South Pacific Championship
|Sport||Rugby union football|
|Replaced by||Super 6 (1992)|
Super 10 (1993)
|Number of teams||6|
|Country||Australia (2 teams) |
Fiji (1 team)
New Zealand (3 teams)
|Most titles||Auckland (4 titles)|
The South Pacific Championship (also known as SPC) was a rugby union competition that was introduced in 1986 and contested through to 1990. The competition featured six teams - three provinces from New Zealand; Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington, two Australian teams; Queensland and New South Wales, and one team representing Pacific Island rugby, Fiji.
The South Pacific Championship was the predecessor of the Super 6 and Super 10, as well as the professional-era Super 12 and Super 14 tournaments that subsequently expanded to become the Super Rugby competition.
The AGC South Pacific Championship was organised by the New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU) on an invitational basis. The impetus for starting the competition was to provide regular matches for the New South Wales and Queensland teams in an attempt to compete against rugby league football - which was expanding its domestic competition in Australia.
The New Zealand provincial teams Auckland and Canterbury were invited into the competition due to their close links with the New South Wales and Queensland unions respectively. A third New Zealand team, Wellington, was invited due to having an international airport in the city. Fiji was also invited into the competition as, at the time, it was the most competitive of the Pacific rugby teams.
The South Pacific Championship was dominated by New Zealand teams and, most particularly, by Auckland. Canterbury won the first title in 1986 and shared the second title with Auckland in 1987, but then Auckland won outright for the next three seasons in a row.
The competition collapsed five years after it began, when the NSWRU found itself in financial difficulties before the 1991 season was started.
- 1986 Canterbury
- 1987 Auckland and Canterbury
- 1988 Auckland
- 1989 Auckland
- 1990 Auckland
- 1991 No competition
After the demise of the South Pacific Championship, with no tournament played in 1991, the competition was relaunched as the Super 6 in 1992. This followed a resurgence of rugby fortunes after the 1991 Rugby World Cup. The Super 6 title was won by Queensland (Australia) in 1992.
In 1993, the competition was revamped and expanded into the Super 10. South Africa's top three provincial teams were included and a fourth New Zealand province was added. Western Samoa, being the winner of the Pacific Tri-Nations, replaced Fiji. The Super 10 was won by Transvaal (South Africa) in 1993, and by Queensland (Australia) in 1994 and 1995.
- 1992 Queensland
- 1993 Transvaal
- 1994 Queensland
- 1995 Queensland