Prior to the advent of professional rugby in 1996, a number of transitional competitions, notably the Super 6, the Super 10 and the South Pacific Championship, were played.

A restructuring of the Super 10 competition followed in 1995 as the rugby boards of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa formed Sanzar (later to become Sanzaar).

A competition, with five franchises from New Zealand, four from South Africa and three from Australia, started in the 1996 Super Rugby competition with substantial sponsorship in the new professional era.

The early success led to the number of teams being increased and the Super 14 introduced in 2006 and expanded to the Super 15 in 2011.

Another three teams were added in 2016, including Japan and Argentina each granted entry into the competition and South Africa having six teams.

The 18 teams then competed in a format that was again changed in 2018 when the competition was contracted to 15 teams. South Africa (two) and Australia (one) had franchises withdrawn.

The Sunwolves were informed that 2020 would be their last season.

Since 1996, New Zealand franchises had won 17 titles, 10 of them by the Crusaders.

The Brumbies (two), and the Reds and Waratahs (one each), are the only winners from Australia while the Bulls team has won all three South Africa’s titles (2007, 2009 and 2010).

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the curtailed Super Rugby competition was curtailed and could not be completed.

Due to border restrictions New Zealand and Australia each formed its own Super Rugby competition and each had five teams compete domestically. South Africa followed suit when their Covin-19 situation improved. The three domestic competitions formed were Super Rugby Unlocked (South Africa, 7 teams), Super Rugby Aotearea (New Zealand 5 teams) and Super Rugby AU (5 teams).

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