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, but is colloquially referred to as the ‘Super 15’. SANZAR has hinted at further expanding the competition in 2016 with sides possibly coming from either Argentina, Japan, the U.S.

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 competitions 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.

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

How will the Waratahs top their conference? Mumm’s the word

How will the Waratahs top their conference? Mumm’s the word

by , 30 Apr 2016

Dean Mumm was rightfully rated a senior player in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup campaign last year.

Bulls put foot down to thrash Force

by , 30 Apr 2016

The Western Force’s losing streak extended to seven matches after copping a 42-20 hiding from the Bulls in Friday night’s Super Rugby clash at nib Stadium in Perth.

Chiefs grind out tough win over Sharks

by , 30 Apr 2016

The Chiefs, outscored three tries to two, clung on to edge out the Sharks 24-22 in New Plymouth on Friday night to stay top of the Super Rugby table.

Force vs Bulls highlights: Bulls decimate Force in second half hammering

Force vs Bulls highlights: Bulls decimate Force in second half hammering

by , 29 Apr 2016 Video

The Western Force are looking to bounce back from their flogging at the hands of the Waratahs last week when they host the Bulls in Perth. Join The Roar for live coverage from 9:05pm (AEDT).

Chiefs vs Sharks highlights: Chiefs hold off determined Sharks

Chiefs vs Sharks highlights: Chiefs hold off determined Sharks

by , 29 Apr 2016 Video

The first Super Rugby game of Round 10 will be headed by championship front runners the Chiefs, who play host to the Sharks at Yarrow Stadium. Catch all the highlights and action from 5:35pm (AEST) on The Roar

Brumbies driven by Pocock’s high energy

by , 29 Apr 2016

The returning David Pocock has given the Brumbies an extra kick of energy ahead of Saturday’s potentially season-defining battle with reigning Super Rugby champions the Highlanders.

Waratahs plot hit-and-run win in South Africa

by , 29 Apr 2016

The NSW Waratahs are backing their new-found stability to help deliver a potentially season-defining Super Rugby win over the high-flying Stormers in Cape Town.

Rebels coach looking at big picture

by , 29 Apr 2016

Melbourne coach Tony McGahan has his eye on the main prize, refusing to get carried away with his team’s move to the top of the Australian Super Rugby conference.

Five actual talking points for Super Rugby Round 10

Five actual talking points for Super Rugby Round 10

by , 29 Apr 2016

Yep, no more off-field soap-operas this week. That’s not to say the #BoldandtheBrumbies saga is resolved; oh, Lordy, no.

Reds recruit Timu out for season

by , 29 Apr 2016

Queensland Reds recruit Caleb Timu’s Super Rugby season is over, with the rugby league convert injuring his anterior cruciate ligament at training.


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