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.

Last updated: 18 July, 2017

Super Rugby Articles

The Wrap: Is Super Rugby dead? Don’t bet on it just yet

The Wrap: Is Super Rugby dead? Don’t bet on it just yet

by , 25 Sep 2017

In the aftermath of the ARU’s decision to ‘discontinue’ the Western Force from Super Rugby, and Andrew Forrest’s promise to establish an Indo-Pacific rugby competition while also supporting the NRC, concerns have been raised.

Uelese looms as test for Cheika’s Super sway

Uelese looms as test for Cheika’s Super sway

by , 22 Sep 2017

Let me attempt to draw some kind of parallel between Donald Trump’s diplomacy at the UN and Jordan Uelese’s Wallabies future.

Super Rugby draw announced: Sunwolves in Australian conference

Super Rugby draw announced: Sunwolves in Australian conference

by , 21 Sep 2017

ARU boss Bill Pulver has welcomed the return of home-and-away derbies, as Japan’s Sunwolves replace the Western Force in Australia’s conference for the revamped Super Rugby competition.

Naisarani’s Brumbies deal the first for the NRC shop window

Naisarani’s Brumbies deal the first for the NRC shop window

by , 21 Sep 2017

Already, there’s plenty of talk about the Brumbies having one of the better Super Rugby forward packs in Australia next season, with their announcement this week that they have snared rampaging ex-Western Force No.8 Isi Naisarani.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver faces Senate grilling

ARU CEO Bill Pulver faces Senate grilling

by , 20 Sep 2017 Popular article!

The Melbourne Rebels received up to double the funding of the Western Force in the years leading up to the latter’s axing from the Super Rugby competition, a Senate hearing has heard.

Brumbies nab Force back-rower for 2018 Super Rugby season

Brumbies nab Force back-rower for 2018 Super Rugby season

by , 19 Sep 2017

Fijian back-rower Isi Naisarani has continued the exodus from the Western Force after the Perth club was axed from Super Rugby.

The Wrap: The Wallabies secure victory in Canberra, but fail to win hearts

The Wrap: The Wallabies secure victory in Canberra, but fail to win hearts

by , 18 Sep 2017

Like my first car, a tank-like blue Humber 80, Saturday night’s Canberra Test match took a long time to warm up, and even after it did, isolated spurts of smooth passage were punctuated by misfires and bunny hops along the way.

As more details emerge, Twiggy’s Indo Pacific Rugby Championship should be supported

As more details emerge, Twiggy’s Indo Pacific Rugby Championship should be supported

by , 13 Sep 2017

Andrew Forrest has announced his plan for the much-hyped Indo-Pacific Rugby Championship, and things are looking promising.

Andrew Forrest reveals details of new rugby competition, ARU responds

Andrew Forrest reveals details of new rugby competition, ARU responds

by , 13 Sep 2017 Popular article!

The first concrete details of Andrew Forrest’s much-hyped Indo Pacific Rugby Championship have emerged, with the billionaire going public with his offer of the new competition to the ARU.

Australian rugby bolstered as another Wallaby re-signs

Australian rugby bolstered as another Wallaby re-signs

by , 13 Sep 2017

The Wallabies have continued to strengthen their playing stocks ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with centre Tevita Kuridrani inking a two-year extension with the Brumbies that will keep him in Australian rugby until the end of the tournament in Japan.


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