Super Rugby

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Super Rugby, governed by SANZAAR, is the largest and most competitive rugby union competition in the southern hemisphere with 18 sides, comprised of five teams from Australia, five teams from New Zealand, six teams from South Africa, and one team from each of Japan and Argentina.

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The competition was originally founded in 1996 as Super 12 – an expansion of the South Pacific Championship that began in 1986 – and continued with 12 teams until 2005. In 2006 the competition was expanded and renamed Super 14 with two new franchises, the Western Force (Perth) and Central Cheetahs (Free State and Northern Cape Province), entering the competition following ongoing negotiations in 2005.

In 2009, following prolonged discussion, SANZAR announced its intentions to expand the competition to 15 teams in 2011 with the last franchise to be the Rebels, based in Melbourne. The competition was consequently rebranded Super Rugby.

The 2013 Super Rugby competition was won by the Chiefs, who defeated the Brumbies 27-22 to claim their second consecutive Super Rugby title. From its inception, the competition has been dominated by New Zealand sides – winning a combined 12 from 18 on 16 of 18 finals appearances. From New Zealand, the Crusaders are the competition’s most successful side winning seven titles. The Bulls remain South Africa’s most successful side winning three titles and the Brumbies are Australia’s most successful with two. Only six sides have ever won a Super Rugby championship.

In 2016 the competition was expanded from 15 to 18 teams, welcoming a sixth South African team (the Southern Kings), along with foundation teams from Japan (the Tokyo Sunwolves) and Argentina (the Jaguares). These new teams also brought a change to the Super Rugby conference structure. The previous system of three conferences spread equally into Australia, New Zealand and Africa became two groups: the Australasian Group, comprising of Australia and New Zealand, and the South African Group, comprising of two African conferences along with the Argentinian and Japanese sides.

The Sunwolves' captain Shota Horie

Crusader and All Black Dan Carter stands as the competition’s highest point scorer (1,533); Doug Howlett the top try scorer (59); Dan Carter has kicked the most conversions (185); and Andrew Mehrtens has kicked the most penalties (202). The competition is renowned for attacking, physical rugby and is praised internationally for its flare and spectacular tries.

Super Rugby Articles

Super Rugby 2017 preview – Africa 2 conference

Super Rugby 2017 preview – Africa 2 conference

by , 19 Jan 2017

This week we will take a look at the Africa 2 Conference, arguably the more competitive of the African conferences.

Reports: Aaron Cruden links with Montpellier on rich deal

Reports: Aaron Cruden links with Montpellier on rich deal

by , 18 Jan 2017

All Blacks five-eighth Aaron Cruden will pack his bags and head to Montpellier on a for the 2017/18 Top 14 season, according to reports from France.

Ready or not, here come rugby’s new tackle laws

Ready or not, here come rugby’s new tackle laws

by , 17 Jan 2017

As we head into the 2017 season down this part of the world, the great unknown is how the new World Rugby-prescribed tackle laws are going to play out.

A simpler structure for Super Rugby

A simpler structure for Super Rugby

by , 16 Jan 2017

Why don’t we restructure Super Rugby into three conferences of six teams each.

2017 Super Rugby ladder predictions and potential XVs: 9th – 1st

2017 Super Rugby ladder predictions and potential XVs: 9th – 1st

by , 14 Jan 2017

Following on from my article regarding my predictions for the bottom nine of the ladder is this set of bold choices for the other title chasers.

2017 Super Rugby ladder predictions and potential XVs: 18th – 10th

2017 Super Rugby ladder predictions and potential XVs: 18th – 10th

by , 13 Jan 2017

Every avid fan of rugby has seen the constant news outlets posting of new signings, new goals and new motivation for the upcoming 2017 Super Rugby season.

Wallabies receive major boost as Lopeti Timani pens contract extension

Wallabies receive major boost as Lopeti Timani pens contract extension

by , 11 Jan 2017

Wallabies and Melbourne Rebels backrower Lopeti Timani has signed a contract extension which will keep him playing in Australia until at least the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Super Rugby: What I want to see in 2017

Super Rugby: What I want to see in 2017

by , 10 Jan 2017

It’s suddenly getting toward that time of year again, and looking at squads for an Australian Super Rugby teams magazine preview over the weekend gave reason to think about what I want to see from our sides.

Former Waratah and Crusader Ben Volavola signs with Melbourne Rebels

Former Waratah and Crusader Ben Volavola signs with Melbourne Rebels

by , 7 Jan 2017

Fiji representative Ben Volavola has signed with the Melbourne Rebels for the upcoming 2017 Super Rugby season.

Rebels ready for Wallabies return

Rebels ready for Wallabies return

by , 4 Jan 2017

The Melbourne Rebels admit they’re in unfamiliar territory as they welcome their Wallabies back into the fold next week.


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