|Union||New Zealand Rugby Union|
|Location||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Region|| Auckland |
|Ground(s)||Eden Park (Capacity: 50,000)|
|Most caps||Keven Mealamu (164)|
|Top scorer||Adrian Cashmore (617)|
|2019||5th (New Zealand Conference)|
The Blues (known as the Auckland Blues from 1996 to 2000) is a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Auckland, New Zealand who play in the Super Rugby competition. Like New Zealand's four other Super Rugby teams, the Blues were established by the NZRU in 1996. One of the most successful teams in Super Rugby history, the Blues won the competition in its first two seasons, 1996 and 1997, and again in 2003. Additionally, the team were finalists in 1998 and semi-finalists in 2007 and 2011.
Along with New Zealand's other Super Rugby sides, the Blues were established by the NZRU to take part in the newly formed Super 12 competition which, involved teams from South Africa and Australia in addition to New Zealand. Each of New Zealand's five sides represented a number of provincial unions, with the Blues representing the Auckland, Counties Manukau and Thames Valley unions, while the neighbouring Waikato Chiefs representing the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, King Country, Northland and North Harbour unions. As the amount of international representatives in the Auckland region was thought to be unfair, it was split up between The Blues and The Chiefs. During this era, the Blues played the majority of their home matches at Eden Park, with round robin fixtures occasionally held at Growers Stadium in Pukekohe.
The Blues tasted immediate success, winning the Super 12 back-to-back in 1996 and 1997. In 1996 the side won eight of eleven round robin matches and finished the regular season in second place (behind the Queensland Reds on 41 points. They then went on to defeat Northern Transvaaal, now the Bulls, 48–11 in the semi-final at Eden Park. This result secured a home final, where the Blues comfortably defeated the Sharks 45–21. In 1997, the side improved on their previous season, comfortably topping the table with 50 points after going undefeated in the regular season, the sole blemish on an otherwise perfect season being a draw with Northern Transvaal in a re-match of the previous season's semi-final. The Blues once again easily won their semi-final, defeating the Sharks 55–36 at Eden Park and again securing a home final. The 1997 final was a more hard fought encounter than the previous year's, with the Blues defeating the ACT Brumbies 23–7.
By the end of the 1990s the number of international representatives from the Blues region had decreased. This led the Blues and the Chiefs to arrange a swap, where the Chiefs would represent the Thames Valley and Counties Manukau provincial unions in exchange for the Blues representing the Northland and North Harbour unions in addition to Auckland. Although in the seasons leading up to the trade North Harbour and Northland had outperformed Counties Manukau and Thames Valley in provincial rugby (thus potentially widening the already sizeable gap between the Blues' and Chiefs' on-field performance), it enabled both teams to represent unions in closer geographical proximity. Because of this trade, the Blues lost the area colloquially referred to as South Auckland , (excluding those portions of the South Auckland to the north of Manurewa). Thus, the Blues traded a portion of South Auckland for the Northern portion of the Auckland region and Northland, and still do not represent the entire Auckland region. Generally supporters in the South Auckland region identify as Blues supporters even though they are technically in the Chiefs region. In 2000, the Auckland Blues dropped the Auckland prefix from their name, and became known simply as 'Blues'.
