Mon. Dec 16th, 2019

The Rugby Championship: How the World Cup effects fixtures

The Rugby ChampionshipThe Rugby Championship will begin just two weeks after the Super Rugby final with the Springboks hosting Australia at Ellis Park.

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The 2019 edition of the Southern hemisphere’s premier international competition, the Rugby Championship, will be a truncated one on account of the World Cup.

The Rugby Championship kicks off with the first of three rounds of action being played out on Saturday 20 July, two weeks after the Super Rugby final.

The Springboks will be able to assemble their squad sooner than the other sides in the competition but will have to play two of their three matches away from home.

The All Blacks likewise will play just one home game in the Rugby Championship, that match being the meeting with the Springboks at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The Springboks earned a shock victory at the venue last year with their sensational 36-34 triumph.

The Springboks play their opening match against the Wallabies at Ellis Park while the All Blacks begin with a trip to Argentina to face the Pumas in Buenos Aires.

The Wallabies and Argentina have the best of the draw, enjoying two matches at home both sides will host the All Blacks and will meet each other at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. That Rugby Championship match might have a little more edge to it than usual after former Wallabies skipper Phil Kearns called for the Jaguares Super Rugby franchise to be dropped from the competition. Kearns labelled the Jaguares a ‘Test team’ playing in a provincial championship. The Jaguares will contribute a large portion of the Argentina squad with the rest set to be drawn from the big money Northern Hemisphere clubs. The Pumas beat Australia in a fixture on the Gold Coast last year but lost to the Wallabies in a dead rubber in Salta in the final round.

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Kieran Read of the New Zealand All Blacks is tackled during The Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Argentina at Trafalgar Park on September 8, 2018 in Nelson, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

In the final round of fixtures the new Optus Stadium in Perth, opened in January 2018, will host its first Bledisloe Cup Test while the Springboks take on the Pumas at altitude in Salta.

As the top two teams, the All Blacks and Springboks have been given tougher draws but the men from New Zealand are firm favourites to claim a record-extending Rugby Championship.

There will be a two-week break between the second and third round matches, with the Rugby Championship set to conclude on 10 August 2019.

The Springboks will play an additional Test against the Pumas which will not form part of the Championship and the All Blacks and Wallabies will meet in a second Bledisloe Cup match that will also not be part of the tournament. The All Blacks host the Wallabies at Eden Park on 17 August, while the Pumas face the Springboks at Loftus on the same day.

2019 Rugby Championship fixtures

Saturday 20 July 17:05 South Africa vs Australia Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Saturday 20 July 20:05 Argentina vs New Zealand Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires
Saturday 27 July 09:35 New Zealand vs South Africa Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday 27 July 11:45 Australia vs Argentina Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 10 August 11:45 Australia vs New Zealand Optus Stadium, Perth
Saturday 10 August 21:40 Argentina vs South Africa Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta

2018 Rugby Championship results

18/08 Australia vs New Zealand ANZ Stadium, Sydney 38-13 (NZ)
18/08 South Africa vs Argentina Kings Park Stadium, Durban 34-21 (RSA)
25/08 New Zealand vs Australia Eden Park, Auckland 40-12 (NZ)
8/09 New Zealand vs Argentina Trafalgar Park, Nelson 46-24 (NZ)
8/09 Australia vs South Africa Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 23-18 (AUS)
15/09 New Zealand vs South Africa Westpac Stadium, Wellington 36-34 (RSA)
15/09 Australia vs Argentina Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast 23-19 (ARG)
29/09 South Africa vs Australia Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabath 23-12 (RSA)
29/09 Argentina vs New Zealand Estadio Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires 35-17 (NZ)
6/10 South Africa vs New Zealand Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria 32-30 (NZ)
6/10 Argentina vs Australia Salta 45-34 (AUS)

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