Rugby Tournaments at a Glance

Part of the Rugby For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The professional rugby calendar features a wealth of international, interprovincial, and domestic tournaments. Rugby players will often compete in three or more of these in a single year, representing their club, province, and country. Over the years the names and formats of many of these rugby tournaments have changed because of growth and varying sponsorships.

Tournament Description Participants
Rugby World Cup Held every four 4 years to crown the World Champion 20 nations. 12 from previous tourney, 8 qualifiers
Six Nations Championship Annual international championship of Northern Hemisphere England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, and Italy
Tri Nations Series Annual international championship of Southern Hemisphere Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa
Magners League Annual Northern Hemisphere interprovincial championship involving Celtic and Italian teams Munster, Leinster, Ulster, Connacht, Ospreys, Blues, Llanelli, Dragons, Edinburgh, Warriors, Treviso, Aironi
Super Rugby Annual Southern Hemisphere interprovincial championship Australia: Brumbies, Reds, Waratahs, Western Force, Rebels; New Zealand: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes; South Africa: Bulls, Cats, Cheetahs, Sharks, Stormers
Heineken Cup Annual European interprovincial/club championship Varies every year by finish in domestic competition. 7 French, 6 English, 4 Welsh, 3 Irish, 2 Scottish, 2 Italian
Aviva Premiership The top twelve 12 clubs in England play for the domestic national championship. Leicester, Saracens, Gloucester, Northampton, Bath, Harlequins, London Irish, Wasps, Exeter, Sale, Newcastle, Leeds-Carnegie.
ITM Cup New Zealand provincial championship, 14 teams split into premiership and championship, with some matches between the divisions. Premiership: Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Southland, Taranaki, Waikato, Wellington
Championship: Counties Manukau, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, North Harbour, Northland, Otago, Tasman
Currie Cup South Africa’s premier domestic competition. Eight provinces in the Premier Division. Blue Bulls, Cheetahs, Griquas, Leopards, Lions, Pumas, Sharks, Western Province
Top 14 France’s domestic championship has 14 teams. Toulouse, Racing Metro 92, Castres, Clermont, Biarritz, Montpelier, Toulon, Aviron Bayonnais, Perpignan, Stade Francais, Agen, La Rochelle, Brive, Bourgoin
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