We take a look at why the 2016 Super Rugby season could be the most unmissable yet…
1.The new teams are coming
As well as the Kings re-joining Super Rugby, we will see the welcome addition of teams from Argentina and Japan. Whilst many predict the Sunwolves may struggle during their first couple of seasons, the Jaguares are expected to be highly competitive as a result of having most of the Argentinian national side on their roster. Given the performances of both Japan and Argentina during the World Cup, it will be intriguing to see how their respective teams bed in.
2.It’s the best level of club rugby in the world
Yes, leagues in Europe may boast some of the top paid talent in the world, but in general, the level of competition in Super Rugby is that much higher. The bulk of the Rugby Championships internationals will all be involved in this year’s competition, and it is widely believed teams in the Southern Hemisphere tend to play the game at a more technical level. This coupled with more fluid refereeing and generally firmer ground makes for incredible entertainment.
3.There will be some huge boots to fill
With the likes of Dan Carter heading to France and Richie McCaw retiring, there are some big boots left for players across Super Rugby to fill. This isn’t just at a club level however, as players will be looking to stand out during the club season in the hope of receiving a call up to their respective national team where they can take a shot at a vacant shirt. Expect players across the tournament to be playing out of their skin for the chance at some international recognition.
4.It’s won’t be all about who has left though
Across the competition, we will be welcoming a host of new and returning faces during the 2016 season. Whilst the Reds and Blues will be hoping Ayumu Goromaru and Rene Ranger respectively can help drag them out of the doldrums, the Sharks will be hoping that new faces like Willie le Roux and Jacques Potgieter can help them kick on and challenge for the Super Rugby title once more in 2016.