2016 Super Rugby season

The 2016 Super Rugby season will be the 21st season of Super Rugby and the first season featuring an expanded 18-team format. It will also be the first season that teams outside Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will feature, with a team from Argentina and another team from Japan. The round-robin games will take place every weekend from 26 February to 16 July 2016 (with a break for international matches during June), followed by the finals series at the end of July and culminating in the final on 6 August.

 

Competition format

The 18 teams will be grouped geographically. There are two regional groups, each consisting of two conferences: the Australasian Group, with five teams in the Australian Conference and five teams in the New Zealand Conference and the South African Group, with six South African teams, one Argentinean team and one Japanese team split into a four-team Africa 1 Conference a four-team Africa 2 Conference.

In the group stages, there will be 17 rounds of matches, where each team will play 15 matches and have two rounds of byes for a total of 135 matches.

Teams will play six intra-conference matches; in the four-team African Conferences, each team will play the other three teams in their conference home and away, while in the five-team Australasian Conferences, each team will play two teams home and away and will play once against the other two teams (one at home and one away). The other nine matches will be a single round of matches against each team in the other conference in their group, as well as against each team from one of the conferences in the other group. For 2016, the teams in Africa 1 will play the teams in the Australian Conference, while the teams in Africa 2 will play the teams in the New Zealand Conference.

The top team in each of the four conferences will automatically qualify to the Quarter Finals. The next top three teams in the Australasian Group and the next top team in the South African group will also qualify to the Quarter Finals as wildcards. The conference winners will be seeded #1 to #4 for the Quarter Finals, in order of log points gained during the group stages, while the wildcards will be seeded as #5 to #8 in order of log points gained during the group stages.

In the Quarter Finals, the conference winners will host the first round of the finals, with the highest-seeded conference winner hosting the fourth-seeded wildcard entry, the second-seeded conference winner hosting the third-seeded wildcard entry, the third-seeded conference winner hosting the second-seeded wildcard entry and the fourth-seeded conference winner hosting the top-seed wildcard entry.

The Quarter Final winners will progress to the Semi-Finals, where the highest seed to reach the Semi-Finals will host the lowest seed and the second-seeded semi-finalist will host the third-seeded team.

The winners of the Semi-Finals will progress to the Final, at the venue of the highest-seeded team.

Fixtures

*Times,dates and venues subject to change.

