Old New Zealand

...Super Rugby...

Super Rugby officially kicked off in 1996 with the Super 12 which included teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It was expanded to 14 teams for the 2006 season, 15 in 2011 and currently 18 teams with the inclusion of an Argentine and a Japanese side.

Super Rugby has it's origins in several earlier Southern Hemisphere competitions of the Amateur era. The South Pacific Championship was run by the New South Wales Rugby Union from 1986-1990. The teams were Queensland and New South Wales, Fiji (which at the time was the most competitive of the Pacific Island Countries), and three provinces from New Zealand; Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury.

South Pacific Championship

Championship Winner

1986 Canterbury
1987 Auckland and Canterbury
1988 Auckland
1989 Auckland
1990 Auckland

There was no tournament in 1991 but in 1992 the tournament was re-launched as the Super 6, this time with Western Samoa representing the Island countries. In 1993 the tournament was expanded to include South Africa's top three provincial teams.

Championship Winner

1992 Queensland
1993 Transvaal
1994 Queensland
1995 Queensland

Following the Rugby World Cup of 1995 rugby went fully professional and the South African Australian and New Zealand rugby unions formed SANZAR to govern an annual competition featuring teams from the three nations. Thus the Super 12 and Tri-Nations were born.

Initially Super 12 featured five NZ teams, four South African Provinces, and three Australian teams; Queensland, New South Wales, and ACT. In 2006 the format was extended to 14 teams, one additional team from Australia and one from south Africa. In 2011 another Australian franchise was added making five teams from each of the five nations. From the 2016 season A Japanese team (Sun Wolves), an Argentine team (Jaguares) and an additional South African team have joined making a total of 18 teams.

           
YearWinnerScore Runner-up
1996 Blues* 45-21 Sharks
1997 Blues 23-7 Brumbies
1998 Crusaders 20-13 Blues
1999 Crusaders 24-19 Highlanders
2000 Crusaders 20-19 Brumbies
2001 Brumbies 36-6 Sharks
2002 Crusaders 31-13 Brumbies
2003 Blues 21-17 Crusaders
2004 Brumbies 47-38 Crusaders
2005 Crusaders 35-25 Waratahs
2006 Crusaders 19-12 Hurricanes
2007 Bulls 20-19 Sharks
2008 Crusaders 20-12 Waratahs
2009 Bulls 61-17 Hurricanes
2010 Bulls 25-17 Stormers
2011 Reds 18-13 Crusaders
2012 Chiefs 37-6 Sharks
2013 Chiefs 27-22 Brumbies
2014 Waratahs 33-32 Crusaders
2015 Highlanders 21-14 Thames Valley
2016 Hurricanes 20-3 Lions
2017 Crusaders 25-17 Lions

* Indicates first time winners.