The inclusion of teams from Japan and Argentina, as well as the return of South African franchise the Kings, will see the competition expanded to 18 teams, split into an Australian conference (five teams), a New Zealand conference (five teams), and two South African conferences (four teams each).
The existing ten Australasian teams will be divided into New Zealand and Australian pools.
Super Rugby tournament organisers SANZAR released the draw for the 2016 event yesterday, sketching in the first-ever matches for teams from Argentina and Japan and for South Africa’s Kings. It means rugby fans in Singapore could see the likes of fullback Ayumu Goromaru, fly-half Harumichi Tatekawa, flanker and No 8 Amanaki Lelei Mafi in action at the Singapore Sports Hub’s National Stadium as the Japanese will play three home matches here against the Cheetahs (Round 3), Bulls (Round 5) and Stormers (Round 12).
SANZAR Interim Chief Executive Brendan Morris said, “As we stand eagerly on the cusp of a new era of Super Rugby, fans can look forward to the upcoming season with a great deal of optimism and enthusiasm“.
“We are also confident that the selection of the Tokyo stadium for the opening match and the final in the worldwide Stadium Yokohama will provide a spectacular backdrop for the tournament across Japan, throughout Asia and around the world”.
“We would like to thank our partners in Japan for their committed response to the stadium issue and all of the work they have undertaken, and in particular the Prime Minister of Japan and his government, Japan Sports Council and the Governor of Tokyo and Mayor of Yokohama for their full support”. “We want to grow our fan base and ensure existing fans stay loving our game”, he said.
Meticulously crafted by Blue Sky Design, the chrome and gold plated piece captures the prestige, grandeur and resilience of one of the world’s toughest sporting titles.
Eight teams will progress into the knock-out finals series – the four conference winners plus the three next highest-ranked teams from the Australasian Group and the next highest-ranked team from the South African Group.
The NSW Waratahs are set for another long haul of up to 13 back-to-back games if they go all the way to the final of next year’s expanded Super Rugby tournament.
World Rugby has approved a revised roadmap to underpin the successful delivery of a ground-breaking Rugby World Cup 2019 that will further the growth of the sport in Japan, across Asia and around the world. Rugby World Cup There are eight Sharks players, seven Stormers, three Cheetahs and six Bulls players who are representing South Africa’s Springboks in the Rugby World Cup in England this month.