Only four times in Super Rugby history has the team with the best defensive record in the regular season lifted the trophy but effective defence remains a cornerstone of a tilt towards championship success.
Australia players Michael Hooper (Waratahs), James Slipper (Reds), Sam Carter (Brumbies), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Force) and Nic Stirzaker (Rebels) were on hand for the 2017 Australian Super Rugby launch in Brisbane.
SANZAAR has confirmed the fixture list for the 2017 Super Rugby tournament. Amendments have been made to several kick-off times and the venues for matches previously 'to be announced' have now also been confirmed.
The return of Wallaby George Smith to Super Rugby is one of the key storylines for the Australia Conference in 2017. He represented the Wallabies on 111 occasions and is still one of the top flankers in the game.