The 1998 season saw the Blues again top the points table with 43 points at the conclusion of the round robin, with nine wins and two losses to their credit. They defeated the Otago Highlanders by 37–31 in the side's third consecutive home semi-final, securing a home final against the Crusaders, a match which promised a great deal due to Auckland's traditional sporting rivalry with Canterbury. The Crusaders ultimately won the match by 20–13, putting an end to the Blues' dominance of the competition. [ citation needed ]
From 1999 – 2002 the Blues' onfield performance was poor, missing the playoffs every season, finishing at an all-time low of 11th on the ladder in 2001 with just four wins for the season. The club was able to turn its from around in the 2003 season, topping the ladder with 49 points and 10 wins from 11 matches. The team went on to defeat the ACT Brumbies by 42–21 in the semi-final, before beating the Crusaders 21–17 in the final for the team's third Super Rugby title. The Blues were unable to follow their 2003 success up in 2004 and 2005 however, missing the playoffs in both seasons. [ citation needed ]
The expanded 14 team competition couldn't have started worse for the Blues, who were in 2006 forced by the NZRU to include North Harbour captain Rua Tipoki in their squad of 24 players who are 'protected' from the draft. Tipoki was originally to be excluded from the draft due to personal circumstances to stay in Auckland. Andrew Mehrtens had in the past done this with the Crusaders. The NZRU however forced coach David Nucifora to pick Tipoki in his 24-man squad and hence drop another player. It is believed the NZRU was in favour of dropping players such as Isa Nacewa who are ineligible to play for the All Blacks.Instead, Nucifora excluded All Black Isaia Toeava, who subsequently played for the Hurricanes in 2006. Following the draft fiasco, and the forgettable season which followed, the Blues showed signs of resurgence in 2007, finishing the round robin in fourth place, securing a semi-final against the Sharks in Durban. The travel and form of the opposition were too difficult to overcome, however, with the Blues losing to the eventual runners-up by 34 – 18. The 2008 season, the final under coach David Nucifora, saw the team finish the season with an 8 – 5 record and a sixth-place finish on the ladder. In 2009, Pat Lam was appointed as coach, however the team was not able to make significant improvements under his leadership for the remainder of Super 14, missing the playoffs in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
In 2011 the Super Rugby competition was expanded to 15 teams and adopted a conference format. The Blues had a successful start to the season, defeating the Crusaders by 24–22 at Eden Park. This was followed by a win and a loss on their South African tour, followed by a 22-all draw against the Western Force in Perth. This was followed by a seven match winning streak between rounds five and twelve. However, the mid-season winning streak came to an abrupt end with a 37 – 31 loss to the Queensland Reds in Brisbane, which initiated a four match losing-streak. In the final round-robin match of the season, the Blues defeated the Highlanders by 33–16 at Eden Park, securing the side's first playoff appearance since 2007 and first home playoff match since 2003. The team subsequently defeated the New South Wales Waratahs 26 – 13 to secure a semi-final against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane, which they lost 30–13.
The 2011 season also marked the departure of Kurtis Haiu, who was diagnosed with a bone tumour in April.Following his diagnosis, he took an indefinite break from rugby to focus on his health.
2012, the team's fourth season under coach Pat Lam, saw the arrival of former Hurricanes icons, and 2011 Rugby World Cup winners, Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu. The regular season began on 24 February against the Crusaders at Eden Park. Following two successive losses to start the season, the side's first victory came away to the Bulls, with starting debutant Gareth Anscombe scoring all of the Blues points in the 29–23 win. In doing so, Anscombe set a team record for most points in a match.In the same match, Rene Ranger became the first Blues player to receive a White Card, which resulted in a two-week suspension. Seven consecutive losses followed, beginning with the Stormers in round four, and finishing with the Hurricanes in round eleven. Growing frustration amongst fans was evident during this period, with racist remarks directed at coach Pat Lam via social media, talkback radio and the Blues own website. Lam, who is of Samoan descent, received support from a number of former Blues players during this period, including Michael Jones and Eroni Clarke. After beating the Lions in round twelve, the Blues suffered the biggest defeat in club history with a 59 – 12 loss away to the Crusaders, which was followed by losses at home to the Highlanders and table-topping Chiefs. The Blues finished the season on a high note, with wins against the Western Force and Brumbies.
On 17 July, Pat Lam was released. On the same day, Sir John Kirwan was appointed as head coach for the 2013 and 2014 seasons.In August, the Blues' full coaching staff for the 2013 season was announced, with Sir Graham Henry taking on a role as technical advisor and defensive coach, Mick Byrne appointed forwards and kicking coach, and Grant Doorey appointed skills and backline coach.
