Brumbies

Canberra, Australia

Originally perceived as the poor cousin of Australian rugby when they were included in Super 12 in 1996 alongside traditional powerhouses Queensland and New South Wales, the Brumbies immediately set about upsetting as many apple carts as George Gregan and Stephen Larkham could set their silky hands upon.

In their first season the Brumbies finished fifth – well above the Waratahs and just a point outside the semifinals. The next year, 1997, they came second, only losing out to the Jonah Lomu-inspired Blues in the final.

Another final loss followed in 2000 when they went down to the Crusaders, but the Brumbies broke through the next season, topping the ladder and defeating the Sharks in the final to claim the first of their two titles. The post-Gregan/Larkham years didn’t deliver the same levels of success, however the Brumbies don’t tend to stay down long. In fact, in 21 years of Super Rugby they have had a positive win loss ratio in every season except for 4 – and they have appeared in the Super Rugby playoffs in each of the last four years. With Larkham now coaching the side, the Brumbies were once again the best-performed Australian team in 2016.  The Aussie heavyweights are title contenders for sure.