The Super Rugby trophy. M-Net Dec (*101)/SS1 (*201) 15:00-23:40 Sport February means one thing for rugby fans – and it’s not love! Super Rugby is in full swing and Saturdays (like today) are packed full of tries, tackles, brawls and whistle-blowing. And that’s just from fans in the stands! How much do you really know about the biggest club rugby tournament in the world?
1 Super Rugby officially kicked off in 1996 as the Super 12 tournament. In 2006 it was the Super 14, Super 15 in 2011 and rebranded as Super Rugby in 2016 when Japan and Argentina were added to the competition. Five trophies have been used in 2 the tournament – if you include the Super 10 trophy from pre-1995 when it was an informal competition. The current trophy weighs almost 3 3kg and was handmade from sterling silver by New Zealand’s Jens Hansen – he’s the goldsmith hired by Peter Jackson to make The Ring Of Power for the Lord Of The Rings movies (2001-2003). It’s not called just “Super Rugby” 4 though – each country has its own official sponsor (except Japan). South Africa’s sponsor is cellphone company Vodacom, Australia has life-insurance company Asteron Life, New Zealand has Investec Bank and in Argentina the title sponsor is telecommunications company Personal. The highest score by any team 5 in the tournament is 96 by 2002 champs The Crusaders (from New Zealand), while 16 teams have had a nil score over the years. The Crusaders have also appeared 6 in more finals than any other team – 11, with seven wins and four loses. The only South African team to lift the Super Rugby trophy to date is The Bulls, who won in 2007, 2009 and 2010.