Rugby Championship condensed to three rounds in 2015
Next year`s Rugby Championship will be condensed into three rounds to fit in with the World Cup in England, with holders New Zealand kicking off the first match against Argentina, SANZAR said Tuesday.
Sydney: Next year`s Rugby Championship will be condensed into three rounds to fit in with the World Cup in England, with holders New Zealand kicking off the first match against Argentina, SANZAR said Tuesday.
The All Blacks, who wrapped up their third straight southern hemisphere championship earlier this month, take on the Pumas in Christchurch on July 17.
The Wallabies will host the Springboks in Brisbane the following night.
In the second round, the Springboks host New Zealand and Argentina take on the Wallabies, while the third round matches will be between Australia and the All Blacks in Sydney and South Africa hosting Argentina.
There will be an additional round on August 15, but not for competition points, to give the teams valuable lead-up to the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in England the following month.
New Zealand will play Australia at Eden Park in Auckland and Argentina will host South Africa.
"The Rugby Championship continues to be one of the game`s greatest tests, pitting the world`s elite rugby nations against one another," SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters said.
"The intense rivalry between New Zealand and South Africa has risen to lofty new heights in recent years and subsequently evolved into one of sport`s `must watch` events.
"Argentina recently returned to the IRB`s Top 10 and will seek to build on their inaugural victory in the championship while the Wallabies and All Blacks renew another rivalry steeped in history and tradition with clashes in Sydney and Auckland," he added.
July 17 - New Zealand v Argentina - AMI Stadium, Christchurch
July 18 - Australia v South Africa - Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
July 25 - South Africa v New Zealand - Venue TBC
July 25 - Argentina v Australia - Venue TBC
August 8 - Australia v New Zealand - ANZ Stadium, Sydney
August 8 - South Africa v Argentina - Venue TBC
Additional week (not for competition points)
August 15 - New Zealand v Australia - Eden Park, Auckland
August 15 - Argentina v South Africa - Venue TBC