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Super Rugby
Super Rugby
is a professional men's rugby union football competition in the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
and Japan. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in 1996 season with 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand
New Zealand
and South Africa. The name was changed to Super 14 with the addition of two teams for the 2006 season, and with expansion to 15 teams in the three countries for the 2011 season, the competition was rebranded as Super Rugby
Super Rugby
(with no number). By 2006, matches were being broadcast in 41 countries. In 2016 two new teams, the Jaguares from Argentina
Argentina
and Sunwolves
Sunwolves
from Japan, joined the competition, playing in the newly separated African groups. In 2018, the competition underwent yet another change in format, this time however dropping two teams (Cheetahs and Kings) from the South African conference, and one from the Australian conference (Western Force). This left the competition with 15 teams.[1]

Contents

1 Organisation and competition format

1.1 SANZAAR 1.2 Competition format

2 History

2.1 Pre SANZAR: Super 6 and Super 10

2.1.1 Super 6 2.1.2 Super 10

2.2 SANZAR/ SANZAAR
SANZAAR
era (1995–present)

2.2.1 Super 12 (1995–2005) 2.2.2 Super 14 (2006–10) 2.2.3 Super Rugby: 15 teams (2011–15) 2.2.4 Expansion to Argentina
Argentina
and Japan
Japan
(2016–2017) 2.2.5 Contraction (2018–)

3 Current franchises 4 Champions

4.1 Final appearances by team 4.2 Conference winners by team

5 Salary cap 6 Brand and image

6.1 Trophies 6.2 Logo 6.3 Naming rights

7 Competition records

7.1 Team records

7.1.1 Single match 7.1.2 Season or streak

7.2 Individual records

7.2.1 Career 7.2.2 Season 7.2.3 Match

8 Domestic competitions 9 Media

9.1 Broadcasters

10 See also 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 External links

Organisation and competition format[edit] SANZAAR[edit] Main article: SANZAAR SANZAAR
SANZAAR
is the body that administers Super Rugby, and has the Australian, New Zealand, South African and Argentine rugby unions as its sole members. SANZAAR
SANZAAR
also runs the Rugby Championship tournament that is contested by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa
Africa
following the conclusion of the Super Rugby
Super Rugby
tournament; the Tri-Nations preceded the Rugby Championship before Argentina
Argentina
joined the competition. The organisation was formed in 1995 to establish and run the Super 12, and Tri-Nations Tournament. Competition format[edit]

Western Force
Western Force
(Blue) kicking off to the New South Wales
New South Wales
Waratahs (White).

Prior to 2011, Super Rugby
Super Rugby
was a round-robin competition where each team played with every other team once; a team had six or seven home games, and six or seven away games each. The winner received four competition points; if the game was a draw two points were awarded to each team. The Rugby union
Rugby union
bonus points system was also used, where any team scoring four or more tries, and/or losing by seven points or less, receives an extra competition point. In 2016, the try bonus changed. A team now has to score three more tries than their opponents. The top four teams at the end of the round-robin phase then played semi-finals – the first placed team hosting the fourth placed team, and the second placed team hosting the third placed team.[2] The two winners then played the final at the home ground of the top surviving seed.[2] There were 91 regular season games in total.[3] Games were held over 14 weekends with each team receiving one bye. From 2011 – 2015 the format changed, with each country forming its own conference. Each team within a conference played each of the other teams in its conference twice, once at home and once away. Each team then played four out of the five teams from each of the other conferences once. Competition points were awarded on a similar basis as before. The format of the finals also changed; it involved six teams: the top team in each of the three conferences plus the three next teams with the highest total number of points, regardless of conference. The four lower ranking teams were paired in two sudden death games; the winners of those two games each played one of the two top ranked teams (which received a bye at the start of the finals). Those winners played for the championship.[4] For the 2016 and 2017 seasons the format changed again, with three more teams joining, one each from Argentina, Japan
Japan
and South Africa. There were four conferences, with Africa
Africa
getting two conferences. The finals had eight teams with each conference winner getting a home quarter final. They were joined by four wild card teams, three from the Australasian group and one from the South African group. From 2018 season the format will change again, with two South African teams and an Australian team being dropped. There will be three conferences, one of the five New Zealand
New Zealand
teams, a South African one to include Argentina's team and an Australasian one including Japan's team. History[edit] Pre SANZAR: Super 6 and Super 10[edit] Before 1996, a number of transnational competitions involving regional and provincial rugby union teams had taken shape in the southern hemisphere. The earliest of these was the South Pacific Championship, which was launched in 1986 and continued until 1990.

Super 6 Champions 1992

Season Champions City/Area

1992 Reds Brisbane

Super 6[edit] After the demise of the South Pacific Championship, with no tournament played in 1991, the competition was relaunched as the Super 6 in 1992. The original Super 6 competition consisted of three provincial teams from New Zealand; Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington, along with two Australian state teams; Queensland
Queensland
and New South Wales, and also Fiji. Super 10[edit]

Super 10 Champions 1993 – 1995

Season Champions City/Area

1993 Transvaal Johannesburg

1994 Reds Brisbane

1995 Reds Brisbane

Main article: Super 10 Rugby In 1993, the Super Six competition was revamped and expanded into the Super 10 tournament. With South Africa
South Africa
being readmitted into international sport following the dismantling of apartheid, there was an opportunity to launch an expanded competition which would also feature South Africa's top provincial teams. The inaugural competition featured the following teams: Waikato, Auckland, Otago
Otago
and North Harbour (New Zealand); Natal, Transvaal and Northern Transvaal (South Africa); Queensland
Queensland
and New South Wales
New South Wales
(Australia) and Western Samoa (Pacific Tri-Nations winner). The Super 10 was won by Transvaal (South Africa) in 1993, and by Queensland
Queensland
(Australia) in 1994 and 1995. SANZAR/ SANZAAR
SANZAAR
era (1995–present)[edit] Super 12 (1995–2005)[edit]