The 2013 season saw an all new Blues team with many players leaving, including Ma'a Nonu to the Highlandersand Gareth Anscombe to the Chiefs. On the morning of 31 October 2012 new coach Sir John Kirwan announced the 2013 Blues squad which included 14 Super Rugby debutants, and Ali Williams taking over as captain. Handed a bye on the first round the Blues started the regular season on 23 February 2013 with a 34–20 away win against the Hurricanes, followed by a 34–15 home win against the Crusaders the next week. 3 consecutive losses followed, including the Bulls first victory at Eden Park. The Blues regained some form again, winning 4 of the next 5 games. Beating the Highlanders at home and completing the double over the Hurricanes with a 28–6 win at Eden Park before losing a close game against the Reds. The Blues then defeated both the Stormers and the Rebels before losing 3 games in a row to the Crusaders, Brumbies, and Highlanders respectively. The Blues then travelled to South Africa with two must win games against the Sharks and the Cheetahs, unfortunately losing both and ending the Blues chances of making the play-offs. Ali Williams played his 100th game for the Blues against the Sharks. The Blues returned to New Zealand with a last home game against the already play-off qualified Chiefs. Despite a red card to Kane Barrett for stomping in the 23rd minute, the Blues played a remarkably strong game, taking the lead just after half-time but a yellow card to first-five Baden Kerr struck another blow for the Blues. The mounting Chiefs pressure paid off resulting in a Ben Tameifuna try with 17 minutes to go, winning the game for the Chiefs. The Blues walked off the field to a standing ovation from their fans, the first time an Eden Park crowd had been upstanding for a defeat.
The Blues finished the season in 10th place, with 6 players earning All Black call ups and Frank Halai as the team's top try scorer scoring 10 tries in his debut season. They signed international super star Benji Marshall for the 2014 season (only to return to league with the Dragons halfway through it) and Ma'a Nonu for two seasons starting in 2014.
The Blues 2014 season started with coach Sir John Kirwan announcing 6 new players to the squad including three All Blacks with the return of Ma'a Nonu and Tony Woodcock after they both played with the Highlanders for a season, and Jerome Kaino. This also included former NRL player Benji Marshall who had previously played with the Wests Tigers for 10 years.
The Blues season started with an away loss to the Highlanders, going down 29–21. The next week they played their first home game of the season at Eden Park, defeating the Crusaders 35–24. They travelled to South Africa for two games against the Sharks and the Lions, losing both games but coming away with a losing bonus point against the Lions. They returned to New Zealand for two home games against the Cheetahs and the Highlanders, both of which they won bringing the up to 6th place on the ladder. The team travelled to Canberra to face the Brumbies and were defeated 26–9, and were defeated again by the Hurricanes in wellington after a bye week. This was followed by two home games against the Waratahs and the Reds, winning both and coming away with a bonus point win against the Reds. They then lost their next two games going down to the Chiefs and the Sharks, picking up a losing bonus point against the Sharks. They returned to Eden park to defeat the Hurricanes, followed by a bonus point win in Perth against the Western Force. This put them into 8th place on the ladder with two games to play in the regular season before finals, needing to place in the top 6 for a spot in the play-offs. They went down to the Crusaders in Christchurch meaning that in order to make the finals they needed to win their final game against the Chiefs who were in the same situation. They lost their final game against the Chiefs going down 11–8, putting them out of the finals and ending a 6-game winning streak at Eden Park for the season. The Blues finished 10th overall and 5th place in the New Zealand conference.
Ihaia West, Patrick Tuipulotu, Benji Marshall, and Tom Donnelly all made their Blues super rugby debut in the 2014 season.
The 2015 season started with coach Sir John Kirwan announcing the Blues squad, with the inclusion of 11 new players after losing 12 players including Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu, who both played over 100 super rugby games.
The Blues season started with a loss to the Chiefs, going down 23–18, picking up a losing bonus point. This was followed by an unsuccessful tour of South Africa, going down to the Stormers and Cheetahs, coming away with a single bonus point from a 25–24 loss to the Cheetahs. This was followed by 4 consecutive losses against the Lions, Hurricanes , Waratahs and Chiefs, 3 of which they picked up a losing bonus point. Their first win of the season came against the Brumbies at Eden Park with a 16–14 victory, ending the Blues 9 game losing streak. This was followed by consecutive losses against the Highlanders and Crusaders, picking up a bonus point against the Highlanders. This was followed by a strong 41–24 win against the Force. Their next game against the Rebels was their final away game of the season, they went down 42–22, ending the season with no away wins, having only won 2 away games in the last 3 years. Their final 4 games were all at home with high hopes of finishing the season on a high. They won the first game 23–18 against the South African conference leaders the Bulls, however this was their last win of the season going down in their final 3 games against the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders. This ended the franchises worst super rugby season,ending in 14th place ahead of the Force, with just 3 from 16 wins for the season.
