The Rugby Championship 2019 roster is out, with the tournament set to kick off on July 20th and run on through to the month preceding the sport’s premier global occasion that is the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup. Before Argentina’s inclusion in 2012, this Championship was known as the “Tri-Nations” since it featured only three countries, namely South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
In a bid to accommodate the showpiece event that diverts all attention in the way of the pinnacle of Rugby competition in Asia, officials have shortened this year’s Rugby Championship in half.
The typical schedule dictates twelve matches of play split into six rounds but this time around fans will have to settle for three rounds amounting to a total of six games although there is a bonus international round to expect at the end of proceedings.
Argentina and New Zealand square it off in Buenos Aires at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani, making up one of two mouthwatering curtain raiser clashes with the other seeing South Africa at home to Australia at the same day. Round two witnesses the “All Blacks” reignite their rivalry with the “Springboks” at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington seven days later on Saturday, July 27th.
Eventually, the third and final round sees South Africa once again on the road to lock horns with Argentina on August 10th while across the globe, New Zealand makes the short trip to Perth to take on distant neighbors Australia in what could be a championship decider match.
Be sure to catch the Championship for three weeks of heart throbbing action concluding with plenty of time for a generous winter break, notwithstanding the scenario of a drawn match. After that, there is the closing round of international fixtures on Saturday, August 17th that sees the four championship teams lock horns for one last time heading into the crucial month of September when the World Cup begins in the host nation of Japan.
Sky Sports have a share of the broadcasting rights in the UK, as does NOWTV, that is if you fancy catching the Rugby Championship live from the region, and in South Africa, DSTV channel SuperSport has got you covered. ESPN is the go-to for US residents, while Fox Sports offers a fortnight of free viewing for first-time users in Australia.
However, you can practically watch the tournament from anywhere around the world via Fubo, Sling, DirecTV, all of whom offer a trial service at no charge at all. If you have in mind an “unconventional” (and free) third-party platform, consider connect with internet and heading over to the LiveStreamRugby website.
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In: Sevu Reece, Josh Ioane, Braydon Ennor, Luke Jacobson.
Out: Damian McKenzie, Ryan Crotty, Scott Barrett, Tim Perry.
World Ranking: 1
Champions: 16 Times
Last year: 1st
Head Coach: Steve Hansen
Forwards (23): Keiran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Vaea Fifita, Shannon Frizell, Matt Todd, Jackson Hemopo, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Patrick Tuipulotu, Joe Moody, Owen Franks, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tuungafasi, Atu Moli, Angus Ta’avao, Codie Taylor, Dane Coles, Asafo Aumua, Liam Coltman.
Backs (16): Ben Smith, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Sevu Reece, Braydon Ennor, Sonny Bill Williams, Jack Goodhue, Anton Leinert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Josh Ioane, Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara, Brad Weber.
In: Nic White, Luke Jones, Scott Johnson, Michael O’Connor, Christian Lealiifano, James Slipper
Out: Will Genia, David Pocock, Jordan Petaia, Pete Samu and Adam Coleman.
World ranking: 6
Champions: 4 Times
Last year: 3rd
Head Coach: Michael Cheika
Forwards (19): Michael Hooper (captain), Luke Jones, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Jack Dempsey, Folau Fainga’a, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Isi Naisarani, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Liam Wright
Backs (15): Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett- Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Jack Maddocks, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua, Nic White.
In: Nicolas Sanchez, Facundo Isa, Santiago Cordero, Juan Figallo, Ramiro Herrera.
Out: Benjamin Urdapilleta.
World ranking: 10th
Champions: 0 Times
Last year: 4th
Head Coach: Mario Ledesma
Forwards (16): Agustin Creevy (captain),Matias Alemanno, Juan Figallo, Ramiro Herrera, Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Tomas Lezana, Pablo Matera, Santiago Medrano, Julian Montoya, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Mayco Vivas.
Backs (14): Emiliano Boffelli, Sebastian Cancelliere, Santiago Cordero, Tomas Cubelli, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Felipe Ezcurra, Lucas Mensa, Manuel Montero, Matias Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Orlando, Nicolas Sanchez, Joaquin Tuculet.
In: Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn, Rynhardt Elstadt, Lizo Gqoboka, Marcell Coetzee.
Out: Siya Kolisi, Aphiwe Dyantyi.
World ranking: 5
Champions: 3 Times
Last year: 2nd
Head Coach: Rassie Erasmus
Forwards (23): Eben Etzebeth (Captain), Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Lizo Gqoboka, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Franco Mostert, Trevor Nyakane, Marvin Orie, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen.
Backs (17): Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Faf de Klerk, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Makazole Mapimpi, Sibusiso Nkosi, Willie le Roux, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn.