The Super 15 is the biggest club rugby championship in the Southern Hemisphere. The tournament features 15 regional teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa competing in a 14 week long round robin tournament culminating in two knockout rounds.
Unlike the Heineken Cup there are no qualifying criteria for the Super 15, instead the same 15 franchises are represented in the tournament every year. The tournament is at the cutting edge of rugby, introducing law changes and format amendments well in advance of the rest of the rugby playing world.
The Super 15 tournament format is also subject to constant change, and is expected to expand for the third time in its history in 2010 when a broadcast contract with News Corporation expires (now the Super 15 – 2011).
Super 15 Betting
The Super 15 does not, as of yet, receive broad coverage from online sportsbooks. Paddy Power currently offer the biggest selection of Super 15 betting opportunities, while William Hill also provide a decent selection of Super 15 betting options.
Other UK sportsbooks offer limited coverage of the tournament with bets restricted to match and handicap bets. Ante-post bets on outright tournament winners with each-way options are available from the majority of bookmakers, and are a great betting option in a tournament that has only been won by 4 teams in its 12 year history.
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Super 15 History
The Super 15 is the product of the gradual evolution of a regional rugby tournament that was first played between Australia and New Zealand in 1986. In 1995 rugby went professional, setting the stage for the launch of the Super 12 tournament in 1996.
The advent of professionalism was a massive boost to the Super 12 as players were allowed to focus on the game full-time and provide top quality rugby week after week. In 2006 the Super 14 was created as additional teams from Australia and South Africa were absorbed into the tournament.
Super 15 Winners
Only four participants in the Super 15 have managed to claim the title since the tournament went professional in 1996. The Auckland Blues and Canterbury Crusaders have won nine out of the twelve Super 15 finals played in that time. New Zealand’s Crusaders are the team to beat in the competition with six Super 15 winners titles in twelve years.