The end of the season was marked by the resignation of coach Sir John Kirwan, who had been with the team for the last three years winning just 17 out of 58 games. The Blues signed former All Black captain Tana Umaga to replace Sir John Kirwan as head coach of the Blues.
This section is empty.You can help by adding to it.(November 2017)
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(November 2017)
On 7 June the Blues defeated the British and Irish Lions 22–26 at Eden Park.
On 15 July they lost to the Sunwolves by 48–21.
|Super 12||Super 14||Super Rugby|
A season-by-season summary of Blues regular season results and playoff fixtures is shown below:
|1996||11||8||0||3||408||354||+54||9||41||1st||(defeated Sharks in final)|
|1997||11||10||1||0||435||283||+152||8||50||1st||(defeated Brumbies in final)|
|1998||11||9||0||2||388||298||+90||7||43||2nd||(lost to Crusaders in final)|
|2003||11||10||0||1||393||185||+208||9||49||1st||(defeated Crusaders in final)|
|2007||13||9||0||4||355||235||+120||6||42||4th||(lost to Sharks in semi-final)|
|2011||16||10||1||5||405||335||+70||10||60||4th||(lost to Reds in semi-final)|
Blues Super Rugby results vs different opponents
|Updated to: 15 March 2020|
1996, 1997, 2003
Overall the Blues have dated rivalries with all other New Zealand-based Super Rugby teams (Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders), however a notable trophy is contested between the Blues and Highlanders. The Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy is contested between the Blues and Highlanders as a part of regular season fixtures between the two sides. The trophy is awarded in memory of Gordon Hunter, who had been head coach of both teams prior to his passing in 2002.
The team's primary home ground is Eden Park, located in the central Auckland suburb of Kingsland. The stadium has a capacity of 50,000. In addition to hosting Blues home matches, the ground is the home of the Auckland Rugby Football Union and Auckland Cricket, and is a frequent host of All Blacks matches, and hosted the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-finals, third-place playoff, and final.
In addition to Eden Park, Blues home matches are occasionally held at North Harbour Stadium, home of the North Harbour Rugby Union, and Okara Park, home of the Northland Rugby Union.
|Eden Park||QBE Stadium||Northland Events Centre|
|Capacity: 50,000||Capacity: 30,000||Capacity: 18,500|
The Blues represent the Auckland, North Harbour, and Northland rugby unions. Since 2014 the club until 2020 has been owned 60% (divided 65%, 29% and 6%) by the three unions, through Rugby Holdings Ltd., and 40% by private investor Bolton Equities Ltd. The previous Blues (and Auckland Rugby Football Union) CEO was Michael Redman, who was formerly CEO of the New Zealand Breakers basketball team. The current board is made up of six members. Don Mackinnon, also a former New Zealand Netball and High Performance Sport NZ director, took over in 2019 as Blues Chairman from Tony Carter who chaired the board since it became a stand-alone organisation in 2013. The current board includes John Hart, Sam Lotu-liga, Richard Dellabarca, Kate Daly, Grant Graham and Brian Wilsher.
Andrew Hore took up the top job as CEO of the Blues in October 2019. Hore beat off serious competition from 70 applicants to become Blues CEO and believes glory days can return to the team's home ground of Eden Park. Hore was previously CEO at the Ospreys in Wales before going on to turn around the New South Wales Waratahs and NSW Rugby before deciding it was time to return to New Zealand to the Blues' challenge.
The Blues have fielded a development team in competitions such as the Pacific Rugby Cup and in matches against other representative teams for several seasons. Known as the Blues Development XV, the squad is selected from the best emerging rugby talent in the Blues catchment area and is composed of Blues contracted players, wider training group members, under 20s, and selected club players.