Super 12 logo used between 1995 and 2005

The official declaration of professionalism in rugby union in August 1995 led to a restructuring of the Super 10 competition. Following the success of the 1995 World Cup Australia, New Zealand
New Zealand
and South Africa rugby boards formed SANZAR (South African, New Zealand
New Zealand
and Australian Rugby) to administer an annual 12-team provincial/franchise based competition pitting regional teams from the three nations against each other. In addition it was decided to hold an annual Tri-Nations Test Series between the three countries. A significant reason for the development of the Super 12 was the threat to rugby union from rival football code rugby league: part of the business model for the Foxtel pay TV network in Australia
Australia
was to attract subscribers by offering an exclusive product (such as rugby union) which could not be seen on free-to-air broadcast television. By setting up the Super 12, the Unions had a product that was in demand from viewers, enabling them to sell a 10-year contract for exclusive television rights to News Corp for US$555 million, giving them both coverage and financial support to kickstart the new competition.[5] With significant sponsorship, and rugby turning a professional sport in 1995, the Super 12 competition successfully kicked off in 1996 with five New Zealand
New Zealand
franchises, four South African provinces and three domestic Australian teams competing. New Zealand's dominance of the competition began in the first year when the Auckland
Auckland
Blues won the inaugural competition defeating South African side the Sharks 45 – 21 in a home final. The Blues would repeat the success of 1996 beating Australian side the ACT Brumbies
Brumbies
23 – 7 in the 1997 final. The Blues then reached their third successive final in 1998 but went down to fellow countrymen the Canterbury Crusaders 13 – 20. This would mark the beginning of the Crusaders' three-year dominance as they went on to win the 1999 and 2000 finals over the Otago Highlanders and ACT Brumbies
Brumbies
respectively. The 2001 season was the first in which no New Zealand
New Zealand
franchise reached the final, being contested between the ACT Brumbies
Brumbies
and Sharks with the Brumbies convincing winners, with a 36 – 6 scoreline. The Crusaders won their 4th final in 2002 winning all 11 matches and missed out on their 5th in 2003 with a four-point loss to fellow countrymen the Blues. In 2004 the Brumbies
Brumbies
took revenge on their 2000 final loss to the Crusaders defeating them 47 – 38 in front of a home crowd. The Crusaders would bounce back to win the 2005 final 35 – 25 against the Australian side the New South Wales Waratahs
New South Wales Waratahs
who reached their first ever final. This was the last year of the 12 team format. From the early 2000s Australia
Australia
had started to push for the inclusion of a fourth Australian team, and South Africa
South Africa
for another team from its country. There was also speculation of including a team from the South Pacific Island nations, such as Fiji; or a combined Pacific Islanders team from Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. Argentina
Argentina
was also pushing for inclusion in the Super 12. In the early 2000s the provincial names from the New Zealand
New Zealand
franchises were dropped, so, for example, the Canterbury Crusaders became The Crusaders. Also South Africa
South Africa
followed the New Zealand
New Zealand
franchise model, where previously South African participation was decided by the previous year's Currie Cup
Currie Cup
placings. Super 14 (2006–10)[edit] SANZAR announced in December 2004 that a new five-year television deal had been signed that would cover 2006 to 2010, with News Corporation winning the rights for the UK, Australia
Australia
and New Zealand, and SuperSport winning rights for South Africa. The contract was worth USD 323 million over five years, a 16% annual increase compared to the previous deal.[5] It covers international fixtures as well as the Super 14. SANZAR remained free to negotiate separate deals for other markets, such as France, Japan
Japan
and the Americas. The TriNations is the "cash cow" for the SANZAR partners as it provides nearly 60 per cent of the money from News Ltd.[needs update] The Super 14 made up about 30 per cent of the deal.[citation needed] Under the new deal, Australia
Australia
and South Africa
South Africa
each got one extra team in the competition, and a third round of fixtures was added to the Tri Nations Series. The new Australian team in the competition was based in Perth
Perth
and was named the Western Force. The addition of the new South African team led to considerable controversy, including government involvement. Finally, the five teams for 2006 were confirmed to be the country's existing four teams plus the Cheetahs, which draws its players from the Free State and Northern Cape Provinces. For the 2007 season, the Southern Spears, based in Port Elizabeth, were originally intended to replace the lowest-finishing South African team from the 2006 competition. However, the existing South African Super 14 franchises opposed the plan, which was pushed through by controversial president of the South African Rugby Union, Brian van Rooyen. After van Rooyen was ousted as president, SARU announced that the Spears would not enter the competition.[6] SARU investigated the viability of the Spears after discovering serious financial irregularities.[7] A High Court of South Africa
Africa
ruling stated that the Spears had a valid contract to compete in the Super 14 and Currie Cup. However, because of the organisation's financial and administrative troubles, in November 2006 a settlement was reached. The Spears abandoned their legal case, and will continue to exist, but not compete in the Super 14.[8] SANZAR rejected a proposal to split the Super 14 into two seven-team divisions, and decided to keep the competition in its traditional single-table format. Argentina
Argentina
and the Pacific Islands remained shut out of the competition.

