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: 28 February, 2017

Super Rugby Articles

Looming ARU axe leading to mental struggles for players

Looming ARU axe leading to mental struggles for players

by , 23 May 2017

Western Force veteran Matt Hodgson has revealed some of his teammates have been left mentally shot by the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the franchise’s future, and says the situation is also ruining rugby in Australia.

When is the deadline, SANZAAR?

When is the deadline, SANZAAR?

by , 23 May 2017

Serious ‘fightin’ words’ from the Melbourne Rebels on Friday evening leaves the Australian Rugby Union in a very precarious position in its quest to strengthen-by-contraction. And as a flow-on, it further erodes SANZAAR’s battle to stay relevant as an administrator of southern hemisphere rugby.

Waratahs’ win shows the importance of momentum

Waratahs’ win shows the importance of momentum

by , 23 May 2017

Momentum is one of the most important factors in sport. Often, a player or team will be dominant for part of a match, and then totally outplayed at other times.

Super Rugby finals system ‘strange’: Smith

Super Rugby finals system ‘strange’: Smith

by , 23 May 2017

George Smith admits it feels “strange” that the Queensland Reds are still in Super Rugby finals contention despite a 3-8 win-loss record.

The Wrap: The owner, the divorce and the laughing goosestep

The Wrap: The owner, the divorce and the laughing goosestep

by , 22 May 2017 Popular article!

No sooner had the Crusaders completed their 31-24 win over the Chiefs – a superb advertisement for both New Zealand and Super Rugby – Fox Sports front man Nick McArdle announced a new statement from the Melbourne Rebels regarding their continued presence in Super Rugby.

Better late than never for the Waratahs

Better late than never for the Waratahs

by , 22 May 2017

At long last, the Waratahs big three of Israel Folau, Bernard Foley and Michael Hooper clicked to beat the Rebels 50-23 at Allianz Stadium yesterday.

The Super XV: Australian team of the week, Round 13

The Super XV: Australian team of the week, Round 13

by , 22 May 2017

Each week we’ll be looking at the best of the best in Australian rugby and piecing together the top 15 players out of the Aussie Super Rugby sides from the round gone by.

The High Five: Super Rugby Round 13

The High Five: Super Rugby Round 13

by , 21 May 2017

Round 13 of Super Rugby, unlucky for some, has wrapped up with some exciting matches and staggering results and the race for the qualifying positions are in full swing.

Waratahs big winners, routing Rebels 50-23

Waratahs big winners, routing Rebels 50-23

by , 21 May 2017

The Waratahs have bounced back from a string of poor performance with a big win over the Rebels, taking down the Melbourne side for the second time this year with a highly entertaining 50 to 23 win.

Waratahs vs Rebels highlights: Super Rugby live scores, blog

Waratahs vs Rebels highlights: Super Rugby live scores, blog

by , 21 May 2017 Popular article! Video

Match result: The Waratahs have bounced back from a string of poor performance with a big win over the Rebels, taking down the Melbourne side for the second time this year with a highly entertaining 50 to 23 win.


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