The 2019 Super Rugby season is underway and promises to provide fans with tons of excitement and surprises during its 18-week season.
New Zealand’s Crusaders are the odds-on favorite to repeat as champions, but it will be interesting to see if any opponent can take advantage of the two-week loss of many of the Crusaders’ starters during Rugby’s World Cup competition.
For those who are not familiar with Super Rugby, this is a 15-team professional rugby league divided into three divisions- the Australian, New Zealand, and the South African divisions. Japan fields a team in the Australian division, while Argentina has an entry in the South African.
The teams play a 14-week regular season, followed by an 8-team, single-elimination playoff schedule, similar to the United States’ NFL model.
Super Rugby has its roots in southern hemisphere competitions that began in the 1980s. It came into its own as a 12-team league in 1996, growing to 18 teams before consolidating to the current selections in 2018.
Live streaming the Super Rugby season
Fans of Super Rugby can find a link to live stream feeds of each game from the league’s official website. The feed is provided by RugbyPass.com, which can also be accessed directly.
Every game of the 2019 season is available for live streaming on RugbyPass.com, including the playoff series.
ESPN+ will also let you watch live stream Super Rugby games in North and South America. ESPN+ is an add-on service not included with most ESPN television packages. It costs about $5 per month and includes several rugby leagues among a wide variety of international and domestic sports.
Subscribers to ESPN+ can also watch archived versions of each game on demand, which comes in handy for games played in distant time zones.
Official cable broadcasters
Super Rugby awards several broadcast television deals in the team-based countries. These include Foxtel (Australia), Sky Sports (New Zealand and Great Britain), J Sports (Japan), and Super Sports (Africa).
ESPN owns the broadcast rights in North and South America. Unfortunately, they have no plans to broadcast Super Rugby on any of their direct network channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, or ESPNews).
Super Rugby’s website says that there might be games on ESPN3, which is a live stream channel. It may or may not be included in your current TV provider’s offerings, but often requires a specific sign-in using your cable company data. (Call your provider for more information about ESPN3)
Watching Super Rugby live stream action
There is good news for the growing number of television viewers who already cut the cable or satellite cord and enjoy live stream internet television. Odds are your internet TV provider has unlocked ESPN3 on WatchESPN, allowing you to enjoy any Super Rugby games the network decides to broadcast there.
Sling TV is the only live stream television provider to include ESPN3 as a regular channel. You will need to purchase their Orange package of networks ($25/month). Unfortunately, many of their other sports offerings are in their Blue Package, so you might want to bump up to their combined Orange and Blue for $40/month.
DirecTV Now includes the ESPN App, through which customers can find the ESPN3 streaming channel. This is similar to what PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV subscribers need to do if they want to watch ESPN3.
Fubo TV still offers no ESPN products. Their subscribers will not find Super Rugby via their provider.
Watch Super Rugby by using a VPN
For fans who want easier access to Super Rugby contests, there is the virtual network (VPN) option. Credible VPN services let your computer sign into another server located in a country where Super Rugby is being live streamed.
In this case, you would want a company with excellent security to protect your identity and safeguard your computer from viruses, super-fast connection speeds so you can watch live action sports in high quality, and with servers in either Australia, New Zealand, Africa, or Great Britain.
Once you connect to a local server, simply find the appropriate live stream service (Sky Sports, Super Sport, or Foxtel) and sign up to watch exciting Super Rugby action.
ExpressVPN and Nord VPN are two services that offer 24-hour live customer service, as well as military-grade encryption and security programs and super high-speed connections. Both companies promise to protect your browsing history by never keeping logs of your activity.
IPVanish is another excellent VPN service with top-notch security and encryption, along with fast connection speeds. They have good customer service, but it is not live 24/7 like ExpressVPN or Nord.
Watch Super Rugby on the go
VPN services can be used from your smartphone or tablet, too. Australia’s Foxtel (Foxtel Go) and Britain’s Sky Sports (Sky Go) each offer apps that let you follow all your favorite sports from wherever you are.
ESPN+ subscribers also have access to the ESPN app and have live or archived programming at their fingertips.
There is a reason Super Rugby is gaining in popularity every year. It is awesome to watch as some of the best players in the world attack the field.
With so many live stream and VPN options, you should join the fun. You’ll be a super fan of Super Rugby in no time.