KnowYourSport: Super Rugby explained

KnowYourSport: Super Rugby explained

Yes it’s VERY different, and pretty controversial, but not actually that complex. We take a look at the all-new 2016 Super Rugby structure.


What’s new?

  • Super Rugby expands from 15 to 18 teams.
  • The Kings are added to the tournament, meaning South Africa have 6 teams participating.
  • South Africa’s teams have been grouped into 2 conferences of 4 teams.
  • Teams from Argentina (Jaguares) and Japan (Sunwolves) join the SA conferences.


So in a nutshell …

There are 2 groups:

The Australasian group

The South African group

There are 4 conferences:

Australia: Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies, Force, Rebels

New Zealand: Blues, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Chiefs, Highlanders

South Africa 1: Cheetahs, Bulls, Stormers, Sunwolves

South Africa 2: Lions, Sharks, Kings, Jaguares

League Matches:

Each team will play 15 games. In SA, we apply the 6, 5, 4 principle – Each team will play the other teams in their conference on a home and away basis (6 games). Each team will play the teams in EITHER the Australian or New Zealand conference, alternating each year (5 games). Each SA team will play the teams in the other SA conference (4 games).

This year teams in SA1 play the Australian sides, and teams in SA2 play the New Zealand sides.


The top team in each of the 4 conferences will automatically qualify for the Quarter Finals.

The next top 3 teams in the Australasian Group and the next top team in the South African group will also qualify for the Quarter Finals as wildcards.

The conference winners will be seeded #1 to #4 for the Quarter Finals, in order of log points gained during the group stages, and will host the quarter finals. While the wildcards will be seeded as #5 to #8 in order of log points gained during the group stages, and will thus play away from home.

The highest-seeded conference winner will host the fourth-seeded wildcard entry, the second-seeded conference winner hosts the third-seeded wildcard entry, and so on.

The Quarter Final winners will progress to the Semi-Finals, where the highest seed to reach the Semi-Finals will host the lowest seed and the second-seeded semi-finalist will host the third-seeded team.

The winner of the Semi-Finals will progress to the Final, at the venue of the highest-seeded team.

Source : Vodacom Rugby