Vodacom Super Rugby
Cape trophy drought set to end
SA Super rugby Conference trophy (File)
Cape Town - SANZAR has unveiled the trophies that will be presented to the respective Super Rugby Conference Winners in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The South African trophy will make its first appearance on Boots 'n All on SuperSport on Thursday this week.
The picture shows an artist's design for the trophy - the original is still in transit.
The Reds have already been confirmed as the Australian Conference winners, whilst the New Zealand and South African Conference winners will be determined during this weekend's final round of regular competition.
But the Stormers look set to win the South African Cup, unless the Bulls beat the Sharks by a massive score, and they fail to gain any points against the Cheetahs.
If the Bulls win, and gain 5 points, and the Stormers lose with nothing, it will go to the most games won. And in that case they will still be level. Points difference will then come into the equation, and the Stormers are much better off at 133 than the Bulls' 49. So, barring a small miracle, the Newlands trophy cabinet looks set to host its first trophy since Western Province won the Currie Cup in 2001.
The expansion of the Super Rugby tournament from 2011 will see the introduction of a "family" of silverware including a brand new Super Rugby champions trophy, to be presented on 9 July, as well as the three Conference winners' trophies.
The new Super Rugby champions trophy will be unveiled in the next few weeks.
"With the introduction of a Conference system it was pertinent that the respective winners be presented with a trophy for their achievements," said SANZAR CEO, Greg Peters.
"It also creates a further opportunity for the title sponsors in each country to leverage their association with the tournament.
"The new Finals format, with six teams involved, also means that a non-Conference winner could claim overall honours and the Super Rugby champions trophy".
The trophies were designed by leading Sydney-based consultancy, Blue Sky, and manufactured by Box & Dice, a specialised prototype and production company, also based in Sydney.
The two companies have worked on a number of multi-award winning design projects, amongst them the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch.
Design agencies in each of the three SANZAR countries submitted proposals.
"The chosen trophy design reflects the core elements of Rugby - tradition, physical toughness, camaraderie, and skill," said Peters.
The shape of the trophy is cantered around three curved legs, representing the three Conferences.
The Conference trophies contain panels inside the legs that correspond to the respective country; gold for Australia, black for New Zealand, and green for South Africa.
The legs of the trophy reach upward referencing the arms of players in a lineout, and the legs also create the shape of a rugby ball in the centre of the trophy. The top of each trophy has a cup to allow for the tradition of a celebratory drink.
The trophies were made using the latest materials and manufacturing processes to create the refined detail and precise forms of the design.