Based in Canberra, the Brumbies have become a central part of Australia’s rugby landscape since the club’s Super 12 tournament debut in 1996. They have reached five Super Rugby finals in that time, claiming overall victory on two occasions.
The Melbourne Rebels have gone from strength to strength since the Victorian club was founded in 2010. They debuted in the Super 15 tournament in 2011 and have been edging up the ladder in subsequent seasons.
One of the original Australian teams to compete in the Super 12 competition, the Brisbane-based Queensland Reds have remained key players in Australian rugby. They have come close to the title numerous times and were crowned Super Rugby champions in 2011 after beating the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium.
Representing rugby-mad New South Wales, the Waratahs have finished in the top three of the Super Rugby ladder seven times, including highly coveted first place after a flying 2014 season. With five capped Wallabies in their 26-man match day squad for the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, they were a force to be reckoned with.
The Auckland-based Blues represent the Northland, North Harbour and Auckland unions and are three-time champions of the Super Rugby competition, when it was known as the Super 12. After a thrilling first up draw with a power-packed Queensland Reds side in the 2017 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, they were defeated by Samoa and the Crusaders.
The Liam Messam-captained Chiefs from Hamilton surged to the title at the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, defeating the Crusaders in the final after battling past the Queensland Reds in the quarter-finals and South Africa’s Bulls in the semi-finals.
The Crusaders, from Christchurch, added yet another Super Rugby win to their name, concluding a cracking 2017 season by taking out the title. Beaten finalists in Brisbane earlier this year, the Crusaders will be out to go one better at the 2018 tournament.
Not to be underestimated in the Super Rugby context, the Highlanders were no different at the inaugural Brisbane Global Rugby Tens. Quarter-finalists in 2017, they will be among the title favourites again in 2018.
Semi-finalists in 2017 when they fielded a team containing All Blacks stars Nehe Milner-Skudder, Jordie Barrett, Cory Jane and Ngani Laumape and 2017 breakthrough star Vince Aso, the Hurricanes will again mount a strong challenge in Brisbane next year.
Fiji really cemented their place on the international stage with a gold medal-winning performance at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Hailing from the rugby-mad Pacific island, the Fijian team will be sure to attract plenty of support as the side makes its debut at the 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
Based in Ota, in Gunma prefecture, the Panasonic Wild Knights were formed in 1960 and quickly established themselves as one of the top rugby sides in Japan. Just last year they clinched their third consecutive Top League title under former Wallabies and Crusaders coach Robbie Deans. Japanese rugby continues to go from strength to strength – particularly following the national side’s impressive showing at Rugby World Cup 2015.
Top 14 club Section Paloise will make the trip to Brisbane from Pau in the south of France. As well as French support, New Zealand supporters will certainly be watching the European club with interest as they will be fielding former All Blacks Conrad Smith, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor.