Super Cup (rugby union)
The Super Powers Cup was first launched in 2003. It was planned that China, Japan, Russia and the United States would play each other once. However, because of the SARS outbreak the Chinese team were forced to withdraw. Russia won the inaugural competition, defeating the USA 30-21 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
For the 2004 competition Canada replaced China. In May of that year Japan won the second edition of the Super Powers Cup in Tokyo, where the entire tournament had been staged, beating Russia 29-12 (May 27) and Canada 34-21 (May 30) in the process. The USA defeated Russia in the third-place playoff.
In 2005 the tournament was renamed the Super Cup and the participants were again changed, with Romania taking the place of Russia. Romania had been given 'second tier' status by the International Rugby Board (IRB), meaning greater funding and integration into the international calendar, while Russia were at the time considered a third tier nation. Canada and Japan met in the final, with the Canadians winning 15-10. The USA beat a Romanian team missing many of their France-based professionals 23-16 in the third place play-off.
The competition was discontinued in 2005 after the IRB undertook a new Strategic Investment programme, with funding instead going to several new tournaments including the Pacific Nations Cup, featuring Japan, and the IRB Nations Cup, involving Romania.
In February 2009, representatives from the IRB, Rugby Canada, the Japan Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Union of Russia and USA Rugby met in Tokyo to discuss the possibility of reviving the tournament under the Super Powers Cup name. November 2010 is the proposed start date. Further negotiations between the unions are expected.
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- Canada national rugby union team
- China national rugby union team
- Japan national rugby union team
- Russia national rugby union team
- United States national rugby union team