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

Folau urges Waratahs to play with freedom

Folau urges Waratahs to play with freedom

by , 24 May 2016

Israel Folau has warned teammates a do-or-die mindset will be the NSW Waratahs’ undoing in Friday night’s must-win Super Rugby clash with the front-running Chiefs.

Tahs must go at Chiefs: Guildford

by , 24 May 2016

The Waratahs must be fast learners and ask more questions of the Chiefs’ defence this Friday than they managed in their loss to the Crusaders last round, according to winger Zac Guildford.

Brumbies expect fast clash with Sunwolves

by , 24 May 2016

The Brumbies say they aren’t fooled by the Sunwolves’ almost-winless first season in Super Rugby, expecting a fast and clinical contest in Canberra on Saturday night.

Hurricanes’ curfew breakers to return for Highlanders clash

Hurricanes’ curfew breakers to return for Highlanders clash

by , 24 May 2016

The Hurricanes are set to welcome back the five wayward players who missed a team curfew in Friday’s key Super Rugby match against the Highlanders.

Bill Beaumont wins World Rugby’s game of thrones

Bill Beaumont wins World Rugby’s game of thrones

by , 23 May 2016

On May 11 around 3 o’clock (AES time) World Rugby sent out a media release with the headline ‘Bill Beaumont elected next World Rugby Chairman’.

The Wrap: Andy Ellis delights his nana, Blues and Force delight no-one

The Wrap: Andy Ellis delights his nana, Blues and Force delight no-one

by , 23 May 2016

The enduring image from Round 13 of Super Rugby was that of a beaming Andy Ellis, interviewed shortly after his 150th appearance for the Crusaders, in their 29-10 win over the Waratahs in Christchurch.

Each Super Rugby side should contribute three Wallabies

Each Super Rugby side should contribute three Wallabies

by , 23 May 2016

With the Test season coming we can all expect that the curiously Australian habit of bickering over which state’s players get selected for the Wallabies will begin.

Rebels hope McMahon rewarded with Test cap

by , 22 May 2016

In a season of missed opportunities Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan is hoping that Sean McMahon is given one against England in next month’s Test series.

Chiefs forward Leitch out for two months

by , 22 May 2016

Chiefs No.8 Michael Leitch is unlikely to play again for the Chiefs until at least the Super Rugby finals after injuring his thumb.

Waratahs miss chance to shake Brumbies

by , 22 May 2016

Without lifting a finger the Brumbies have moved into the box seat in Super Rugby’s Australian conference thanks to losses by the NSW Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels.


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