The Cats (now the Lions) playing the Sharks.

The two new teams didn't perform all that well, the South African franchise the Cheetahs did the better of the two teams finishing 10th on the ladder notching up 5 season wins. The Australian franchise the Western Force
Western Force
only managed one victory and ended winning the wooden spoon as last placed 14th. The highlight for the Force was a 23-all draw against eventual champions the Crusaders, who defeated first-time finalists the Hurricanes 19–12. During the 2007 season, 22 All Blacks
All Blacks
missed the competition's first seven rounds as part of an All Black "conditioning programme" that was a part of the All Blacks' 2007 Rugby World Cup
2007 Rugby World Cup
preparations, and every New Zealand
New Zealand
franchise was without players for the first seven rounds.[9][10][11] At the end of the regular season, for the first time since 1998, no Australian franchise had made the semi-finals. Although the Brumbies
Brumbies
were strong and the Western Force
Western Force
experienced vast improvement, it was a poor season for the Queensland Reds
Queensland Reds
and Waratahs who finished last and second last respectively. Also, the competition featured the first all-South African final as the Sharks and Bulls, who finished 1–2 on the season ladder, both won their respective semi-finals. The final, held in Durban, saw the visiting Bulls win 20–19. Super Rugby: 15 teams (2011–15)[edit] SANZAR unveiled in 2009 its model for an expanded season that would begin in 2011. This model was based around the original ARU proposal for three national conferences: each side were to have played the other four teams from their own country twice and the other ten teams once each; the season as to end with a six team finals series. There were four major compromises, however, designed to accommodate certain wishes of each country, that somewhat complicated the model:

Each team would only play four, instead of all five, teams in each of the other two national conferences, making sixteen regular season games for each team instead of eighteen, and allowing for a late February start, somewhat placating the ARU and NZRU who wanted a March start. There would be a three-week gap for the June test (international) matches favoured by the SARU. The season would finish in early August so as not to overlap new streamlined versions of New Zealand's and South Africa's domestic competitions. The three conference winners and the three best performed of the remaining teams would qualify for a three-week finals series, with seedings deciding the match-ups. This system is a hybrid of the conference-based qualification system favoured by the SARU and the 'top six' model favoured by the ARU and NZRU.

SANZAR announced in 2009 the addition of a fifth Australian team that would play in the expanded "Super Rugby" competition in 2011. The licence was awarded to Victoria, Australia, and the team's name announced as the Melbourne
Melbourne
Rebels. The Australian start-up franchise was given the nod ahead of South Africa's Southern Kings.[12] Brian Waldron, former CEO of the NRL club the Melbourne
Melbourne
Storm, was confirmed as the new CEO of the Rebels on 11 January 2010, but resigned on 23 April after a salary cap breach was uncovered at the Storm.[13] Expansion to Argentina
Argentina
and Japan
Japan
(2016–2017)[edit] In February 2012, SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters announced that the organisation was considering adding franchises in Argentina, Japan and the United States
United States
in 2016, the first year of SANZAR's next television contract. This was also the year that rugby sevens entered the Olympics, which contributed towards increased interest in the sport in many countries, including Japan
Japan
and the US.[14] Australian sports broadcasting analyst Colin Smith noted that the addition of Japanese and American teams could result in a TV deal worth more than A$1 billion beyond 2020. Specifically, he stated, "You could have a deal comparable to the other major sports in Australia. Rugby is a college (university) sport in the US, if soccer can create its own league there and sell teams for $40 million, imagine what you could do in 10–12 years with rugby in that market."[14] By comparison, the largest TV deal in Australian sport, that of the Australian Football League
Australian Football League
(Australian rules), is worth A$1.26 billion from 2012 to 2016. Even that figure was dwarfed by the TV contracts of the NFL, for which contracts at the time were worth more than US$4 billion annually.[15] Peters added that the conference-based structure was ideal for expanding the competition to new territories, either by adding new conferences or by adding teams to the current conferences. He also discussed the possibility that offshore Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams could be a home for surplus players from the SANZAR countries, keeping them in the SANZAR fold and away from European clubs.[16] Prior to Super Rugby's broadcast contracts expiring after the 2015 season, SANZAR considered several alternatives for the competition's future organisation: [17]

Retention of the conference system that was in place for 2011–15. Expansion of the structure to include teams from Asia, the United States and/or Canada.[18] A split of the competition, with South Africa
South Africa
forming one competition with the likely addition of at least one Argentine side, and Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand
forming another, with the possibility of including Asian teams.

The last proposal, made by the SARU, was reportedly driven by internal union politics. With only five guaranteed places in Super Rugby
Super Rugby
but six active franchises, the bottom team in the South African Conference faced a promotion/relegation playoff with the sixth franchise for a place in the next season's competition. Australia
Australia
and New Zealand warmed to the SARU proposal, as a trans-Tasman competition would potentially allow for more regional derbies, fewer time zone complications and less player travel.[17] However, NZRU chief executive Steve Tew indicated that a competition that did not include South African teams was a commercial non-starter because of large broadcast revenues from that country and because the NZRU considered Super Rugby
Super Rugby
matches in South Africa
South Africa
to be critical for national team development.[18] SANZAR announced on 4 September 2013 that South Africa
South Africa
would be granted a sixth franchise starting in the 2016 season, negating the need for relegation play-offs involving the sixth South African franchise.[19] SANZAR then announced on 20 November 2014 that Japan and Argentina
Argentina
would each be allocated a team from the 2016 season onwards.[20] Contraction (2018–)[edit] In April 2017, SANZAAR
SANZAAR
confirmed the competition would reduce to 15 teams in 2018 with two South African and one Australian team to have their franchises withdrawn.[21] South Africa
South Africa
would field only the following 4 teams: the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers, with the Cheetahs and Kings losing their spots. Both the Cheetahs and Kings were offered places to join the Pro 12, which became the Pro14
Pro14
from the 2017/2018 season onwards.[22] Then on 11 August 2017, Australia announced that the Western Force
Western Force
have lost their licence.[23] Current franchises[edit] Main article: Super Rugby
Super Rugby
franchise areas