The squad for the 2020 Super Rugby season:
|Blues Super Rugby squad|
First Five-Eighths (Fly-halves)
|(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped, DEV denotes a development squad player, ST denotes a short-term signing, SRA denotes a signing for the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.|
87 officially recognized Blues players have gone on to represent the All Blacks as of the 2017 season. There have been a total of 268 players to have played for the Blues which means that 30% of all Blues over two decades have either represented the All Blacks or have gone on to represent them.
|Totals (1996–present) *||335||171||7||157||51.04|
|Updated to: 15 March 2020|
|1.||Keven Mealamu||164||2000–2001; 2003–2015|
|2.||Jerome Kaino||139||2004−2012; 2014−2018|
|3.||Tony Woodcock||137||2002–2012; 2014–2015|
|3.||Luke McAlister||389||2004–2007; 2010–2011|
|5.||Rene Ranger||28||2009–2013, 2016–2017|
|7.||Rudi Wulf||20||2005; 2007–10; 2012|
|5.||Carlos Spencer||23||Western Province||1996|
|Rua Tipoki||Western Force||2006|
|Joe Rokocoko||Western Force||2010|
|Frank Halai||Melbourne Rebels||2013|
|Rieko Ioane||Melbourne Rebels||2017|
Mark Telea Waratahs. 2019
Record updated as of Round 9 v Brumbies, 2017
Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union international club competition involving teams from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South 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 nations: Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Super 12 was established by SANZAAR after the sport became professional in 1995. With the top players from nations that represent 16 of the 24 top-three finishes in the history of the Rugby World Cup, the competition is widely regarded as rugby union's toughest provincial competition.
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch, who compete in the Super Rugby competition. They have won 10 titles . Formed in 1996 to represent the upper South Island of New Zealand in the Super 12, the Crusaders represent the Buller, Canterbury, Mid-Canterbury, South Canterbury, Tasman and West Coast provincial Rugby Unions. Their main home ground is Orangetheory Stadium, formerly known as AMI Stadium, before that Jade Stadium, formerly known as Lancaster Park. They are the current Super Rugby champions.
The Highlanders is a New Zealander professional rugby union team based in Dunedin that compete in Super Rugby. The team was formed in 1996 to represent the lower South Island in the newly formed Super 12 competition, and includes the Otago, North Otago and Southland unions. The Highlanders take their name from the Scottish immigrants that helped found the Otago, North Otago, and Southland regions in the 1840s and 1850s.
The Chiefs is a New Zealander professional rugby union team based in Hamilton, New Zealand. The team competes in the Super Rugby competition, previously known as the Super 12 and Super 14, and are one of the competition's five New Zealand teams. Playing in black, red and yellow coloured jerseys, their primary home ground is Waikato Stadium.
The Hurricanes is a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Wellington that competes in Super Rugby. The Hurricanes were formed to represent the lower North Island, including the East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Manawatu, Poverty Bay, Wairarapa-Bush, Wanganui and Wellington unions. They currently play at Sky Stadium, having previously played at the now-defunct Athletic Park.
The Brumbies is an Australian professional rugby union based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), The team competes in Super Rugby and named for the wild horses which inhabit the capital's hinterland. The team represents the ACT and southern New South Wales (NSW) regions.
The Lions is a South African professional rugby union team based in Johannesburg in the Gauteng province who compete in the Super Rugby competition. They were previously known as the Cats between the 1998 and 2006 seasons. They had varied results in the competition, finishing at the bottom of the table six times, but reaching the semifinal stage five times. They reached their first final in 2016 – where they lost to the Hurricanes 20–3 in Wellington – and repeated the feat in 2017, losing 17–25 to the Crusaders in Johannesburg, The team plays its home matches at Ellis Park Stadium.
Ma'a Allan Nonu is a professional rugby union player from New Zealand who currently plays for San Diego Legion in Major League Rugby (MLR). He plays in the inside centre, but can also cover outside centre and wing.
The 1996 Super 12 season was the inaugural season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 1996, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semifinals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semifinal qualified for the final, which was contested between the Auckland Blues and Natal Sharks, with the Blues winning 45 – 21 to win the first Super 12 title.
The 2007 Super 14 season started in February 2007 with preseason matches held from mid-January. It finished on 19 May with the final at ABSA Stadium in Durban, in the first final between two South African teams in the history of Super Rugby. The visiting Bulls won the 2007 Super 14 Final, scoring a try in the 83rd minute and narrowly defeating the Sharks 20–19, thereby becoming the first South African side to win the Super Rugby title in the professional era.
Namulauulu Alama Ieremia is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former international player for Western Samoa and New Zealand.
