Super Cup (rugby union)

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Not to be confused with Super Rugby.
Toshiba Super Cup
Super Cup Toshiba logo.png
Logo introduced for the 2005 tournament
Sport Rugby union
Inaugural season 2003
Ceased 2005

The Super Cup was an annual international rugby union competition contested from 2003 to 2005 by national teams from Canada, Japan, Russia and the United States. For the first two years of competition the tournament was known as the Super Powers Cup.


2003 Results
Date Winner Score Loser
May United States 69–27 Japan
May Russia 43–34 Japan
July Russia 30–21 USA Selects

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 2003 competition, defeating the United States 30–21 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.[1]

2004 Results
Date Winner Score Loser
May 27 Canada 23–20 United States
May 27 Japan 29–12 Russia
May 30 Japan 34–21 Canada
May 30 United States 41–11 Russia

For the 2004 competition Canada joined the competition. 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 and Canada 34–21 in the process. The United States defeated Russia in the third-place playoff.

2005 Results
Date Winner Score Loser
May 25 Canada 30–26 United States
May 25 Japan 23–16 Romania
May 29 Canada 15–10 Japan
May 29 United States 28–22 Romania

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 United States 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 (since 2006), Canada and United States (since 2013), as well as the IRB Nations Cup and IRB Tbilisi Cup, involving European, African and South American teams.

In February 2009, representatives from the IRB, Rugby Canada, the Japan Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Union of Russia and USA Rugby met to discuss the possibility of reviving the tournament under the Super Powers Cup name, beginning in November 2010, but nothing materialized.[2][3]


Year Winner Tournament location Refs
2003  Russia San Francisco, Tokyo, Krasnoyarsk [4][5]
2004  Japan Tokyo [6]
2005  Canada Tokyo [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ : Russia take Super Powers Cup[dead link]
  2. ^ Nigel Melville Direct : What a Week!
  3. ^ Nigel Melville Direct : A thrilling rugby weekend - domestic and abroad!
  4. ^ Super Powers Cup 2003. ESPN Scrum. 19 July 2004
  5. ^ "China fixtures postponed". International Rugby Board. 1 May 2003. Archived from the original on 8 March 2004. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  6. ^ Super Powers Cup 2004. ESPN Scrum. 30 May 2004
  7. ^ Toshiba Super Cup 2005. ESPN Scrum. 29 May 2005