Super 15 launched in 2011 and is now made up of five teams from each of the countries Australia; Brumbies, Rebels, Erds, Waratahs and Western Force. New Zealand; Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes. South Africa; Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.
The format also changed and so each nations teams play each other in their own conference. Then play 4 of the 5 teams in the other conferences. They then revert to the first format except fixtures are reversed. The competition then takes a break whilst International fixtures are played during June. It then returns with the finals and this will see 6 teams compete with the top 2 ranking teams having a bye in the first round. These finals will start in July and should complete in August.
The Super 14 was administered by SANZAR a joint organisation that also controls the tri-nations. The competition of the Super 14 was the southern hemispheres joint professional rugby competition, consisting of franchise teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The fourteen sides all competed against one another, with no divisional or pool system. Each team playing 13 games during the regular season which ran for fourteen weeks. The four top teams then played knock-out semi-finals with the top two sides hosting forth and third place respectively.
The Super 14 commenced in 2006 and was an expansion of the Super 12 which came into existence in 1996. As implied by the name the change was the inclusion of new franchises in Australia and South Africa giving the current structure of 4 Australian, 5 New Zealand and 5 South African clubs. The competition does not have promotion or relegation but is still considered the most spectacular rugby for the spectator, possibly aided by the majority of games being played in good conditions.
Whereas the English Premier League is sponsored by Guinness and the Celtic League by Magners the Super 14 has three sponsors one from each participating country. This means in Australia it is the Investec Super 14, New Zealand the Rebel Sport Super 14 and South Africa the Vodacom Super 14. The competition is broadcast worldwide and is popular viewing. This produces a considerable demand for merchandise particularly in replica shirts.