The annual Rugby Championship competition determines the best rugby-playing nation in the southern hemisphere. It pits the top four countries in the southern hemisphere – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina – against each other in a round-robin tournament.
The Championship kicks off when the Springboks host the Wallabies in Johannesburg this weekend. On the same day then Pumas will tackle New Zealand in Buenos Aires.
In Round 2, on July 27, the All Blacks will be visited by South Africa in Wellington, while Australia will take on Argentina on home soil in Brisbane. In Round 3 on August 10 old trans-Tasman rivals, Australia and New Zealand, get it on in Perth while the Pumas will do battle with the Springboks in the South American city of Salta.
The All Blacks will come into the tournament full of confidence and bravado. They are the defending World Cup champions, they won the Rugby Championship last year and this year Kiwi club the Crusaders, filled with All Black players, also took out another Super Rugby title.
The bookies rightly have New Zealand locked in as clear favourties. Some nz sports betting both have the All Blacks at 2/9 as outright winners. But write off the other countries at your peril.
Australia have great odds at 9/1, while there is also value for South Africa at 5/1. The outsiders are clearly Argentina, with the Pumas priced at 18/1.
You can avail of a free bet offer for the Rugby Championship at one of our recommended bookmakers from the following list:
New Zealand are the superpower of world rugby and have won the Tri-Nations and Rugby Championship a record 16 times over 23 years. It is a formidable record that commands respect. So the battle to finish second is hotly contested between the three other sides.
The Springboks and Wallabies are closely priced to snare they prized position just behind the All Blacks. Unibet and 888sport have the South Africans at 23/20, while the Wallabies are at 5/2. If outside punts are more your thing then it’s worth considering the much-improved Argentina at 4/1.
Line and Handicap Betting I This is a popular way of betting in rugby union, with either starting with a specific point start, or a points deficit. In this way if a team beats the spread of points, and wins by say two points or more, you are a winner. Or if your team loses by a specific amount of points, while using your handicap, you are also in the black.
Team to Score First I Picking which team scores first, either a try or a penalty goal, is a fun way of betting in the 15-man code. Scoring can often yo-yo, and go back and forward like a game of basketball. But by deciding which team will score first you have good odds and a 50-50 chance of winning some cash.
Half-Time Winner I Selecting the team which is ahead on the scoreboard at half-time is another great and exciting method to bet in rugby union, and particularly in The Rugby Championship. These teams are evenly matched and scores can fluctuate depending on form, injuries and home advantage. But you can tap into some excellent high odds, and win big, by choosing the exact country that has its nose poked ahead after the first 40 minutes.
Regarded as the premier rugby offering in the southern hemisphere, the Rugby Championship challenges Europe’s Six Nations as the top annual rugby tournament in the world. It is watched by millions and showcases many of the best players on the planet. The ‘big three’ of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have generally been the dominant nations in world rugby and between them, they have won every World Cup since 1987, apart from England’s sole triumph in 2003.
These three country have long traditions and history of playing against each other that go back more than a century. Australia and New Zealand first locked horns in 1903, while South Africa first played against both in 1921. Over 100 years the rivalry has grown and grown and grown, leading to the creation of Super Rugby and the professionalism of the sport in 1995.
Argentina has been a rising force in world rugby for the past 15 years. The Pumas finished third in the 2007 World Cup and fourth in 2015. Their improvement and development as a rugby nation was rewarded by them joining the Rugby Championship, making it into a four-team tournament, three years ago.
While Argentina has yet to win the competition, they are a nation on the march and recently their club side the Jaguares made history by reaching the Super Rugby final for the first time. With explosive talents such as Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Emiliano Boffelli, Pablo Matera and Marcos Kremer, they are a side to be reckoned with.
In total, 16 editions of the Tri-Nations was played between 1996 and 2011, with New Zealand winning ten, South Africa winning three and Australia winning three. There have been seven editions of the Rugby Championship with Argentina included, with the All Blacks winning six and the Wallabies winning one. Both the Springboks and Pumas have yet to win the competition.
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