Argentina Australia Japan

Jaguares

Location of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams in Argentina

Brumbies

Rebels

Reds

Waratahs

Location of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams in Australia

Sunwolves

Location of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams in Japan

New Zealand South Africa

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Location of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams in New Zealand

Bulls

Lions

Sharks

Stormers

Location of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams in South Africa

Conference Club City Stadium Capacity Coordinates First season

Australia Brumbies Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Canberra
Canberra
Stadium 25,011 35°18′27″S 149°07′28″E / 35.3075°S 149.124417°E / -35.3075; 149.124417 (ACT Brumbies) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Reds Brisbane, Queensland Suncorp Stadium 52,500 27°28′00″S 153°02′00″E / 27.466667°S 153.033333°E / -27.466667; 153.033333 ( Queensland
Queensland
Reds) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Rebels Melbourne, Victoria AAMI Park 30,050 37°48′49″S 144°57′47″E / 37.813611°S 144.963056°E / -37.813611; 144.963056 ( Melbourne
Melbourne
Rebels) 000000002011-01-01-00002011

Sunwolves Tokyo Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium 27,188 35°41′00″N 139°41′00″E / 35.683333°N 139.683333°E / 35.683333; 139.683333 ( Tokyo
Tokyo
Sunwolves) 000000002016-01-01-00002016

Waratahs Sydney, New South Wales Allianz Stadium 45,500 33°51′54″S 151°12′34″E / 33.865°S 151.209444°E / -33.865; 151.209444 ( New South Wales
New South Wales
Waratahs) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

New Zealand Blues Auckland, Auckland
Auckland
Region Eden Park 50,000 36°50′26″S 174°44′24″E / 36.840556°S 174.74°E / -36.840556; 174.74 ( Auckland
Auckland
Blues) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Chiefs Hamilton, Waikato FMG Stadium Waikato 25,800 37°47′00″S 175°17′00″E / 37.783333°S 175.283333°E / -37.783333; 175.283333 ( Waikato
Waikato
Chiefs) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Crusaders Christchurch, Canterbury AMI Stadium 18,600 43°31′48″S 172°37′13″E / 43.53°S 172.620278°E / -43.53; 172.620278 (Canterbury Crusaders) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Highlanders Dunedin, Otago Forsyth Barr Stadium 30,748 45°52′00″S 170°30′00″E / 45.866667°S 170.5°E / -45.866667; 170.5 ( Otago
Otago
Highlanders) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Hurricanes Wellington, Wellington
Wellington
Region Westpac Stadium 34,500 41°17′20″S 174°46′38″E / 41.288889°S 174.777222°E / -41.288889; 174.777222 ( Wellington
Wellington
Hurricanes) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

South Africa Bulls Pretoria, Gauteng Loftus Versfeld 51,762 25°44′46″S 28°11′17″E / 25.746111°S 28.188056°E / -25.746111; 28.188056 ( Pretoria
Pretoria
Bulls) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Jaguares Buenos Aires Estadio José Amalfitani 49,540 34°36′12″S 58°22′54″W / 34.603333°S 58.381667°W / -34.603333; -58.381667 ( Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Jaguares) 000000002016-01-01-00002016

Lions Johannesburg, Gauteng Emirates Airline Park 62,567 26°12′16″S 28°02′44″E / 26.204444°S 28.045556°E / -26.204444; 28.045556 ( Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Lions) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Sharks Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Kings Park 52,000 29°53′00″S 31°03′00″E / 29.883333°S 31.05°E / -29.883333; 31.05 ( Durban
Durban
Sharks) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Stormers Cape Town, Western Cape Newlands Stadium 51,900 33°55′31″S 18°25′26″E / 33.925278°S 18.423889°E / -33.925278; 18.423889 ( Cape Town
Cape Town
Stormers) 000000001996-01-01-00001996 (Super 12)

Champions[edit] Main article: List of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
champions

