Who are the worst Super Rugby debutants?

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The Jaguares and the Sunwolves are currently finding it tough going in their debut season of Super Rugby and that got me thinking – who is the worst debutant to the comp?

The Force, the Kings and the Rebels have all been new to Super Rugby and know first hand what it’s like to compete in one of the world’s toughest rugby competitions.

The headline?

It’s really really tough.

Just some trends before we get into the data:

  • No debutant has ever won more than 3 games
  • All previous debutants have ended last in their debut season

That said, let’s look at a couple of the other debutants for context before making a call on who the kakkest really is.

Western Force

Debut season: 2006
Log position: 14th (last)
Played: 14
Won: 1
Drew: 2
Lost: 10

The Force entered the 2006 comp with a good squad, a good coach and a whole lot of fan support but ended up coming unstuck – except against the Stormers (ouch). Perennial strugglers the Force have boasted players like Nathan Sharpe, James ‘o Connor and Matt Giteau on their roster but are yet to really make an impact.

LeftBack performance rating: 2/10

Melbourne Rebels

Debut season: 2011
Log position: 15th (last)
Played: 16
Won: 3
Lost: 13

In comparison to the Force, the Rebels actually never had a bad first season. They managed to win 3 games, knocking over the Brumbies, Canes and the Force – before limping home in last place. That said, they took a couple of pastings and while James ‘o Connor and Scott Higginbotham spent some time here – they too have really struggled to win consistently.

LeftBack performance rating: 3/10

Southern Kings

Debut season: 2013
Log position: 15th (last)
Played: 16
Won: 3
Drew: 1
Lost: 12

Out of all the teams in this list – for me – the Kings made the biggest impact in their debut season. They played in front of packed stadiums, played with flair and were able to get on top of a couple of tournament big names like the Highlanders and even drew with the Brumbies – all with a roster devoid of real star power.

LeftBack performance rating: 4/10

Jaguares:

Debut season: 2016
Log position: 14th
Played: 8
Won: 1
Lost: 7

The Jaguares have been a disappointment to say the least. They boast 13 players that will be swapping the black and orange for the blue and white of the Pumas in a couple of months – yet they have only managed to win 1 game – a remarkable come from behind 34 – 33 win over the Cheetahs in game one. The Jags game plan in not quite conducive to winning Super Rugby games but in time – they will get better.

LeftBack performance rating: 3/10

Sunwolves:

Debut season: 2016
Log position: 15th
Played: 8
Won: 1
Lost: 7

For me, the worst addition to the sacred competition – to date – has been the men from Japan. They have really been atrocious. Case in point here was the 92 – 17 pounding they took at the hands of an average Cheetahs side – the mind shudders at what would’ve happened that have been the Saders, Chiefs or even the Canes. The team has some potential but if they want to go places they should get over the once off victory their nation had against the Springboks and move on.

LeftBack performance rating: 0.5/10

There you have it guys – our opinion on the worst debutant season in Super Rugby. What’s your thoughts? Wrong? Right? Argue? Good! Hit us with a tweet @leftbacks or drop us a comment below – we’d love to hear from you.

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