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Thursday, January 26, 2006


Super 14: The Regions


Hard core rugby fans will be very au fait with the various regional make-ups of the Super 14 teams. For the benefit of those not so familiar here is Wikipedia's general round-up.

Some names may have changed, for the sake of clarity I've left it as is.

In Australia, the four franchises each represent a substantial geographic area:

Brumbies — Australian Capital Territory and Southern New South Wales, including the Riverina

New South Wales Waratahs — most of New South Wales, including metropolitan Sydney

Queensland Reds — Queensland

Western Force — Western Australia

There are four states and territories which do not have a franchise:

Victoria — one of Australia's two most populous states, but Australian rules football is the dominant sport and many other sports are also popular.

South Australia — a substantial market, but again Australian rules football is the main sport.

Tasmania — a small market, but larger than the Australian Capital Territory, which does have a Super 14 team. However Tasmania's main city Hobart is smaller than Canberra in the ACT, and much of the remainder of Tasmania's population lives a considerable distance from it.

Northern Territory — Australia's least populous state or territory.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, each of the country's five Super 14 franchises is linked with several provincial unions in the country's domestic competition, the National Provincial Championship. Each franchise is entitled to draw players from any of its member unions without any player draft or negotiations with another franchise. The specific unions linked to each franchise are:

North Harbour

Bay of Plenty
Counties Manukau
King Country
Thames Valley

Mid Canterbury
South Canterbury
Tasman (formed by merger of Marlborough and Nelson Bays)
West Coast

North Otago

East Coast
Hawke's Bay
Poverty Bay

South Africa

South Africa operates its Super 14 system in basically the same manner as in New Zealand, with each franchise linked with one or more unions in the country's domestic competition, the Currie Cup.

The country has six franchises; however, only five will actually compete in the Super 14 in any given year. The four franchises from the Super 12 era (Bulls, Cats, Sharks, Stormers) will be joined in 2006 by the Central Cheetahs. Starting in 2007, a new team from the Southern and Eastern Cape region, the Southern Spears, will join the Super 14. To make room for the Spears, a promotion/relegation process will be instituted in 2006 to determine which team will not participate in the following season's Super 14.

The unions linked to each franchise are:

Blue Bulls — (Pretoria and Limpopo Province; home matches in Pretoria)
Falcons (East Rand; home matches in Brakpan)

Golden Lions (Johannesburg)
Leopards (North West Province; home matches in Potchefstroom)
Pumas (Mpumalanga; home matches in Witbank)

Central Cheetahs
Free State Cheetahs (central and western Free State; home matches in Bloemfontein)
Griffons (northern Free State; home matches in Welkom)
Griquas (Northern Cape; home matches in Kimberley)

Natal Sharks (KwaZulu-Natal; home matches in Durban)

Southern Spears
Border Bulldogs (eastern Eastern Cape; home matches in East London)
Eagles (Western Cape east of Cape Town; home matches in George)
Mighty Elephants (western Eastern Cape; home matches in Port Elizabeth)

Boland Cavaliers (northern Western Cape; home matches in Wellington)
Western Province (Cape Town)
Damn that is actually a damned good, simple and informative article for someone who wants to learn what the Super 14 is about.

How does the ZP work?

Similar to the UEFA?

The top clubs from each league in the Cltic nations, England and the Frogs play it out in a mixed league / knock out comp?

The old ZP (Zurich Premiership) is the English league and has now been replaced by the new Guinness Premiership.

It's a club based competition (however they don't have provinces so it's the same really) and almost exclusively based out of cities i.e.

Bath etc.
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