Year No. of Teams

Final

Losing semi-finalists

Winners Score Runners-up 1st losing semi-finalists 2nd losing semi-finalists

1996 12 Blues 45–21 Sharks Reds Bulls

1997 12 Blues 23–7 Brumbies Hurricanes Sharks

1998 12 Crusaders 20–13 Blues Sharks Highlanders

1999 12 Crusaders 24–19 Highlanders Reds Stormers

2000 12 Crusaders 20–19 Brumbies Highlanders Cats

2001 12 Brumbies 36–6 Sharks Cats Reds

2002 12 Crusaders 31–13 Brumbies Waratahs Highlanders

2003 12 Blues 21–17 Crusaders Hurricanes Brumbies

2004 12 Brumbies 47–38 Crusaders Stormers Chiefs

2005 12 Crusaders 35–25 Waratahs Bulls Hurricanes

2006 14 Crusaders 19–12 Hurricanes Waratahs Bulls

2007 14 Bulls 20–19 Sharks Crusaders Blues

2008 14 Crusaders 20–12 Waratahs Sharks Hurricanes

2009 14 Bulls 61–17 Chiefs Hurricanes Crusaders

2010 14 Bulls 25–17 Stormers Crusaders Waratahs

2011 15 Reds 18–13 Crusaders Blues Stormers

2012 15 Chiefs 37–6 Sharks Crusaders Stormers

2013 15 Chiefs 27–22 Brumbies Crusaders Bulls

2014 15 Waratahs 33–32 Crusaders Sharks Brumbies

2015 15 Highlanders 21–14 Hurricanes Waratahs Brumbies

2016 18 Hurricanes 20–3 Lions Chiefs Highlanders

2017 18 Crusaders 25–17 Lions Chiefs Hurricanes

Final appearances by team[edit] In the sortable table below, teams are ordered first by number of appearances, then by number of wins, and finally by season of first appearance. In the "Season(s)" column, bold years indicate winning seasons, and italic years indicate games not yet completed.

Appearances Team Wins Losses Winning percentage Season(s)

12 Crusaders 8 4 .666 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017

6 Brumbies 2 4 .333 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2013

4 Blues 3 1 .750 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003

4 Sharks 0 4 .000 1996, 2001, 2007, 2012

3 Bulls 3 0 1.000 2007, 2009, 2010

3 Chiefs 2 1 .667 2009, 2012, 2013

3 Waratahs 1 2 .333 2005, 2008, 2014

3 Hurricanes 1 2 .333 2006, 2015, 2016

2 Highlanders 1 1 .500 1999, 2015

2 Lions 0 2 .000 2016, 2017

1 Reds 1 0 1.000 2011

1 Stormers 0 1 .000 2010

Conference winners by team[edit] Since 2011 Australia, New Zealand
New Zealand
and South Africa
South Africa
have played in 3 separate conferences. With teams playing each team in their own conference twice (home and away) and in the other conferences playing four of the five teams. The winner of each conference is awarded a home final and their region specific conference trophy.

Year Australia New Zealand South Africa

2011 Reds Crusaders Stormers

2012 Reds Chiefs Stormers

2013 Brumbies Chiefs Bulls

2014 Waratahs Crusaders Sharks

2015 Waratahs Hurricanes Stormers

Since 2016, teams have played in four separate conferences within two groups. The New Zealand
New Zealand
and Australian conferences play in the Australasian Group, while two Africa
Africa
conferences play in the African Group. The winners of each conference qualify for hosting the quarter finals, the third placed team in the African Group gets a wild card spot, and the third, fourth, and fifth placed teams in the Australasian Group also get a wild card spot. Conference Winners

Year Australia New Zealand Africa
Africa
1 Africa
Africa
2

2016 Brumbies Hurricanes Stormers Lions

2017 Brumbies Crusaders Stormers Lions

Group Winners

Year African Australasian

2016 Lions Hurricanes

2017 Lions Crusaders

Salary cap[edit] The five Australian teams playing in the competition are subjected to a $5 million salary cap for a squad of 30 full-time players per Australian team.[24][25] The Australian Rugby Union
Australian Rugby Union
decided in 2011 to introduce the salary cap because of financial pressures.[26] Originally starting in 2012 as a cap of A$4.1 million, it was later was raised to $4.5 million for the 2013 and 2014 seasons to take pressure off the teams' ability to recruit and retain players.[27] The salary cap is a key component of the negotiation between the ARU and the Rugby Union Players Association over the collective bargaining agreement.[28] The fact that the Australian teams in Super Rugby
Super Rugby
face a salary cap has been attributed as a factor that makes it more difficult for Australian teams to win the title.[29] The cap regulations have some small concessions:[30]

Five players on each team may be paid $30,000 each per season by team sponsors; this amount is not included in the team cap. The maximum cap charge for a non-Australian player is $137,000, regardless of his actual wages.

New Zealand
New Zealand
teams impose a cap on individual player salaries, but are not subjected to a team cap. South Africa
South Africa
imposes no cap of any sort. Brand and image[edit] Trophies[edit] Main article: Super Rugby
Super Rugby
Trophy

The Super Rugby
Super Rugby
Trophies

There have been several iterations of the trophy awarded to the winner of the Super Rugby
Super Rugby
competitions. The Super 14 trophy, unveiled in New Zealand
New Zealand
ahead of the 2006 season, was made of sterling silver with the competition logo on a globe sitting atop of a four-sided twisted spiral.[31] Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith in Nelson, New Zealand
New Zealand
hand-made the trophy which took over two months to complete.[31] On 30 June 2011, SANZAR unveiled the new trophy that will be presented to the winners of the Super Rugby
Super Rugby
final from 2011 and beyond,[32] was crafted from solid stainless steel and polished to a mirror finish. It has a height of 65 cm and a mass of 18 kilograms.[32] The trophy was designed by Blue Sky Design of Sydney. The trophy was manufactured by Box and Dice Pty Ltd also based in Sydney.[32] SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said "The shape of the trophy is centred around three curved legs, each representing the Conferences involved in the Super Rugby
Super Rugby
competition . . . The champions trophy is the 'big one', and will become the ultimate symbol of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
supremacy in the years to come."[32] The colour on each leg corresponds to the Conferences with gold for Australia, black for New Zealand, and green for South Africa.[32] There are several other trophies contested during the competition; the Charles Anderson VC Memorial Cup between the Brumbies
Brumbies
and Stormers, the Bob Templeton Cup between the Reds and Waratahs, the Ganbattle Trophy between Sunwolves
Sunwolves
and Rebels and the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy between the Blues and Highlanders. Every year the Super Rugby player of the year is awarded. Logo[edit]

