Super Rugby

Last updated: 11 January, 2017

Super Rugby Logo

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.

» Latest Rugby videos

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

Force to unleash code-hopper Rona for Super Rugby opener

Force to unleash code-hopper Rona for Super Rugby opener

by , 23 Feb 2017

Former NRL winger Curtis Rona will make his Western Force debut at outside centre in their opening round Super Rugby clash with the NSW Waratahs. The ex-Canterbury player will partner fellow Super Rugby debutant Bill Meakes in a new-look centre combination at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. New forward recruits Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs) and Ben Daley […]

The Roar’s Super Rugby tips and predictions: Round 1 – the return!

The Roar’s Super Rugby tips and predictions: Round 1 – the return!

by , 23 Feb 2017

Roarers all, let us rejoice, for I have again got the band back together!

Saving Super Rugby from itself

Saving Super Rugby from itself

by , 23 Feb 2017

Forgive me Father, it has been more than a year since my last article for The Roar.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so let’s learn to love all the codes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so let’s learn to love all the codes

by , 23 Feb 2017

People are sweating a little less each day, Easter is just around the corner (which means Xmas is practically a week away) and rugby is back. Finally we can get back to the centuries’ old debate: by what margin is rugby union a better sport than rugby league?

Gibson must get Folau scoring again, even without Beale

Gibson must get Folau scoring again, even without Beale

by , 23 Feb 2017

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has 12 Wallabies on his roster this season, but the missing link is Israel Folau.

McGahan says Rebels focused on winning, not Super squeeze

McGahan says Rebels focused on winning, not Super squeeze

by , 23 Feb 2017

Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan says his team isn’t feeling any extra pressure to perform despite an axe possibly hanging over an under-performing Australian Super Rugby side.

Super Rugby 2017 live stream: How to watch the season on TV and stream online

Super Rugby 2017 live stream: How to watch the season on TV and stream online

by , 22 Feb 2017

The 2017 Super Rugby season will be the second under the new conference format and gets underway on Thursday, February 23 as the Melbourne Rebels host the Blues in the season opener. This is The Roar‘s complete guide to streaming the competition online and watching it on TV.

George Smith still rates among world rugby’s best

George Smith still rates among world rugby’s best

by , 22 Feb 2017 Video

Today we will be studying maths. First question: what do these numbers have in common: 164, 142, 110, 105. Just to give another clue, here’s one more set: 117, 111, 32, 67.

Quade Cooper, George Smith headline Reds squad

Quade Cooper, George Smith headline Reds squad

by , 22 Feb 2017

The Queensland Reds have named one of their strongest Super Rugby sides in years, with a host of Wallabies headlining a new look team to host the Sharks in the opening round.

Concussion concern over Bernard Foley for Super Rugby opener

Concussion concern over Bernard Foley for Super Rugby opener

by , 22 Feb 2017

A concussion concern over five-eighth Bernard Foley is the main fitness worry for NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson, as he prepares to thrust Super Rugby rookie Irae Simone into Saturday’s opening-round clash with the Western Force.


Older Articles »