List of rugby union competitions

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The following is a list of notable rugby union competitions that are still currently in existence. This includes both international tournaments played by national Test teams and also domestic club and provincial competitions.

International tournaments[edit]

Name Participants First played Last played Frequency Notes
Rugby World Cup Top 12 teams from previous World Cup (the top 3 in each group) plus 8 nations from regional qualifying tournaments. 1987 2015 Quadrennial
Women's Rugby World Cup 12 top national women's teams 1991 2014 Quadrennial[1]
Six Nations Championship England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales 1883 2017 Annually Originally the Home Nations Championship, then the Five Nations with France's entry into the competition in 1910. Became the Six Nations when Italy was added in 2000.
Women's Six Nations Championship England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales 1996 2017 Annually Originally the Home International Championship. Became the Five Nations in 1999 when France joined. Spain was added in 2000, but Ireland did not play all the other countries in 2000 or 2001, making the first true Women's Six Nations the 2002 competition. Spain were replaced by Italy effective in 2007 after the competition was taken over by the (men's) Six Nations committee.
The Rugby Championship Argentina (since 2012), Australia, New Zealand, South Africa 1996 2016 Annually From its inception through 2011, the competition involved only Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and was known as the Tri Nations.
Canada Cup Canada, plus up to three other invitational teams. 1993 2005 Approximately biennial International women's tournament generally including the USA (missing only in 2005), plus New Zealand and/or England.
Churchill Cup Canada, England Saxons, United States and three invitational teams. 2003 2011 Annually The England Saxons are England's "A" side. The invitational teams were a combination of "A" sides of top-tier nations and senior sides of lower-tier nations. The 2011 edition was the last, as Canada and the USA are now included in the global Test calendar.
FIRA Women's European Championship Up to 16 European national teams 1988 2012 Annually Tournament for European women's national teams. Number of participants varies from year to year. The tournament is often divided into two "pools", dependent on playing strength. France and England, when they take part, normally enter "A" teams.
Rugby Europe International Championships 36 European national teams 2000 2017 Annually Excludes European sides in the Six Nations Tournament. Currently played over a single season on a single round-robin basis with the competition split into five divisions, with promotion and relegation.
World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup Fiji, Samoa, Tonga 2006 2016 Annually Originally Pacific Five Nations — replaced the Pacific Tri-Nations. The original teams were Australia A, the Junior All Blacks (New Zealand's official "A" side), and the three Pacific Island nations. In 2008, the New Zealand Māori replaced the Junior All Blacks. From 2010-2012, only the Pacific Island nations and Japan participated who were then joined by Canada and USA. Due to their inclusion in the Quadrangular tournament in South Africa, Samoa did not feature in the 2013 edition of the Pacific Nations Cup.,[2] to the competition in 2014. Canada, Japan, and the USA withdrew for the 2016 and 2017 editions due to commitments to 2019 Rugby World Cup qualification.
World Rugby Pacific Challenge Fiji Warriors, Junior Japan, Samoa A, Tonga A 2006 2017 Annually Originally Pacific Rugby Cup. Introduced in 2006 with two developmental sides each from Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. Since 2011, the three Pacific nations have been represented by their A sides, and Junior Japan (that country's A side) joined them as a core team in 2013. At various times, Super Rugby academy teams and Argentine developmental side Pampas XV have also featured.
Nations Cup Varies from year to year; the participants in the most recent edition in 2016 were Argentina XV, Italy A, Namibia, Romania, Spain, and Uruguay. 2006 2016 Annually Argentina XV were formerly known as Argentina A and Argentina Jaguars. The inaugural tournament in 2006 featured Argentina A, Italy A, Portugal and Russia.
Americas Rugby Championship Argentina XV, Brazil, Canada, Chile, United States, and Uruguay. 2009 2017 Annually Originally involved Canadian regional sides plus a USA developmental side and Argentina XV (then known as Argentina Jaguars). Later editions mostly featured national A sides, though Uruguay normally sent its senior national team. Following a hiatus in 2015 to accommodate that year's Rugby World Cup, the competition was relaunched in 2016 with its current lineup of teams, all senior national sides except for Argentina XV.
Asia Rugby Championship Top three Asian sides 2008 2017 Annually Originally known as the Asian Five Nations; the inaugural tournament in 2008 featured Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Arabian Gulf. Tournament renamed as Asia Rugby Championship in 2015, with the top division reduced to three teams playing in a home-and-away "Tri Nations" format. Yearly promotion and relegation with three lower divisions.