The Super 14 Logo, used from 2006 to 2010

During the last season of the Super 12, Coast Design of Sydney
Sydney
was commissioned to design a new logo for the Super 14.[33] The Super 14 logo broke away from the traditional shield formats, common to many sporting codes, and used Roman numerals (XIV), which is unique for sport in the region.[34] The game's dynamism and speed are suggested by the orbiting football which has three distinct stitches, a subtle reference to the three countries of the tournament.[34] The Super Rugby
Super Rugby
logo dispenses with numbers, featuring a large blue "S" with a white rugby ball in the centre and "SupeRugbY" below the "S". The three stitches of the previous ball are retained. Before the expansion to the Super 14, the Super 12 used a logo in the shape of a shield, which had the sponsors name at the top, and then the words "Rugby" and "Super 12". The lower half of the logo used three different coloured stripes, green, black and gold, the respective colours of the national teams of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.[35] Naming rights[edit] The naming rights for the competition are different in the four countries:

In New Zealand, Investec
Investec
Bank has naming rights starting with the 2011 season, and the competition is referred to as Investec
Investec
Super Rugby. During the Super 14 era, sporting goods retailer Rebel Sport
Rebel Sport
had naming rights and the Super 14 competition was referred to as the Rebel Sport
Rebel Sport
Super 14. Previously the naming rights holders were U-Bix and then Telecom New Zealand
New Zealand
(TNZ). Telecom used its ISP brand Xtra as the label in their last year of holding naming rights. In Australia, telecommunications company Vodafone has been the title sponsor of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
since 2017[36] As a result, the competition is officially referred to as Vodafone Super Rugby. Prior to this, Super Rugby in Australia
Australia
was sponsored by Suncorp Group
Suncorp Group
through their life insurance brand Asteron Life. Vodafone were also the title sponsor of the competition during the Super 12 era. In the first season of Super Rugby, Australia
Australia
had no naming rights partner. Previous to that, Investec
Investec
acquired naming rights in the middle of the Super 14 era from Lion Nathan, who had named the competition the Tooheys New Super 14, after its Tooheys New beer brand. In South Africa, telecommunications carrier Vodacom has naming rights, and the expanded competition is referred to as Vodacom Super Rugby. Before 1999, when cigarette advertising was banned in South Africa, the competition was sponsored by Winfield. In Argentina, telecommunications carrier Personal has naming rights, and the expanded competition is referred to as Personal Super Rugby. In Japan, real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate
Mitsubishi Estate
acquired naming rights in 2018, the competition referred to as Mitsubishi Estate
Mitsubishi Estate
Super Rugby.[37] The competition had no title sponsor in Japan
Japan
during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Competition records[edit] Main article: List of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
records Team records[edit] Single match[edit]

Highest score: 96 points – Crusaders defeated Waratahs 96–19, 2002 Lowest score: 0 points – Reds defeated Hurricanes 11–0, 1999; Brumbies
Brumbies
defeated Bulls 15–0, 1999; Sharks defeated Bulls 29–0, 1999; Brumbies
Brumbies
defeated Cats 64–0, 2000; Highlanders defeated Bulls 23–0, 2005; Blues defeated Brumbies
Brumbies
17–0, 2006; Brumbies
Brumbies
defeated Reds 36–0, 2007; Crusaders defeated Western Force
Western Force
53–0, 2008; Crusaders defeated Stormers
Stormers
22–0, 2009; Highlanders defeated Crusaders 6–0, 2009; Stormers
Stormers
defeated Highlanders 33 – 0, 2011; Waratahs defeated Rebels 43–0, Crusaders defeated Bulls 27–0; Brumbies
Brumbies
defeated Reds 29–0, 2015; Sharks defeated Kings 53-0, 2016; Hurricanes defeated Sharks 41-0, 2016; Crusaders defeated Highlanders 17-0 2017 Highest combined score: 137 points – Chiefs defeated Lions 72–65, 2010 Lowest combined score: 6 points – Highlanders defeated Crusaders 6–0, 2009 Highest winning margin: 89 points – Bulls defeated Reds 92–3, 2007 Highest score away: 83 points – Hurricanes defeated Sunwolves
Sunwolves
83-17, 2017 Most tries in a match by one team: 14 by Crusaders (v Waratahs), 2002; 14 by Lions (v Sunwolves), 2017 Most tries in a match by both teams: 18 by Lions and Chiefs, 2010

Season or streak[edit]

Most consecutive wins: 16 wins – Crusaders, 2005/06 Most consecutive losses in a season: 13 losses – Lions, 2010 Most consecutive losses: 17 losses – Lions, 15 May 2009 to 12 March 2011 Most tries in a season: 97 tries – Hurricanes, 2017 Fewest tries in a season: 13 tries – Lions, 2007 Most wins in the regular season: 14 wins – Stormers
Stormers
(2012); Hurricanes (2015); Crusaders (2017); Lions (2017) Most wins in a full season: 17 wins – Crusaders (2017) Fewest wins in a season: 0 wins – Bulls, 2002, Lions, 2010 regular season Fewest losses in a season: 0 losses – Blues, 1997; Crusaders, 2002 Most wins in a row at home: 26 wins – Crusaders 2004–2006 Most points conceded in a season: 684 – Kings, 2016 Largest points difference conceded in a season: 402 – Kings, 2016

