List of rugby union competitions
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.
- 1 International tournaments
- 2 Club and provincial tournaments
- 2.1 International
- 2.2 Africa
- 2.3 Americas
- 2.4 Asia
- 2.5 Europe
- 2.6 Oceania
- 3 Sevens tournaments
- 4 Other tournaments
- 5 International trophies
- 6 rugby union schedule by year
- 7 Notes and references
|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|
|Six Nations Championship||England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales||1883||2016||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||2015||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||2015||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.|
|European Nations Cup||36 European national teams||2000||2012-2014||Annually||Excludes European sides in the Six Nations Tournament. Played over two years on home and away basis with the competition split into three divisions. Including sub-divisions, the competition includes 7 levels, with promotion and relegation.|
|Pacific Nations Cup||Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga||2006||2013||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., to the competition in 2014.|
|Nations Cup||Varies from year to year; the 2013 participants have been Argentina Jaguars, Italy AI, Romania, and Russia.||2006||2013||Annually||The Argentina Jaguars were formerly known as Argentina A, and the Emerging Springboks are South Africa's A side. The inaugural tournament in 2006 featured Argentina A, Italy A, Portugal and Russia.|
|Asian 5 Nations||Top five Asian sides||2008||2013||Annually||The inaugural tournament in 2008 featured Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Arabian Gulf. Yearly promotion and relegation with three lower divisions.|
- Four Nations Tournament — Belgium, Spain, Welsh club XV, France amateur
- Pan-American Championship — Uruguay, Canada, United States and Argentina
- South American Rugby Championship
- Super Cup — Canada, Japan, Russia and United States (formerly called the Super Powers Cup)
- Under 19 Rugby World Championship — Worldwide (defunct)
- Under 21 Rugby World Championship — Worldwide (defunct)
- IRB Junior World Championship — First-tier worldwide competition for under-20 men; replaces Under 19 and Under 21 World Championships starting in 2008
- IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy — Second-tier worldwide competition for under-20 men
- Autumn internationals — A name which refers to a series of Tests which take place usually in November each year in the Northern Hemisphere
- Africa Cup — The main tournament for African nations.
- CAR Super 16 — A regional tournament for African nations below the Africa Cup.
- Viking Tri-nations Rugby A rugby tournament Played by Norway, Denmark, and since 2011 Sweden.
Club and provincial tournaments
- 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".
- Currie Cup — South African provincial tournament
- Vodacom Cup — South African provincial tournament for developmental sides. Has also included a team from Namibia at two different times in the past, most recently in 2010 and 2011, and also featured a team from Argentina from 2010 to 2013.
- Americas Rugby Championship – Four franchised Canadian teams, the Argentina Jaguars, and a "USA Select XV" (effectively the USA A national team)
- North America 4 - Predecessor to the Americas Rugby Championship; featured franchise teams from the USA and Canada
- Nacional de Clubes - Club competition in Argentina
- Rugby Super League - US national club competition, which ran from 1997 to 2012.
- USA Rugby Elite Cup - replaced the Rugby Super League completion, but only ran for one year in 2013.
- PRO Rugby - the first professional rugby competition in the US, commenced in April 2016 with five teams.
- Club Championship - Club competition in Uruguay
- Top League Champions Cup - Japanese club teams (end of season knockout tournament)
- Top League - Japanese club teams
- Clifford Cup - Sri Lanka Division 'A' teams (end of season knockout tournament)
- Sri Lanka Rugby Championship (Dialog Rugby League) - Sri Lanka Division 'A' club teams
- European Rugby Champions Cup — To be launched in the 2014–15 season. European club, provincial and regional teams, currently from the countries that participate in the Six Nations.
- European Rugby Challenge Cup — Also to be launched in 2014–15. 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 Qualifying Competition – Third-tier competition involving teams from Italy's National Championship of Excellence, plus clubs from lower-tier countries; will determine two places in each year's Challenge Cup.
- Copa Ibérica de Rugby — Annual competition between Spanish and Portuguese clubs.
- Heineken Cup — Top-tier competition replaced by the European Rugby Champions Cup after the 2013–14 season.
- European Challenge Cup — Second-tier competition replaced by the European Rugby Challenge Cup after the 2013–14 season.
- European Shield (defunct) — Knock-out tournament involving teams eliminated in the first round of the Challenge Cup. Scrapped after the 2004–05 season.
- Aviva Premiership - English clubs, top tier
- RFU Championship - English clubs, second tier
- National League 1
- National League 2 North
- National League 2 South
- Northern Division - North 2 East
- Midlands 6 East (NW)
- Top 14 — French clubs, top tier
- Rugby Pro D2 - French clubs, second tier
- Fédérale 1
- Fédérale 2
- Fédérale 3
- Challenge Yves du Manoir
- Coupe de l'Espérance
- Coupe de France
United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy
- Pro12 — now Guinness Pro12, because of the league's sponsorship by Guinness: provincial/regional teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. Two Italian teams joined in 2010–11.
- Anglo-Welsh Cup — English 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 the Celtic League.
