Super Rugby brings together teams from four different continents all of which are big rugby nations. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the Super Rugby TV garners a huge following of fans, who either watches Super Rugby on tv or online via A Super Rugby Live Stream. Not just fans from the team's continents are interested though and from far and wide all enjoy the exciting sports on tv action from the world of Super Rugby. Catch all your favourite rugby games (and then some!), right here!
While Southern Hemisphere rugby competitions date back as far as 1986, the first Super Rugby championship as it is known today, happened 10 years later in 1996. This was comprised of twelve teams based in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, back then it was known as the Super 12 and this is how it functioned for a decade.
Then, in 2006, the competition expanded to include two more teams to create the Super 14. Before expanding once more to include 15 teams, this time with no number in the name and hence, Super Rugby was born. The 2016 competition saw two teams from Argentina and Japan included for the first time, the last teams admitted to the league.
The current format sees the 15 participating teams split up into 3 separate conferences based on geographical location, Australian, New Zealand and South African. Japan play in the Australian conference and Argentina playing in the South African conference.
Each team plays a total of 16 matches within the group. Twice against every team in their conference, home and away, and once against four of the teams in the other conferences. The top team in each conference will then proceed to the quarterfinals, alongside 5 Wild Cards, who are the top performers across all the other leagues. Here, the knockout stages begin. The conference winners and the best wild card host the quarterfinals, which are then followed by a semis and then, of course, the final, where the champion is crowned.
The 15 teams in the Super Rugby consist of 5 New Zealand teams, 4 Australian teams, 4 South African teams and then one team from Australia and one team from Japan. The most successful of these teams hail from New Zealand and they are known as The Crusaders, who have won 9 championships in total, including last years event. This puts them 6 ahead of their nearest competitors, fellow New Zealand team, The Blues, and South African team, The Bulls.
In the past, the competitions have also been won twice by Brumbies from Australia, and the Chiefs, from New Zealand. The Waratahs and Reds from Australia and the Hurricanes and Highlanders from New Zealand, all winning it once before. As such, the two countries that have not produced winners are Argentina and Japan, who represented by the Jaguares and Sun Wolves respectively. However, these teams have had the shortest time in the league.
In Super Rugby, as of 2011, only Australia has a salary cap on their team, which means that their team's salary in total cannot exceed $5.5million for all 40 of their members Which has been attributed to their lack of success in more recent years. While New Zealand has an individual cap for players, it is not a team one, while the other three teams do not have one at all. As such, there is a bit of an imbalance in regards to this.
Brand and Image
As Super Rugby has evolved in its dynamics, so has the brand. Perhaps the biggest example is how the name has adapted over time and dropped the original numbers that represented the teams who played within it. Naturally, this also meant the logo has changed too. It used to be in the shape of a shield and showcased the sponsors and colours of the team, but today it is simply a blue S with a white rugby ball in the middle. Another example of this is their trophy, which has changed 5 times. Ultimately, as the competition has developed so has the brand and image.
Notable Records and Stats
Alongside holding the record for the most title, The Crusaders also hold other records too. For one, they hold the record for the highest ever score in the competition, with 96 points, most wins in a row, with 16, the most home wins in a row, with 26, the most wins in a season, with 17, and the most tries scored by one team in a match, with 14. They definitely hold the bragging rights as holding some of the best statistics out of all the teams in the league, so if you are looking for the best Super Rugby tv listings, then you should check out their games.
However, other records have achieved by other teams. For example, the highest margin ever recorded saw Bulls defeat the Red by scoring 89 points more than them in a 92-3 victory and the most combined tries in one match happened in a 2010 meeting between the Lions and Chiefs when 18 were scored. The Lions also hold some of the worst records too, having the most consecutive losses in a season with 13 and most consecutive losses with 17.
Players of The Crusaders also brag an impressive repertoire of records too. Formers player, Daniel Carter holds the records for most points with a massive 1708, as well as holding the record for most conversions too. While another former player, Andrew Mehrtens holds the record for most penalties. Controversial player Israel Folu holds the record most tries, having secured 60 during his time with the Waratahs.
If all this sounds exciting than go find yourself a Super Rugby live stream or go watch Super Rugby on TV when you get the chance.