Individual records[edit] Career[edit]

Points: 1,708 – Daniel Carter, Crusaders Tries: 59 — Doug Howlett, Blues Conversions: 185 – Daniel Carter, Crusaders Penalties: 202 – Andrew Mehrtens, Crusaders Quickest Try: 8 seconds – Bryan Habana, Stormers Consecutive Games: 104 – Caleb Ralph, Crusaders Most Caps: 176 – Wyatt Crockett, Crusaders

Season[edit]

Points: 263 – Morné Steyn, Bulls, 2010 Tries: 15 – Joe Roff, Brumbies, 1997; Rico Gear, Crusaders, 2005; Ngani Laumape, Hurricanes, 2017 Conversions: 52 – Elton Jantjies, Lions, 2017 Penalties: 51 – Morné Steyn, Bulls, 2010 Drop Goals: 11 – Morné Steyn, Bulls, 2009

Match[edit]

Points: 50 – Gavin Lawless, Sharks Tries: 4 – Joe Roff (Brumbies), Gavin Lawless & Stefan Terblanche (Sharks), Joeli Vidiri, Doug Howlett
Doug Howlett
& Mils Muliaina (Blues), Sean Maitland
Sean Maitland
& Caleb Ralph (Crusaders), Sitiveni Sivivatu, Asaeli Tikoirotuma
Asaeli Tikoirotuma
& Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), Drew Mitchell (Waratahs), Huw Jones (Stormers), Courtnall Skosan (Lions), Ben Lam (Hurricanes) Conversions: 13 – Andrew Mehrtens, Crusaders Penalties: 9 – Elton Jantjies, Lions Drop Goals: 4 – Morné Steyn, Bulls

Domestic competitions[edit] Each respective country competing in Super Rugby
Super Rugby
has a number of their own domestic leagues, which feed into Super Rugby
Super Rugby
teams. South Africa
South Africa
actually used their Currie Cup
Currie Cup
teams as opposed to creating new teams during the earlier years of the Super 12. However, the Currie Cup
Currie Cup
is now the third tier of rugby in South Africa, below Test and Super Rugby; it is played after the Super Rugby
Super Rugby
season, and all unions are aligned to a Super Rugby
Super Rugby
team, though it is mainly the big six, Blue Bulls, Golden Lions, Sharks, Free State Cheetahs, Western Province and Eastern Province Elephants
Eastern Province Elephants
which contribute the most to the Super Rugby
Super Rugby
sides. In New Zealand, the Mitre 10 Cup
Mitre 10 Cup
is the most prominent domestic competition below the Super Rugby, in which all the respective Unions are also aligned with Super Rugby
Super Rugby
sides. In Australia, the National Rugby Championship
National Rugby Championship
(NRC) was launched in 2014. Several teams that played in the former Australian Rugby Championship in 2007,[38] were revived for the NRC. Argentina, like South Africa
South Africa
and New Zealand, has a national championship where several provincial unions compete, the Campeonato Argentino. Another national championship, but for clubs, is Nacional de Clubes. Japan
Japan
has a national club competition called Top League. Media[edit] In Australia, pay TV station Fox Sports shows every match live and beginning in 2016, free-to-air station Network Ten
Network Ten
started showing a full match replay every Sunday morning of the 'Match of the Round' featuring at least one Australian team. Network Ten
Network Ten
will also show full match replays of all finals matches featuring Australian teams. Super Rugby
Super Rugby
is broadcast on Supersport in South Africa
South Africa
and is simulcast terrestrially on M-Net. Sky Sport is the official broadcaster in New Zealand. Super Rugby
Super Rugby
is now broadcast in over 40 countries — in the UK on Sky Sports; in Spain it is broadcast by Digital+, and in the United States
United States
by ESPN3, which has confirmed all matches will be broadcast live or on demand. In Canada, TSN broadcasts all matches only on TSN GO, their online SD streaming platform. Broadcasters[edit]

Broadcaster Country(ies)

SuperSport Africa

Fox Sports Australia  Australia

Sky Sport  New Zealand

ESPN Latin America South America

ESPN 3  United States

TSN  Canada

J Sports  Japan

Setanta Sports Asia Asia Pacific

OSN  Afghanistan  Bahrain  Iran  Iraq  Israel  Jordan  Saudi Arabia  Kuwait  Lebanon  Oman  Qatar  United Arab Emirates  Yemen  Palestine

Sky Italia  Italy   Vatican City  San Marino Canton of Ticino

Sky UK  United Kingdom  Ireland

Canal+  France  Andorra  Monaco  Luxembourg Romandy

See also[edit]

Rugby union
Rugby union
portal

List of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
champions List of Super Rugby
Super Rugby
stadiums SANZAAR

References[edit]

