Hurricanes

Wellington, New Zealand

A year after falling at the final hurdle in the Super Rugby final against the Highlanders, the Hurricanes again topped the regular table in 2016 to win the New Zealand Conference trophy and then went on to beat the Lions in the final and become Super Rugby Champions for the first time.

In 2015 the Hurricanes finished the regular season 14-points clear of the pack in top spot. The stage was set when they duly booked a home final against the upstart Highlanders, however the finals curse that seems to afflict teams based in New Zealand’s capital city was not to be lifted as the Highlanders surged to victory.

With the All Blacks centre pairing of Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu riding off into the French sunset, it seemed the Hurricanes’ window to challenge for the title may have closed. Not so. In 2016 the Hurricanes again topped the ladder and powered their way into the final, proving just how much talent the region has to draw upon.

With former players including stars like Christian Cullen and Tana Umaga in the 1990s and 2000s the Hurricanes have always been among the competition’s most entertaining teams and are sure to be among the title favourites at the Brisbane Global Tens in 2017.