line-up and they’ll be bringing a side stacked full of international talent,” tournament chief executive Rachael Carroll said.

“And we’re also delighted to have Fiji taking part. There was a very strong Fijian presence across the 14 teams last year so it’s fitting that Fiji will now join Samoa, Pau and Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights at the tournament.

“We’ve got an incredible amount of top class rugby talent lining up to take part - and with the move to a day-night format - Brisbane will be in full party mode. The 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens will be an unmissable event.”

Corporate packages can be booked via www.brisbaneglobaltens.com

General admission tickets are on sale from Friday at ticketek.co.nz/brisbanetens