The 1997 Super 12 season was the second season of the Super 12, contested by rugby union teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from 28 February to 31 May 1997, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Auckland Blues and the ACT Brumbies at Eden Park, Auckland. The Auckland Blues won 23 – 7 to win their second Super 12 title.
The 1998 Super 12 season was the third season of the Super 12, contested by teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The season ran from February to May 1998, with each team playing all the others once. At the end of the regular season, the top four teams entered the playoff semi finals, with the first placed team playing the fourth and the second placed team playing the third. The winner of each semi final qualified for the final, which was contested by the Auckland Blues and the Canterbury Crusaders at Eden Park, Auckland. The Canterbury Crusaders won 20 – 13 to win their first Super 12 title.
Mark Garry 'Hammer' Hammett is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. Having represented Canterbury provincially 76 times, and the Crusaders 81 times and the All Blacks 30 times – including 29 Test matches, Hammett later went on to coach both Canterbury and Crusaders as a forwards/assistant coach. He is currently on the assistant coach of the Highlanders in Super Rugby and the Tasman Makos in the Mitre 10 Cup.
The history of the Highlanders focuses on the rugby union team in the Super Rugby competitions. The team was originally formed as one of five New Zealand franchises for the Super 12 in 1996. The team encompassed the provinces of North Otago, Otago and Southland. The Highlanders placed eighth in their first year with five wins, but slumped to last in the competition in 1997 with only three wins. They improved to qualify for their first semi-final in 1998, and became the first New Zealand team to defeat all four South African franchises in the process. They were defeated by eventual 1998 Champions the Auckland Blues in their semi-final however. Their best ever finish came in 1999 when they won eight matches, and their semi-final to host the 1999 Super 12 Final at Carisbrook, but lost to South Island rivals Crusaders in the match. They qualified for their third consecutive semi-finals in 2000, and this time played the Crusaders in Christchurch, but lost again.
Aaron Wiremu Cruden is a New Zealand rugby union player, who plays for Chiefs and formerly Montpellier, Manawatu and New Zealand internationally. Cruden's usual position is first five-eighth.
The 2013 Super Rugby season was the third season of the new 15-team format for the Super Rugby competition involving teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The tournament was won by the Chiefs, who defeated the Canberra-based Brumbies 27–22 in the competition final. For sponsorship reasons, this competition is known as FxPro Super Rugby in Australia, Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and Vodacom Super Rugby in South Africa. Including the past incarnations as Super 12 and Super 14, this was the 18th season of the Southern Hemisphere's premier domestic competition. Conference matches took place every weekend from 15 February until 13 July – with a break between rounds 17 and 18 for internationals games – followed by the play-offs series that culminated in the final on 3 August.
The 2014 Super Rugby season is the fourth season of the 15-team format for the Super Rugby competition involving teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. For sponsorship reasons, this competition is known as Asteron Life Super Rugby in Australia, Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and Vodacom Super Rugby in South Africa. Including its past incarnations as Super 12 and Super 14, this is the 19th season for the Southern Hemisphere's premier transnational club competition. The conference games will take place every weekend from 15 February until 12 July, followed by the finals series, culminating in the grand final on 2 August. The winners of the 2014 Super Rugby Season were the New South Wales Waratahs
The 2015 Super Rugby season was the 20th season of Super Rugby and the fifth season featuring an expanded 15-team format. For sponsorship reasons, this competition was known as Asteron Life Super Rugby in Australia, Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and Vodacom Super Rugby in South Africa. The round-robin matches took place every weekend from 13 February until 13 June, followed by the finals series and culminating in the final on 4 July. This was the final season that featured a 15-team format.
The 2014 Super Rugby Final, was played between the New South Wales Waratahs from Australia and the Crusaders from New Zealand on 2 August 2014. It was the 19th final in the Super Rugby competition's history and the fourth under the expanded 15-team format. The Waratahs had qualified in first place during the regular season, while the Crusaders had qualified in second place. Both teams hosted semi-final matches, with the Waratahs defeating fellow Australian team the Brumbies in Sydney and the Crusaders defeating South African team the Sharks in Christchurch. As the Waratahs had qualified higher, the final was held in Sydney.
2002 – Crusaders
| Super 12 Champions |
1996 (first title) – 1997 (second title)
2003 (third title)
1998 – Crusaders
2004 – Brumbies