Super Rugby format

From 2018 the Super Rugby tournament will be contested by 15 teams. Super Rugby’s organizers Sanzaar realized that their 18 team format did not work so the decision was made to remove the Western Force (Australia), Kings and Cheetahs (South Africa) from Super Rugby and revert to a 15 team format.

Super Rugby newcomers the Jaguares (Argentina) and Sunwolves (Japan) were retained while the Kings who joined in 2016 were removed at the end of the 2017 season.

The revised 15 Super Rugby team format has three conferences instead of four conferences as in 2016 and 2017. The Sunwolves move into the Australian Super Rugby Conference and the Jaguares move into the South African Super Rugby Conference.

Super Rugby Conferences

The three new Super Rugby Conferences will be as follows.

Australian Super Rugby Conference: 



Brumbies, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs, Sunwolves

New Zealand Super Rugby Conference:


Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes

South African Super Rugby Conference: 


Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Jaguares

Each of the 15 Super Rugby teams will play 16 matches in their regular season. These 16 matches will include eight matches against teams in their own conference (home and away) and four matches against teams from each of the other Conferences (home or away).

This gives the Super 15 Rugby tournament a 120 regular season matches. There will be seven finals series matches which will be contested by eight teams.

Super Rugby Tournament points

Tournament points in the regular Super Rugby season will be earned as follows.

Win: 4 points

Draw: 2 points

Loss: 0 points for a loss of 8+ points

Bonus: 1 point for a loss between 1-7 points

Bonus: 1 point for scoring 3+ tries more than the opponent

Bye: 0 points

Super Rugby Finals

The qualifiers for the finals will be as follows.

The three geographic conference winners will each qualify for the play offs. The best team on points that is not a conference winner will be awarded a wild card place and like the conference winners will host a play off.

Super Rugby Quarter-final Hosts (4 teams)

Three Geographic Conference winners

Best Wildcard team – (based on tournament points earned) regardless of Geographic Conference

The next four teams will be the next best teams based on tournament points earned in the regular season regardless of their conference.

Quarter-final Wildcard spots (4 teams )

Four next best Wildcard teams (based on tournament points) regardless of Conference

All four of these wildcard teams will play away from home in the first round of the play offs.

Super Rugby quarter-final Draw

The eight teams who qualify for the play offs will be ranked from 1 to 8 with the three conference winners making up the first three based on points accumulated during the regular season. The team with the highest number of competition points accumulated will be ranked as team 1. The Super Rugby teams with the next best highest number of points will be the second and third teams. The team with highest points and is not a conference winner will be ranked as team number 4.

The next four teams will be ranked in the order that they finished the regular season based on competition points.

Rank 1-3 Conference winners determined by final number competition points

Rank 4 – Best Wildcard team based on tournament points

Rank 5-8: Wild cards determined by final number competition points

The Quarter finals will therefore be contested as follows.

QF 1: 1 v 8
QF 2: 4 v 5
QF 3: 2 v 7
QF 4: 3 v 6

Super Rugby semi-final Draw

SF 1: Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2
SF 2: Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4

Super Rugby final

Winner SF1 v Winner SF2