With the new Super Rugby season due to kick off this week, we take a look at why fans in Europe should be keeping their eyes on the competition…
1.The quality of the rugby in the southern hemisphere is undoubtedly superior
As painful as it may be to admit it, the quality of rugby on offer in Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship is far superior to anything we’re likely to witness in the Six Nations. Teams aren’t afraid to play it from deep and make audacious offload attempts, whilst the drier conditions help the quality of rugby. To be honest, it’s just nice to watch players with rounded skillsets who haven’t had the creativity coached out of them in action.
2.New innovations that may eventually make their way into Europe
In terms of both tactical innovations, and law changes, Super Rugby tends to lead the way. We are constantly seeing new ways of playing implemented in Super Rugby which eventually find their way into the European game. Equally, this season we will also see changes to the laws regarding mauls, bonus points and what happens after the final hooter. We can therefore watch on with great interest as to how these impact the rugby on show.
3.Fans genuinely have no idea who will claim the title
Many of the traditional powerhouses of Super Rugby have been ravaged by retirements and departing players, whilst the new Super Rugby teams bring an element of the unknown into the competition. Unlike in European rugby, there are more than half the teams in Super Rugby who are all in with a decent shout of making the final, whilst even the poorer teams in the competition could be capable of springing a few surprises.
4.A chance to watch the next Richie McCaw or Dan Carter in action
Whilst European rugby has said goodbye to a few famous faces, none of them come even close to the loss of both Dan Carter and Richie McCaw to the All Blacks. Fans can therefore watch on with great interest as young players battle it out to claim the famous seven and ten All Blacks jersey. There will also be the opportunity to spot the next Southern Hemisphere great before they have even become a household name yet.
5.To check out the future stars of next seasons European rugby competitions
It is a sad fact that many of the top players in this years Super Rugby competition will likely find themselves playing in Europe next season. We have already seen players such as Liam Gill signing on with French giants Toulon, and it’s likely we will see many more follow suit over the next few months. This therefore gives European fans the ideal opportunity to keep an eye on their team’s signings for next season.
6.The Jaguares & Sunwolves will be making their Super Rugby bow
Both Japan and Argentina had impressive World Cup campaigns, and will be hoping that their inclusion in Super Rugby will allow them to kick on ahead of 2019. It will therefore be of great interest to see how the new Super Rugby franchises get on. Whilst the Sunwolves look likely to be whipping boys on paper, they could spring some upsets like the Brave Blossoms. Los Jaguares however look a mightily impressive side who could end up going all the way.
7.The entertainment factor goes well beyond just what you see on the pitch
Whilst the rugby on the pitch is generally pretty entertaining in itself, there is plenty more to Super Rugby to keep fans entertained. Colourful commentators, cheerleaders and off field fun all serve up one of the most exciting sporting competitions on the planet. You only have to look at the Super Rugby promos compared to those for the Six Nations to see that there is a much more fun vibe to everything going on over in the Southern Hemisphere.