rugby championship 2022 fixtures teams table watch tv final

New Zealand go into this year’s Rugby Championship as the reigning champions, but, potentially for the first time since the Rugby Championship began in 2012, they are not favourites.

They won last year’s tournament with a game to spare but, after losing to South Africa in the final round, New Zealand have had a disappointing 12 months. Last month’s home series defeat to Ireland, who had previously never won in New Zealand, means that the All Blacks go into the Rugby Championship having lost four of their last five matches. Head coach Ian Foster probably needs a good tournament to stay in the job.

He has to navigate a difficult start though, with two away matches against world champions South Africa. While the Springboks did not have the best of competitions last year as they finished third, and were not at their best in the home series win against Wales in July, New Zealand’s poor form and both matches against the All Blacks being at home gives South Africa the edge.

Australia impressed in the Rugby Championship last year, beating South Africa twice. With both their games against the Boks at home they could pose a problem again, but like New Zealand the Wallabies have not had the best year, having only won one game since.

Argentina did not win a single game in last year’s Rugby Championship. Coming off a home series win against Scotland last month, Michael Cheika’s Pumas will hope for an improvement this year.

How to watch the matches on TV

(All times BST)

Round 1

  • South Africa v New Zealand (Mbombela Stadium, Mbombela) 4.05pm on Saturday, August 6 – Sky Sports
  • Argentina v Australia (Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza) 8.10pm on Saturday, August 6 – Sky Sports

Round 2

  • South Africa v New Zealand (Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg) 4.05pm on Saturday, August 6 – Sky Sports
  • Argentina v Australia (Estadio Bicentenario, San Juan) 8.10pm on Saturday, August 13 – Sky Sports

Round 3

  • Australia v South Africa (Adelaide Oval, Adelaide) 6.30am on Saturday, August 27 – Sky Sports
  • New Zealand v Argentina (Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch) 8.45am on Saturday, August 27 – Sky Sports

Round 4

  • New Zealand v Argentina (FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton) 8.05am on Saturday, September 3 – Sky Sports
  • Australia vs South Africa (Allianz Stadium, Sydney) 10.35am on Saturday, September 3 – Sky Sports

Round 5

  • Australia vs New Zealand (Marvel Stadium, Melbourne) 10.45am on Thursday, September 15 – Sky Sports
  • Argentina vs South Africa (Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires) 8.10pm on Saturday, September 17 – Sky Sports

Round 6

  • New Zealand vs Australia (Eden Park, Auckland) 8.05am on Saturday, September 24 – Sky Sports
  • South Africa vs Argentina (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban) 4.05pm on Saturday, September 24 – Sky Sports

What is the latest team news?

There are four changes for New Zealand from the third test against Ireland. Lock Brodie Retallick is unavailable due to a fractured cheekbone, so Scott Barrett takes his place. Winger Sevu Reece, hooker Codie Taylor, and prop Angus Ta’avao all started in Wellington, but dropped from the match-day 23 entirely.

New Zealand: Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Caleb Clarke, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Akira Ioane, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Angus Ta’avao, Samisoni Taukei’aho, George Bower.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Tupou Vaa’i, Shannon Frizell, Finlay Christie, Richie Mo’unga, Quinn Tupaea.

South Africa have made three changes from their third test against Wales. Kurt-Lee Arendse replaces Cheslin Kolbe on the wing, who is recovering from a broken jaw. Faf de Klerk comes in at scrum half for Jaden Hendrikse, and Malcolm Marx starts to hook over Bongi Mbonambi.

South Africa: Damian Willemse, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk, Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Salmaan Moerat, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Jaden Hendrikse, Willie le Roux.

Australia have suffered a massive blow as Samu Kerevi has been ruled out for the entire Championship, after the center sustained a knee injury while playing sevens at the Commonwealth Games. Hooker Dave Porecki will miss the first match against Argentina after being ruled out with a concussion, while props Angus Bell and Scott Sio will also be unavailable due to injury. However, fly-half Quade Cooper and winger Jordan Petaia have recovered from their respective calf and concussion injuries, while lock Darcy Swain is available following his suspension.

Argentina can recall experienced fly-half Nicolás Sanchez, who got injured in the first test against Scotland, and scrum-half Tomás Cubelli to a team that is getting to grips with new former Australia coach Chieka’s style.

When is the final round?

The final round is on Saturday 24 September. New Zealand hosts Australia in Auckland, while Argentina travel to Durban to face South Africa.

Last year New Zealand had already wrapped up the Rugby Championship before the final round, after beating South Africa 19-17 in the penultimate round. However, the Springboks would beat the All Blacks 31-29 a week later to end their campaign on a high.


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