Melissa Woods
February 22, 2023 8:36AM

A guide to the Australian teams in the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season:-


2022 finish: 4th
Projected 2023 finish: 3rd

Major gains: Five-eighth Jack Debreczeni (West Harbour), winger Corey Toole (Rugby Sevens).

Talking point: Have the Brumbies covered a quartet of crucial losses including Wallabies guns Banks and Fainga'a? Just when they looked to be closing the gap to the NZ-based teams, they'll need new faces to step up and fill some yawning holes.

Melbourne Rebels

2022 finish: 10th
Projected 2023 finish: 10th

Major gains: Winger Monty Ioane (Italy), hooker Alex Mafi (Reds), Sam Talakai (Suntory)

Major losses: Back-rower Michael Wells (Force), centre Matt Toomua (Sagamihara), halfback Joe Powell (London Irish)

Talking point: After taking a big COVID-19 hit over two years the Rebels have no excuses this year. If they can't get fans through the gate using star power they definitely need to start winning more games and play finals to make a dent on the Melbourne landscape.

Queensland Reds

2022 finish: 7th
Projected 2023 finish: 6th

Major gains: Lock Luke Jones (Racing 92), prop Peni Ravai (Clermont).

Major losses: Prop Taniela Tupou (injured), back Hamish Stewart (Force), hooker Alex Mafi (Rebels)

Talking point: The Reds will be judged by their performances against New Zealand opposition after going 0-6 last season. With at least a third of the squad on the periphery of Wallabies calculations there should be no shortage of motivation.

NSW Waratahs

2022 finish: 6th
Projected 2023 finish: 5th

Major gains: Utility back Kurtley Beale (Racing 92), hooker Tolu Latu (Stade Francais), prop Tom Lambert (Glasgow Warriors), winger Nemani Nadolo (Leicester)

Major losses: Winger Alex Newsome (Clermont), centre Jamie Roberts (retired), winger James Ramm (Northampton), prop Ruan Smith (Lions).

Talking point: Expectations are high. However the Tahs will be without Beale for an indefinite period pending the outcome of off-season sexual assault charges. How well whoever fills the void performs will be vital to the side's playoff prospects.

Western Force

2022 finish: 9th
Projected 2023 finish: 9th

Major gains: Hooker Folau Fainga'a (Brumbies), back-rower Michael Wells (Rebels), utility back Bryce Hegarty (Leicester), five-eighth Hamish Stewart (Reds)

Major losses: Centre Kyle Godwin (Lyon), lock Jeremy Thrush (retired), flanker Fergus Lee-Warner (Worcester), centre Richard Kahui (retired)

Talking point: The Force lost a series of nail-biters last season and it cost them dearly, with the team missing out on a finals berth on points differential. Can they reverse the trend this year under new coach Simon Cron and new captain Michael Wells?