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

Force to consider Asian competition launch if court case fails

Force to consider Asian competition launch if court case fails

by , 22 Aug 2017

The Western Force will consider launching a new rugby union competition in Asia if they can’t win their way back into Super Rugby ranks.

This is how the Force can be saved

This is how the Force can be saved

by , 22 Aug 2017

Never before has a decision split Australian rugby so tragically.

Western Force dispute gets uglier as WA Premier threatens to bankrupt ARU

Western Force dispute gets uglier as WA Premier threatens to bankrupt ARU

by , 21 Aug 2017 Popular article!

The Australian Rugby Union’s attempt to save $6 million a year could end up bankrupting them after the Western Australian government threatened to sue the rugby governing body for more than $100 million.

Australian rugby: Down but not out

Australian rugby: Down but not out

by , 21 Aug 2017

This is the third article for The Roar I’ve written in two years, on my third account, because I forgot the username and password for the other two.

The Wrap: Get your Bledisloe Cup myths dispelled here

The Wrap: Get your Bledisloe Cup myths dispelled here

by , 21 Aug 2017 Popular article! Video

By the time Ryan Crotty crossed for the All Blacks right on the stroke of halftime to bring the score to an astonishing, point-a-minute 40-6, fans across Australia were already in meltdown.

Thousands rally against Western Force cull

Thousands rally against Western Force cull

by , 20 Aug 2017

An estimated 10,000 Western Force fans have rallied in Perth against the Super Rugby club’s axing by the Australian Rugby Union.

Matt Lucas bolts to the Brumbies

Matt Lucas bolts to the Brumbies

by , 17 Aug 2017

Waratahs scrumhalf Matt Lucas has defected to their Australian rivals the Brumbies, with the ACT-based franchise announcing today the 25-year-old had signed a two-year deal with the team.

NRL to make small steps into Perth

NRL to make small steps into Perth

by , 16 Aug 2017

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has vowed to try and strike while the iron is hot in Perth following the closure of Super Rugby’s Western Force.

Rebels intensify search for new coach

Rebels intensify search for new coach

by , 16 Aug 2017

With Wallabies halfback Will Genia locked in for the next two Super Rugby seasons, the Melbourne Rebels are stepping up the hunt for a new coach.

Chaos reigns off the field, but also in the Wallabies’ back three

Chaos reigns off the field, but also in the Wallabies’ back three

by , 16 Aug 2017 Popular article!

The force appears to have deserted Australian rugby.


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