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Super Rugby 2019 season preview

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allblacks.com     12 Feb 2019     Getty Images

Get the lowdown on the 2019 season with our season preview and find out how your team is placed for a shot at the crown.

Opening round
The 2019 Investec Super Rugby season will kick off in dramatic style for New Zealand’s five teams with two big home derbies and a crunch away clash. The action begins on Friday 15 February when the Chiefs face the Highlanders at FMG Stadium Waikato before the Blues host the Crusaders at Eden Park on Saturday. Later on Saturday night, the Hurricanes face an acid test in Sydney against last year’s Australian conference winners the Waratahs. Click here for the FULL DRAW.

Non Stop action
With no June break for International rugby this year, Super Rugby will run unimpeded from mid-February until the finals series in June and July. The action will be fast and furious from start to finish. Momentum will be everything this year. If a team gets on a winning run, they will be hard to stop. Strap in and get ready for the most exciting year of Super Rugby yet. Grab your season tickets HERE to catch all the action live.
Crusaders Three-peat?
The Crusaders have a massive target on their back in 2019 as they seek a three-peat of Investec Super Rugby titles. There’s no doubting that the other fourteen teams in the competition would have been plotting how to take down the red and black juggernaut over the off season. But that’s the kind of pressure Scott Robertson’s side thrives on as witnessed when they came back from 29-0 to beat the Waratahs in last year’s regular season. Another Super Rugby crown this year would be the Crusaders 10th title and the second three-peat in their history after winning three straight titles in 1998, 1999 and 2000. The Crusaders open their campaign away from home against the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday 16 February.

Format

Super Rugby is played between 15 teams split across three conferences (New Zealand, Australian and South African). Each team plays 16 regular season games that include eight matches within their own conference (home and away) and four matches against teams from other conferences. At the end of the regular season (16 rounds), eight teams will progress to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal hosts are the three conference winners and the next best placed team on competition points regardless of conference. The final four quarterfinal spots go to the next four best teams based on competition points. From there it is a straight knockout all the way to the grand final. Find out more about the competition format HERE.
Conferences
New Zealand Conference: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes
Australian Conference: Brumbies, Rebels, Reds, Waratahs, Sunwolves
South African Conference: Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Jaguares

Team previews
Click below for team previews and squad lists for each team (note: previews are correct as of date of publication).

Blues
Chiefs
Crusaders
Highlanders
Hurricanes
Brumbies
Rebels
Reds
Waratahs
Sunwolves
Bulls
Lions
Sharks
Stormers
Jaguares

Previous winners

The Crusaders are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with nine titles. The Blues and Bulls are second with three titles each. Check out a list of all winners since 1996 below.

1996: Blues
1997: Blues
1998: Crusaders
1999: Crusaders
2000: Crusaders
2001: Brumbies
2002: Crusaders
2003: Blues
2004: Brumbies
2005: Crusaders
2006: Crusaders
2007: Bulls
2008: Crusaders
2009: Bulls
2010: Bulls
2011: Reds
2012: Chiefs
2013: Chiefs
2014: Waratahs
2015: Highlanders
2016: Hurricanes
2017: Crusaders
2018: Crusaders

Broadcast
If you are in New Zealand, tune into each and every game live on SKY Sport. Follow the Super Rugby NZ social media channels for regular news, updates, video and behind the scenes coverage. FacebookInstagramTwitter.