We are currently in the sixteenth season of Super Rugby and at the time of writing, four teams remain in the bid to become the 2011 Champions.
But before they do this, let us take a look back at the history of the competition and remember all those who came before them who were able to march into the pantheon of greatness.
Super Rugby has come a long way in its history. It started out as a 12-team competition in 1996 and despite rugby having just turned professional, most of the teams operated in a very amateur way, some only practising twice a week. But it evolved and became more and more professional every year. In 2006, two new teams were brought into the competition, the Force and the Cheetahs. Then again in 2011 we saw the introduction of the Melbourne Rebels, making for a 15-team competition.
Over the years, every team has had their moment in the spotlight as being one of the teams to beat, just as every team has had their darkest hour down near the bottom of the ladder. Despite this, only four teams have ever won championships, showing that winning in this competition is perhaps a culture built within a franchise, rather than just having the best players.
All of these winning teams were undoubtedly great, with their share of great players, memorable performances and distinct characteristics.
But how good are they all compared to one another? What would happen if the all conquering Blues teams of the early years were to take on the Bulls sides of recent times?
In this list I've attempted to rank all the champions to find who was truly the greatest. Rankings are based largely on how well the teams performed and how dominant they were, rather than by how good they were on paper.
And lastly, while reading remember, this is only one man's opinion!