The Southern Hemisphere’s pre-eminent international competition gets underway on Friday 17 July when the three-time winners of The Rugby Championship, the All Blacks, host Argentina in Christchurch while the Wallabies and Springboks lock horns in Brisbane the following night.
The condensed three-round championship sees teams face each other once, with a champion to be crowned on August 8, before a stand-alone round serves as final preparation for September’s much-anticipated Rugby World Cup.
The full draw, including venues and kick-off times is now available with the exception of the Argentina v South Africa clash on 15 August which will take place in Buenos Aires at a stadium to be confirmed by Unión Argentina de Rugby in the coming weeks.
The first match – a Friday night battle between New Zealand and Argentina – will serve as AMI Stadium’s debut match in The Rugby Championship, although the temporary Addington, Christchurch venue has previously hosted the All Blacks on two prior occasions (a 22-19 victory over Ireland in 2012 and a 30-0 whitewash of France in 2013).
Brisbane meanwhile has proven a happy hunting ground for Australia with the Wallabies beating the Springboks on seven of eight occasions at Suncorp Stadium with their only blemish being a 38-12 defeat to the South Africans in September 2013.
The Rugby Championship commences a fortnight after the Super Rugby Final on 4 July with the last round of matches concluding on 15 August, giving teams just over a month before launching their Rugby World Cup campaigns.