Day & Date Match Home Venue
ROUND 1
Friday 26 February Blues v Highlanders Eden Park, Auckland
Friday 26 February Brumbies v Hurricanes GIO Stadium, Canberra
Friday 26 February Cheetahs v Argentina Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 27 February Japan v Lions Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Saturday 27 February Crusaders v Chiefs AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday 27 February Waratahs v Reds Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 27 February Force v Rebels nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 27 February Kings v Sharks Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 27 February Stormers v Bulls DHL Newlands, Cape Town
ROUND 2
Friday 4 March Crusaders v Blues AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Friday 4 March Brumbies v Waratahs GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 5 March Chiefs v Lions TBC
Saturday 5 March Highlanders v Hurricanes TBC
Saturday 5 March Reds v Force Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 5 March Bulls v Rebels Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 5 March Cheetahs v Stormers Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 5 March Sharks v Argentina Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
BYES: JAPAN, KINGS
ROUND 3
Friday 11 March Blues v Hurricanes Eden Park, Auckland
Friday 11 March Force v Brumbies nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 12 March Highlanders v Lions TBC
Saturday 12 March Rebels v Reds AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday 12 March Japan v Cheetahs Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
Saturday 12 March Kings v Chiefs Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 12 March Stormers v Sharks DHL Newlands, Cape Town
BYES: ARGENTINA, BULLS, CRUSADERS, WARATAHS
ROUND 4
Friday 18 March Hurricanes v Force TBC
Friday 18 March Waratahs v Highlanders Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Friday 18 March Bulls v Sharks Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 19 March Japan v Rebels Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Saturday 19 March Crusaders v Kings AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday 19 March Reds v Blues Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 19 March Lions v Cheetahs Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 19 March Stormers v Brumbies DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday 19 March Argentina v Chiefs TBC
ROUND 5 (Easter)
Friday 25 March Hurricanes v Kings TBC
Saturday 26 March Chiefs v Force TBC
Saturday 26 March Rebels v Highlanders AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday 26 March Japan v Bulls Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
Saturday 26 March Cheetahs v Brumbies Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 26 March Sharks v Crusaders Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday 26 March Argentina v Stormers TBC
Sunday 27 March Reds v Waratahs Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
BYES: BLUES, LIONS
ROUND 6 (Daylight savings ends Australia and New Zealand)
Friday 1 April Highlanders v Force TBC
Friday 1 April Lions v Crusaders Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 2 April Blues v Argentina QBE Stadium, North Harbour
Saturday 2 April Brumbies v Chiefs GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 2 April Kings v Japan Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 2 April Bulls v Cheetahs Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Sunday 3 April Waratahs v Rebels Allianz Stadium, Sydney
BYES: HURRICANES, REDS, SHARKS, STORMERS
ROUND 7
Friday 8 April Chiefs v Blues TBC
Friday 8 April Force v Crusaders nib Stadium, Perth
Friday 8 April Stormers v Japan DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday 9 April Hurricanes v Argentina TBC
Saturday 9 April Reds v Highlanders Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 9 April Sharks v Lions Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday 9 April Kings v Bulls Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
BYES: BRUMBIES, CHEETAHS, REBELS, WARATAHS
ROUND 8
Friday 15 April Crusaders v Argentina AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Friday 15 April Rebels v Hurricanes AAMI Park, Melbourne
Friday 15 April Cheetahs v Japan Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 16 April Blues v Sharks Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday 16 April Waratahs v Brumbies Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 16 April Bulls v Reds Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 16 April Lions v Stormers Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
BYES: CHIEFS, FORCE, HIGHLANDERS, KINGS
ROUND 9 (Anzac Day Weekend)
Friday 22 April Highlanders v Sharks TBC
Friday 22 April Rebels v Cheetahs AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday 23 April Japan v Argentina Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Saturday 23 April Hurricanes v Chiefs TBC
Saturday 23 April Force v Waratahs nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 23 April Stormers v Reds DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday 23 April Kings v Lions Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Sunday 24 April Brumbies v Crusaders GIO Stadium, Canberra
BYES: BLUES, BULLS
ROUND 10
Friday 29 April Chiefs v Sharks TBC
Friday 29 April Force v Bulls nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 30 April Highlanders v Brumbies TBC
Saturday 30 April Blues v Rebels Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday 30 April Reds v Cheetahs Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 30 April Lions v Hurricanes Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 30 April Stormers v Waratahs DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday 30 April Argentina v Kings TBC
BYES: CRUSADERS, JAPAN
ROUND 11
Friday 6 May Crusaders v Reds AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Friday 6 May Brumbies v Bulls GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 7 May Japan v Force Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Saturday 7 May Chiefs v Highlanders TBC
Saturday 7 May Waratahs v Cheetahs Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 7 May Sharks v Hurricanes Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday 7 May Kings v Blues Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
BYES: ARGENTINA, LIONS, REBELS, STORMERS
ROUND 12
Friday 13 May Highlanders v Crusaders TBC
Friday 13 May Rebels v Brumbies AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday 14 May Hurricanes v Reds TBC
Saturday 14 May Waratahs v Bulls Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 14 May Japan v Stormers Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
Saturday 14 May Cheetahs v Kings Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 14 May Lions v Blues Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 14 May Argentina v Sharks TBC
BYES: CHIEFS, FORCE
ROUND 13
Friday 20 May Crusaders v Waratahs AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday 21 May Reds v Japan Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 21 May Chiefs v Rebels TBC
Saturday 21 May Force v Blues nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 21 May Lions v Argentina Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 21 May Sharks v Kings Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday 21 May Bulls v Stormers Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
BYES: BRUMBIES, CHEETAHS, HIGHLANDERS, HURRICANES
ROUND 14
Friday 27 May Hurricanes v Highlanders TBC
Friday 27 May Waratahs v Chiefs Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Friday 27 May Kings v Argentina Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 28 May Blues v Crusaders Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday 28 May Brumbies v Japan GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 28 May Stormers v Cheetahs DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday 28 May Bulls v Lions Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Sunday 29 May Rebels v Force AAMI Park, Melbourne
BYES: REDS, SHARKS
ROUND 15
Friday 1 July Chiefs v Crusaders TBC
Friday 1 July Brumbies v Reds GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 2 July Japan v Waratahs Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Saturday 2 July Hurricanes v Blues TBC
Saturday 2 July Rebels v Stormers AAMI Park, Melbourne
Saturday 2 July Cheetahs v Force Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 2 July Kings v Highlanders Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 2 July Lions v Sharks Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 2 July Argentina v Bulls TBC
ROUND 16
Friday 8 July Blues v Brumbies Eden Park, Auckland
Friday 8 July Reds v Chiefs Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday 8 July Lions v Kings Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 9 July Crusaders v Rebels AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday 9 July Waratahs v Hurricanes Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Saturday 9 July Force v Stormers nib Stadium, Perth
Saturday 9 July Bulls v Japan Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 9 July Sharks v Cheetahs Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday 9 July Argentina v Highlanders TBC
ROUND 17
Friday 15 July Blues v Waratahs Eden Park, Auckland
Friday 15 July Reds v Rebels Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Friday 15 July Sharks v Japan Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
Saturday 16 July Crusaders v Hurricanes AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Saturday 16 July Highlanders v Chiefs TBC
Saturday 16 July Brumbies v Force GIO Stadium, Canberra
Saturday 16 July Stormers v Kings DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Saturday 16 July Cheetahs v Bulls Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Saturday 16 July Argentina v Lions TBC
Super Rugby Qualifiers
Friday 22 July
Friday 22 July
Saturday 23 July
Saturday 23 July
Super Rugby Semi Finals
Friday 29 July
Saturday 30 July
Super Rugby Final
Saturday 6 August