- 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.
- All Ireland League (AIL/AIB League) — Irish clubs from all 32 counties.
- National Championship of Excellence — Italian clubs, top tier
- A Series — Italian clubs, second-level championship where winners can jump up to Excellence Championship.
- 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.
- Professional Rugby League - Russian club competition
Former Soviet Union
- Pacific Rugby Cup - Franchise teams from Fiji, Tonga & Samoa
- National Rugby Championship - Inaugural season in 2014
- Australian Provincial Championship - Offseason competition between Australia's Super Rugby teams; only season in 2006
- Shute Shield - Sydney and regional NSW club teams
- Tooheys New Cup - Sydney club teams
- New South Wales Suburban Rugby Union - lower level suburban rugby in Sydney, the largest centrally administered rugby competition in the world.
- Queensland Premier Rugby - Queensland club competition
- Colonial Cup — Fiji club competition
- Sukuna Bowl — Fiji Police vs Fiji Military
- Digicel Cup — Fiji's Local competition between 12 Districts
- Mitre 10 Cup — New Zealand professional provincial tournament
- Heartland Championship — New Zealand amateur provincial tournament
- Ranfurly Shield — New Zealand provincial challenge trophy
- Rugby World Cup Sevens — Sponsored by the IRB, and held every four years, this is the highest prize in the Sevens version of the game. However, due to the upcoming introduction of sevens to the Olympics in 2016, the next edition in 2013 will be the last.
- IRB Sevens World Series — Annual IRB-sponsored series of tournaments for men's national Sevens teams. As of the most recent 2013–14 series, the events in the series are:
- IRB Women's Sevens World Series — Annual IRB-sponsored series of tournaments for women's national Sevens teams. As of the most recent 2013–14 series, the events are::
- The National Schools Sevens - held at Rosslyn Park, in England, the biggest sevens competition in the world. News, photos and up to the minute results can be found on the official website . Results can also be seen on The Schools' Rugby Website
- Commonwealth Games — Quadrennial; most recent tournament in 2006
- Amsterdam Sevens
- Bangkok Sevens
- Benidorm Sevens
- Bogota Sevens
- Caldy Sevens
- Cape Fear Sevens
- Caribbean Sevens
- Cayman Sevens
- Cwmtawe Sevens
- Heidelberg Sevens
- Henley Sevens
- Kinsale Sevens
- Kiama Sevens
- Lisbon Sevens
- Melrose Sevens
- Middlesex Sevens
- Neuchatel Sevens
- New York Sevens
- Northern Sevens
- Punta del Este Sevens
- Rome Sevens
- Safari Sevens
- Scandinavian Sevens
- Singapore Sevens
- Sofia Sevens
- Santa Teresa Sevens
- Sri Lanka Sevens
- Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament held annually in Japan
- English Colts Club Knockout Cup — Held annually
- Ulster Schools Cup — Annual schools competition
- Munster Schools Senior Cup — Annual schools competition
- Craven Week — Annual South Africa schools competition
- Bingham Cup — Held every two years, this is the largest international gay rugby tournament and honours 9/11 hero, Mark Bingham
- Rugby union at the Maccabiah Games: representative XVs from various countries have been taking part in the Maccabiah Games since 1981.
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
- Six Nations Championship Trophy, since 1993
- Triple Crown Trophy, since 2006
- Calcutta Cup — England and Scotland, since 1879
- Centenary Quaich - Ireland and Scotland, since 1989
- Millennium Trophy — England and Ireland, since 1988
- Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy — France and Italy, since 2007
Trophies in The Rugby Championship
- Bledisloe Cup — Australia and New Zealand, since 1931
- Mandela Challenge Plate — Australia and South Africa, since 2000
- Freedom Cup — New Zealand and South Africa, since 2004
- Puma Trophy — Argentina and Australia
- Anexartisias Cup (Independence Cup) — Cyprus and Greece
- Antim Cup — Georgia and Romania
- Cook Cup — Australia and England
- Dave Gallaher Trophy — France and New Zealand
- Elgon Cup — Kenya and Uganda
- Hillary Shield — England and New Zealand
- Hopetoun Cup — Australia and Scotland
- James Bevan Trophy — Australia and Wales
- Lansdowne Cup — Australia and Ireland
- Prince William Cup — South Africa and Wales
- Trophée des Bicentenaires — Australia and France
- Tom Richards Trophy— Australia and the British and Irish Lions
- Raeburn Shield— Hypothetical World Title Shield
rugby union schedule by year
|Rugby union schedule for 2010|
|H. Cup||Six Nations Championship||Heineken Cup||Mid-Year Tests||H. Cup||End of year Int'ls||H. Cup|
|Guinness Premiership||Aviva Premiership|
|Celtic League||Celtic League|
|Top 14||Top 14|
|Top League||Top League|
|Pacific Rugby Cup||Churchill Cup||ITM Cup|
|Super 14||Pacific Nations Cup||Tri Nations|
Notes and references
- Since second tournament in 1994