By Phoebe Street

Rugby Europe, the regional governing body for rugby across the continent, and international body World Rugby have today unveiled a new clubs competition for emerging markets in the sport.

The new competition, to be held on an annual basis, will be known as the Rugby Europe Super Cup.

Rugby Europe is responsible for European competitions not involving the major rugby nations, and organises more than 80 international games and 20 rugby competitions each year.

The first edition of the Super Cup is due to kick off on 18 September.

The competition was presented today by Rugby Europe’s president Octavian Morariu and chief executive Florent Marty who believe it has the potential to change the future landscape of European rugby.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Morariu said: “The launch of the Rugby Europe Super Cup is the result of a long process to create the key-milestone in the progression of our unions. Thanks to this annual competition, players will experience the high-performance level regularly and the national teams will benefit from this permanent training. This is also an opportunity for Rugby Europe to promote European Rugby and open new territories for sponsors and media."

The Super Cup, Rugby Europe's first clubs competition, will rank below the established Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, which are organised by the European Professional Club Rugby.

World Rugby is to provide financial and logistical support.

In a statement, Bill Beaumont, chairman of World Rugby, said: “World Rugby’s strategic mission is to make rugby a global sport for all. The Rugby Europe Super Cup launched today is an exciting growth opportunity across Europe where rugby appetite and potential is significant.

“Importantly, this competition will bridge the gap between domestic and international competition for the nations involved, reflecting our ambition to increase the overall competitiveness of the international game. I would like to extend my thanks to all involved and look forward to the Rugby Europe Super Cup kicking off.”

The Super Cup is intended to help drive growth of the sport both commercially and in terms of participants and fans.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday, Morariu said it would ensure more regular exposure for European rugby.

The Super Cup will feature a mix of professional clubs and franchise teams, and will create a high-performance pathway for pan-European rugby talent and national teams.

This year’s first edition will comprise of eight teams which will be divided into two conferences for initial round robin stage.

The Eastern Conference:

  • Georgia- The Black Lion
  • Israel- The Tel-Aviv Heat
  • Russia- Enisey-Stm
  • Russia- Lokomotiv Penza

The Western Conference:

  • Belgium- The Brussels Devils
  • Netherlands- The Delta
  • Portugal- The Lusitanos
  • Spain- The Castilla Y Leon Iberians

Each team will play home and away fixtures in six rounds, two in September, two in October and two in December.

The top two teams of each group will proceed to the semi-finals, which will be played in April next year, with the pool winners to host the games.

The final, which will crown the first-ever Super Cup winner, will take place on the home soil of the team which has the best record in May 2022.

In future editions, the final will be staged at a neutral venue.

In terms of the teams participating, Marty revealed there is a benchmark which each team needs to meet in order to be accepted into the competition, such as their social media following and younger talent development.

In addition, a revenue distribution policy will be in place to reward teams based on their level of performance in matches as well as on external factors such as the quality of the grass, their infrastructure and their digital media following.

The budget for this year’s Super Cup is €600,000 ($708,000)

The competition will be operated under a fully centralised media and sponsorship rights model.

There are plans for broadcast partners in Europe and beyond the continent, which will provide coverage of all 27 matches on television and via digital media platforms.

Last year, Rugby Europe appointed Sports Media Venture, the sports and entertainment media distribution and consultancy company, and River Media Partners, the independent UK-based sports media agency, as its marketing and sales partners

Looking into the future, Morariu and Marty said that they look to scale up the competition and extend its participation reach to new countries, with potentially 16 teams involved.

The addition or renewal of Super Cup teams will be conducted on a two year basis, which will be dependant upon  performance on and off the pitch.

Morariu also raised the prospect in future of a Women's Super Cup if the men's competition proves to be a success.

Rugby Europe is also in talks with the EPCR over the potential for the top team in the Super Cup to qualify for the Challenge Cup although this has yet to be confirmed.