The competition will be played between three conferences comprising the following teams.
New Zealand Conference
Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders, Hurricanes
Brumbies, Reds, Rebels, Waratahs, Sunwolves
South Africa Conference
Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Jaguares
-120 match regular season plus seven-match finals series
-Three conferences (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
-18 rounds (16 matches per team, two bye weeks)
-Each team will play eight matches within its conference (four home and four away)
-Each team will play eight cross-conference matches – against four of the five teams from each of the other two conferences (four at home and four away)
-Each team will play 12 of the other teams within the season (85% of opposition teams which is up from 70% in 2016).
-Eight team Finals Series: Three Conference winners and; five wild card places – the next best performing teams based on competition points after the Conference winners regardless of -Conference. Conference winners and fourth-placed team on competition points will host quarter-finals.