^ "Super 14 to be broadcast into 41 countries". globalsuper14.com. Retrieved 17 July 2006.  ^ a b "Super 12: The History". planetrugby.com. 24 May 2001. Retrieved 16 April 2007.  ^ "2007 Super 14 Fixtures". super14.com. Retrieved 16 April 2007.  ^ Sports Digital Media – http://www.sportsdm.com. "Super XV Rugby Format Super Rugby
Super Rugby
News, Results and Fixtures from Super XV Rugby". Superxv.com. Retrieved 23 February 2012.  ^ a b "More for players in new SANZAR deal". worldcupweb.com. Retrieved 17 July 2006.  ^ "Spears kom straks met regsaksie". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 20 April 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ "Spears se baas wil vir oulaas pleit". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 27 March 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2015.  ^ "Spears abandon their Super conquest". Planet Rugby. 16 November 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2006.  ^ " All Blacks
All Blacks
pulled out of the Super 14". planet-rugby.com. 20 August 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007.  ^ "Henry reveals his 'World Cup team'". planet-rugby.com. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2007.  ^ Leggat, David (22 September 2006). "Getting the balance in Super 14". The New Zealand
New Zealand
Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2006.  ^ Walton, Darren (12 November 2009). " Melbourne
Melbourne
granted Super licence Super Rugby". Fox Sports. Retrieved 23 February 2012.  ^ Rakic, Josh (23 April 2010). " Melbourne Storm
Melbourne Storm
salary cap scandal". The Sydney
Sydney
Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2010.  ^ a b Pandaram, Jamie (11 February 2012). " Super Rugby
Super Rugby
going global". Sydney
Sydney
Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 February 2011.  ^ Mortimer, James (11 February 2012). ""Absolute Possibilities" for SANZAR Expansion Says Peters". SANZAR. Retrieved 19 February 2012.  ^ Johnstone, Duncan (19 February 2012). "Time may be right for Sanzar to expand Super Rugby". The Sunday Star-Times. Retrieved 19 February 2012.  ^ a b Robinson, Georgina (27 July 2013). "SANZAR considering splitting Super Rugby
Super Rugby
in 2016". Sydney
Sydney
Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 August 2013.  ^ a b " Super Rugby
Super Rugby
to consider expansion". ESPN Scrum. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.  ^ Adno, Carly (4 September 2013). "SANZAR boss Greg Peters confirms South Africa
South Africa
will get a sixth Super Rugby
Super Rugby
franchise from 2016". Herald Sun. Retrieved 26 August 2013.  ^ " Japan
Japan
and Argentina
Argentina
officially join Super Rugby". SANZAR. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.  ^ Australian Rugby Union
Australian Rugby Union
to axe Western Force
Western Force
or Melbourne
Melbourne
within three days Nine's Wide World of Sports
Nine's Wide World of Sports
10 April 2017 ^ " Pro14
Pro14
rugby: Who are the Cheetahs and Southern Kings?". BBC Sport. 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-08-23.  ^ Union, Australian Rugby. "ARU TO DISCONTINUE WESTERN FORCE SUPER RUGBY LICENCE". www.aru.com.au. Retrieved 2017-08-23.  ^ Dutton, Chris. "ACT Brumbies
Brumbies
wait on Super Rugby
Super Rugby
clarity as they continue search for new coach". The Canberra
Canberra
Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 May 2017.  ^ Newman, Beth. "RUPA to push for salary cap change". Rugby.com.au. Australian Rugby Union. Retrieved 4 May 2017.  ^ Brisbane
Brisbane
Times, Big paycuts on cards as ARU seeks salary cap, 12 March 2011, http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/big-paycuts-on-cards-as-aru-seeks-salary-cap-20110312-1bs2k.html ^ Sydney
Sydney
Morning Herald, Tip of the cap nudges Pocock, 3 June 2012, http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/tip-of-the-cap-nudges-pocock-20120602-1zok6.html ^ Fox Sports, Uncertainty over Super Rugby
Super Rugby
salary cap could yet derail Will Genia's deal with Queensland
Queensland
Reds, 2 May 2012, http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/super-rugby/uncertainty-over-super-rugby-salary-cap-could-yet-derail-will-genias-deal-with-queensland-reds/story-e6frf4qu-1226344316320#.Ub5lnBy0iXI ^ Australian Times, Salary cap makes Super Rugby
Super Rugby
harder in Australia, 15 February 2012, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-09.  ^ Payten, Iain (30 March 2011). "Australian Super 15 clubs will soon enter into new salary cap era". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 July 2013.  ^ a b "Media Release". jenshansen.com. 8 February 2006. Retrieved 28 January 2007.  ^ a b c d e "Sport 24". Sport 24. Retrieved 23 February 2012.  ^ "Super 14". coastdesign.com.au. Archived from the original on 8 December 2006. Retrieved 28 January 2007.  ^ a b "SANZAR launches Super 14 logo". The Sydney
Sydney
Morning Herald. 22 August 2005. Archived from the original on 21 March 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2007.  ^ "1999 Super 12". itip.com.au. Retrieved 23 February 2012.  ^ "Vodafone return as naming rights partner of Super Rugby". Retrieved 21 February 2014.  ^ http://www.mec.co.jp/e/news/pdf/mec180222_superrugby.pdf ^ "Mazda Australian Rugby Championship". Australian Rugby Union. 

Bibliography[edit]

Gifford, Phil (2004). The Passion – The Stories Behind 125 years of Canterbury Rugby. Wilson Scott Publishing. ISBN 0-9582535-1-X.  Howitt, Bob (2005). SANZAR Saga – Ten Years of Super 12 and Tri-Nations Rugby. Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 1-86950-566-2.  McIlraith, Matt (2005). Ten Years of Super 12. Hodder Moa. ISBN 1-86971-025-8. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Super Rugby.

Official website Official ARU Super Rugby
Super Rugby
website Official NZRU Super Rugby
Super Rugby
website "SA Rugby Competition – 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 3 June 2016.  FOX Sports Australia
Australia
Super Rugby
Super Rugby
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