Australian Super Rugby guide

HOW THE AUSTRALIAN TEAMS STACK UP IN 2016 SUPER RUGBY

BRUMBIES

Super Rugby titles: 2001, 2004,

Finishes over the past three seasons: 2015 – 4th, 2014 – 4th, 2013 – 2nd

Coach: Stephen Larkham

Captains: Stephen Moore and Christian Lealiifano

Coach Larkham has made it clear it’s now or never for his aging squad with a number leaving a season’s end. Argentine halfback Tomas Cubelli will be key to their chances.

Gains: Tomas Cubelli (Belgrano), Albert Anae (Benetton Treviso), Nick Jooste (Perth Spirit), Andrew Smith (Montpellier), Aidan Toua (Agen)

Losses: Nic White (Montpellier), Jesse Mogg (Montpellier), JP Smith (Stormers), Siliva Siliva (Rebels), Fotu Auelua (released), Sean Doyle (Munster).

NSW WARATAHS

Super Rugby titles: 2014

Finishes over the past three seasons: 2015 – 3rd, 2014 – 1st, 2013 – 9th

Coach: Daryl Gibson

Captain: Michael Hooper

After bowing out in the semi-finals last season, it’s hard to see where that final improvement will come from under new coach Daryl Gibson. Veteran Wallabies back Adam Ashley-Cooper and firebrand Jacques Potgeiter will be hard to replace.

Gains: Angus Taavao (Blues), Brad Wilkin (Australia Sevens), Jim Stewart (Sydney Stars), Zac Guildford (Hawkes Bay), Harry Jones (Sydney Stars), Reece Robinson (Parramatta Eels).

Losses: Adam Ashley-Cooper (Bordeaux), Sekope Kepu (Bordeaux), Jacques Potgieter (Sharks), Brendan McKibbin (London Irish), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Glasgow), Pat McCutcheon (Australia Sevens), Peter Betham (Leicester Tigers), Jono Lance (Force), Ben Volavola (Crusaders), Mitchell Chapman (retired), Tala Grey (Toulouse), Michael Alaalatoa (Crusaders) Stephen Hoiles (retired)

QUEENSLAND REDS

Super Rugby titles: 1992, 1994, 1995, 2011

Finishes over the past three seasons: 2015 – 13th, 2014 – 13th, 2013 – 5th

Coach: Richard Graham

Captain: James Slipper

Plenty of pressure on coach Richard Graham after a poor 2015. The Reds must adjust to a new era without stalwarts Will Genia, Quade Cooper and James Horwill. Their forward pack should still be quality but their backs are a raw and little known quantity.

Gains: Kane Douglas (Leinster), Cadeyrn Neville (Rebels), Ayumu Goromaru (Yamaha Jubilo), James Tuttle (Bond University), Lukhan Tui (Randwick), Alex Mafi (Bond University), Izack Rodda (Easts Tigers), Junior Laloifi (Sunnybank), Eto Nabuli (St George Illawarra), Brad Matwijow (ITM Cup)

Losses: Quade Cooper (Toulon), Will Genia (Stade Francais), James Horwill (Harlequins), James O’Connor (Toulon), James Hanson (Rebels), Marco Kotze (Agen), David McDuling (Sharks), Ed O’Donoghue (Japan), Tom Murday (Agen), Ed Quirk (released), Beau Robinson (released), Adam Thomson (Rebels), Ben Tapuai (Force), Lachlan Turner (Toulon), Sam Johnson (Glasgow).

MELBOURNE REBELS

Super Rugby titles: 0

Finishes over the past three seasons: 2015 – 10th, 2014 – 15th, 2013 – 12th

Coach: Tony McGahan

Captain: Nic Stirzaker

The Rebels showed what they are capable of last season but lacked consistency. They don’t have the star power of other teams but with a promising halves pair Nic Stirzaker and Jack Debreczeni shouldn’t be far off the leaders.

Gains: Adam Thomson (Reds), James Hanson (Reds), Culum Retallick (Blues), Sione Tuipulotu (Melbourne Rising), Ryan Cocker (Taranaki), Jamie Hagan (London Irish), Siliva Siliva (Brumbies), Rob Leota (Northern), Reece Hodge (Manly).

Losses: Scott Higginbotham (NEC Green Rockets), Luke Burgess (Zebre), Radike Samo (released), Cadeyrn Neville (Reds), Paul Alo-Emile (Stade Francais), Keita Inagaki (Panasonic Wild Knights), Tom Sexton (Force), Ben Whittaker (released), Tom Kingston (released), Bryce Hegarty (Toyota Industries Shuttles), Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers).

WESTERN FORCE

Super Rugby titles: 0

Finishes over the past three seasons: 2015 – 15th, 2014 – 8th, 2013 – 13th

Coach: Michael Foley

Captains: Matt Hodgson

The only way is up for the Force. Unfortunately it’s more likely to be a slow climb than a rapid rise, with their new playmaker, South African veteran Peter Grant needing to fire.

Gains: Peter Grant (La Rochelle), Ben Tapuai (Reds), Jono Lance (Waratahs), Richie Arnold (Queensland Country) Semisi Masirewa (Manawatu), Tom Sexton (Rebels)

Losses: Wilhelm Steenkamp (Brive), Sam Wykes (Coca-Cola West Red Sparks), Sias Ebersohn (Cheetahs), Zack Holmes (La Rochelle), Nick Cummins (Coca-Cola West Red Sparks), Mitchell Scott (Tasman), Akihito Yamada (Panasonic Wild Knights)

2016 SUPER RUGBY FORMAT

Australasian Group

New Zealand – Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes.

Australia – Brumbies, Western Force, Rebels, Waratahs, Reds

South African Group

South Africa – Bulls, Cheetahs, Kings, Lions, Sharks, Stormers

Argentina – Jaguares

Japan – Sunwolves

Australian Conference: Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs

New Zealand Conference: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes

South Africa 1 Conference: Bulls, Cheetahs, Stormers, Sunwolves

South Africa 2 Conference: Jaguare, Kings, Lions, Sharks

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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