Photo credit: Stefanie
Rugby Union Corporate Hospitality in AustraliaRugby Union has long been a popular corporate event, particularly in the codes strongholds in NSW and QLD. Western Australia also has a strong Rugby Union following, thanks in part to a large South African expat community. Rugby Union has more of an international flavour of the two Rugby codes, although in 2011 the Super 15 tournament sees changes to its structure, allowing many fixtures featuring Australian teams playing each other, as opposed to playing New Zealand and South Africa teams.
Rugby Union Test Matches
In the winter months each year, the Australian national team, the Wallabies, host 1 to 2 touring teams and play a number of test matches against these teams across Australia. The Wallabies can play national teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy who all play each other during the Northern Hemisphere winter in the 6 Nations tournament. Other teams to have toured in the past include the New Zealand Maori and Argentina.
Following the completion of these touring side matches, the Wallabies then embark on the Tri Nations, a 3 way tournament featuring Australia, the New Zealand All-Blacks and the South African Springboks. Teams play each other 3 times, twice at home and once away one year, then once at home and twice away the next. Games are rotated around Australia, and matches are played at venues such as Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, ANZ Stadium in Sydney, The MCG and Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and Subiaco Oval in Perth.
The undoubted jewel in the crown of regular test matches (not the Rugby World Cup) is the Bledisloe Cup, a 3 game series featuring the Wallabies and All Blacks. Once played irregularly every few years, it is now played as part of the Tri Nations tournament. In 2009, a fourth test was played in Hong Kong as an exhibition match however now appears that it will be a mainstay of the Wallabies test match schedule.
Super 15 (formerly Super 14)
In 2011, the worlds premier provincial Rugby competition the Super 14 expands to the Super 15. The Super 15 consists of 5 teams each from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The new format of Super 15 sees 3 conferences playing each other, then playoffs for an eventual winner. This ensures that teams play more games at home against their fellow country teams. Australian teams consist of the NSW Waratahs, ACT Brumbies, QLD Reds, VIC Rebels and Western Force (WA) teams.