Former Blues captain James Parsons believes the Waratahs aren't as bad as their results this season suggests, despite calls from within the New South Wales franchise for significant changes.
|Australian Conference / Round 7|
|New Zealand Conference / Round 7|
|South African Conference / Round 7|
Watch the very best rugby union teams from Australia and New Zealand battle in Super Rugby, one of the southern hemisphere’s premier rugby union tournaments.
International rugby competitions have taken place in the southern hemisphere since 1986, when the Southern Pacific Championship was contested. However, Super Rugby did not begin until the sport became professional in 1995. The first version of the tournament was then held in 1996, when 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa came together to contest the Super 12. A decade later, the competition became known as Super 14 when another two teams joined. Finally, in 2011, the competition formally changed to Super Rugby.
Over the years, more than just the name of the tournament has changed. In fact, since the competition’s inception in 1996, the number of teams participating, where the teams have been located and the format of the tournament have all changed. In fact, teams from as far away as Japan and Argentina have even joined Super Rugby at various stages.
The format of the tournament last changed in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic forced the competition to be cancelled and cut short. Due to the fact that teams could not travel internationally, New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and South Africa Rugby all created domestic competitions so their teams could continue to compete domestically.
For the 2020 edition of the tournament, New Zealand launched Super Rugby Aotearoa, where the Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes competed. In Australia, Super Rugby AU included the country’s four Super Rugby teams (the Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies and Rebels) as well as the Western Force, a former Super Rugby side. Both competitions involved a round-robin format where the sides faced each other at home and away, but Super Rugby AU also involved two additional knockout matches.
At the end of 2020, South Africa launched Super Rugby Unlocked. This tournament featured all four of the country’s Super Rugby teams (the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers) plus former franchise the Cheetahs and Currie Cup sides Griquas and Pumas. These seven teams competed in a single round-robin domestic format.
Although it was initially hoped that changes to the tournament would only be temporary, SA Rugby announced the withdrawal of all of their sides from Super Rugby in September 2020. As a result, Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU are set to continue in 2021, while a Trans-Tasman competition will also take place for the first time. This will feature all of the Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby teams.
As a result, 2021 looks set to be a huge year for Super Rugby in New Zealand and Australia. When the latest Super Rugby news is released, you’ll find it right here at RugbyPass. Read on to see all the Super Rugby fixtures and view all of the latest Super Rugby results.
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