See also:

Club and provincial tournaments[edit]

Intercontinental[edit]

  • Super Rugby — teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Japan (known originally as Super 10 then Super 12 and later as Super 14; "Super Rugby" officially adopted from 2011). Also informally known as "Super 15".
  • Pro14 — now Guinness Pro14, because of the league's sponsorship by Guinness: provincial/regional teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. The competition began as the Celtic League, restricted to the three Celtic nations; became Pro12 when two Italian teams joined in 2010–11 and Pro14 when two South African teams joined in 2017–18.

Africa[edit]

South Africa[edit]

  • Currie Cup — South African provincial tournament, also featuring an invitational team from Namibia
  • Rugby Challenge — Launched in 2017 as the replacement for the Vodacom Cup, also featuring an invitational team from Namibia
  • Varsity Rugby — a two-tier annual South African inter-university competition
  • Gold Cup — an annual South African inter-club competition, also featuring invitational teams from Namibia and Zimbabwe

Kenya[edit]

  • Kenya Cup — The top tier rugby union competition in Kenya since 1970.

Americas[edit]

  • Americas Rugby Championship – Originated with four franchised Canadian teams, the Argentina Jaguars, and a "USA Select XV" (effectively the USA A national team). Relaunched in 2016 as the Western Hemisphere's equivalent to the Six Nations Championship; see the table of international competitions for more details.

Argentina[edit]

Brazil[edit]

Canada[edit]

United States[edit]

Uruguay[edit]

Asia[edit]

India[edit]

Japan[edit]

Malaysia[edit]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Europe[edit]

  • European Rugby Champions Cup — Replaced the Heineken Cup effective with the 2014–15 season, although it claims the history of the former competition as its own. European club, provincial and regional teams, currently from the countries that participate in the Six Nations.
  • European Rugby Challenge Cup — Replaced the original European Challenge Cup in 2014–15; also claims the history of its predecessor as its own. Second-tier European club, provincial and regional teams knock-out tournament, also involving all of the Six Nations countries, with possible involvement from lower-tier countries (see below).
  • European Rugby Continental Shield – Third-tier competition involving teams from Italy's Top12, plus clubs from lower-tier countries; determines two places in each year's Challenge Cup. Originally known as the European Rugby Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition; current name adopted in 2016–17.
  • Copa Ibérica de Rugby — Annual competition between Spanish and Portuguese clubs.
  • Anglo-Welsh CupEnglish and Welsh clubs knock-out tournament. From 1971–2005, open to all English clubs with no involvement from any other nation; from the 2005–06 season, has featured the 12 Premiership clubs and the four Welsh regional sides competing in Pro12.
  • British and Irish Cup — Tournament launched in 2009 featuring sides from second-level leagues in England and Wales, plus second-tier sides from Ireland and Scotland.
  • Regional Rugby Championship — Tournament launched in 2007 involving teams from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia.

England[edit]

Men[edit]
Women[edit]

France[edit]

Ireland[edit]

Italy[edit]

  • Top12 — Italian clubs, top tier
  • A Series — Italian clubs, second-level championship where winners can jump up to Top12.
  • B Series — Italian clubs, third-level league, winners can play on A Series.
  • C Series — Italian clubs, the lowest-tier for local teams. Winners are promoted to B Series.

Scotland[edit]

Wales[edit]

Austria[edit]

Belgium[edit]

Czech Republic[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Finland[edit]

Georgia[edit]

Germany[edit]

Malta[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

Norway[edit]

Poland[edit]

Portugal[edit]

Romania[edit]

Russia[edit]

Spain[edit]

Sweden[edit]

Ukraine[edit]

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Fiji[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Sevens tournaments[edit]

Other tournaments[edit]

International trophies[edit]

The trophies in this list are regularly contested between two nations. Some of the competitions for these trophies form part of other international tournaments, such as the Six Nations and The Rugby Championship.

Six Nations Trophies[edit]

Trophies in The Rugby Championship[edit]

Other Trophies[edit]

rugby union schedule by year[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ From second tournament in 1994 through 2014; new four-year cycle to be established in 2017
  2. ^ http://www.espn.co.uk/southafrica/rugby/story/174220.html
  3. ^ [1]