Super Rugby is a men’s professional rugby union club competition involving teams from Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. It previously included teams from Argentina, Japan, and South Africa. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the Super Rugby Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, the Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from 3 countries: Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995.
At its peak the tournament featured the top players from nations representing 16 of the 24 top-three finishes in the history of the Rugby World Cup. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the competition to split into three, the reformed competition in 2021 and beyond will only include Oceanian clubs representing Australia, New Zealand and from the Pacific islands (specifically a Fijian team, and a New Zealand-based Pacifika side representing Samoan, Tongan and other Pacific communities).
Who has scored the most tries in Super Rugby all time?
Israel Folau (Tongan: Isileli Folau; born 3 April 1989) is a Tongan Australian professional rugby union footballer who currently plays for the Shining Arcs in the Japan Rugby League One and the Tonga national rugby union team. He has previously played Australian rules football and rugby league. In 2019, he became the record holder for most tries scored in Super Rugby history.
Folau played rugby league for the Melbourne Storm in the National Rugby League (NRL) from 2007 to 2008, where he broke the record for most tries in a debut year. He then played with the Brisbane Broncos from 2009 to 2010. Playing as a wing or centre, Folau represented Queensland in the State of Origin and Australia, becoming the youngest player to play for both teams. In 2020, Folau played for the French rugby league team the Catalans Dragons in the Betfred Super League.
In 2011, Folau joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL) and played for two seasons. In December 2012, Folau announced he was to switch codes again, this time for rugby union, and signed a one-year contract with the Waratahs. He made his international debut for Australia in 2013 against the British & Irish Lions.
When did Super 12 Rugby start?
Super Rugby is the major professional rugby union competition in the Southern Hemisphere. The competition began as Super Rugby 12 in 1996, consisting of 12 teams from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. An extra Australian and South African team were added in 2005 and the name was changed to Super Rugby 14. A fifteenth team joined in 2011 and the competition was rebranded as Super Rugby. The current format consists of three conferences of five teams from each country.
Teams play other members of their conference twice (home and away) and four teams from each of the other two conferences once. The top team in each conference and the next best three over all conferences advance to the finals. In all previous formats there were no conferences and each team played every team once, with the top four progressing to the finals. The tournament is organised and governed by SANZAAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentine Rugby). Super Rugby is considered a successor to the Super Six (1992) and Super 10 (1993–1995), although SANZAR did not administer those tournaments.
Super Rugby 2022
The world’s best provincial competition will kick off a new era in 2022 with Super Rugby Pacific 2022 set to take the game to fresh heights, following an agreement between Rugby Australia (RA) and New Zealand Rugby (NZR)
Set to kick-off on 18 February 2022, the new 12-team competition welcomes the introduction of Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika who will join the five Australian and five New Zealand sides and will be delivered by the joint venture partnership between RA and NZR.
The competition structure for Super Rugby Pacific will be as follows:
- 12 teams (alphabetical order) with Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs, Crusaders, Fijian Drua, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Melbourne Rebels, Moana Pasifika, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Western Force
- 18-week competition window from 18 February to 18 June 2022 and 24 February to 24 June 2023
- 91 matches in total
- Teams will play 14 regular season matches with each team to host seven matches
- Teams will play 8 teams once and 3 teams twice with a focus on derby matches
- One competition table with teams ranked 1 to 12 based on competition points
Three-week playoff format involving the top eight teams on the overall competition table with quarters, semis and final as follows:
- Quarterfinals – 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 with the top ranked team hosting
- Semi-Finals – top ranked quarter-final winner hosts against lowest ranked quarter-final winner & 2nd highest ranked quarterfinal winner hosts 3rd highest ranked quarterfinal winner
- Final – top ranked semi-final winner hosts the other semi-final winner
What is happening in Super Rugby final 2022
The Blues have a lot going for them heading into Saturday’s Super Rugby final that might just, if not stop, at least capture the attention of a nation. They are hotter than fish grease, are at home in front of a sellout crowd of 42,000 and have a lineup oozing X-factor and star quality.
But it’s not the big names who will win the franchise its fourth Super Rugby title (and first since 2003), but the little things, according to the Auckland outfit’s two men who know the most about lifting the silverware at season’s end, coach Leon MacDonald and veteran lock Luke Romano.
Both, of course, have done so on numerous occasions with the Crusaders, whom the Blues face in Saturday’s final and have an astounding record of excellence in the southern hemisphere’s flagship franchise competition – 10 times champions, plus two of the Aotearoa variety. MacDonald won six titles as a player with the Crusaders between 1997-2009, and another as an assistant to current super-coach Scott Robertson in 2017.
Romano, who may well be about to apply the final touch to an outstanding 14-year professional career, was of course a Crusaders stalwart until the Blues lured him north to lend his considerable experience and hard-nosed approach to their cause in 2022. In his 11 seasons with the red and black machine (2011-21) he won three full titles (2017-19), two Aotearoa crowns (2020-21), was beaten finalist twice (2011 and ‘14) and beaten semifinals twice (2012 and ‘13).
In fact Romano has only once (2015) played a season of Super Rugby and not made it as far as at least the quarterfinals. MacDonald, who has overseen a dramatic four-year rejuvenation of the once-bedraggled Blues, offered a succinct appraisal of what wins big Super Rugby final.