The 2018 edition of the Rugby Championship gets underway on 18th August and we take a look at what lies ahead for the four competing nations plus the latest prices in the outright betting market.
Let’s begin with a look at each nation starting with the favourites, New Zealand.
2018 June International Form: The All Blacks completed a clean sweep of France in their home series with wins in Auckland (52-11), Wellington (26-13) and Dunedin (49-14).
Rugby Championship Form: Winners of 5 of the 6 editions since the Rugby Championship was formed in 2012. In 2017 the All Blacks won all 6 of their matches although were pushed close by the Wallabies in Dunedin (35-29) and the Springboks in Cape Town (25-24).
Fixtures: Aug 18th Australia (Sydney), Aug 25th Australia (Auckland), Sep 8th Argentina (Nelson), Sep 15th South Africa (Wellington), Sep 30th Argentina (Buenos Aires), Oct 6th South Africa (Pretoria)
2018 June International Form: The Wallabies played their part in a titanic battle with Ireland. They won the series opener 18-9 in Brisbane but Ireland fought back to win the series with victory in Melbourne (26-21) and then Sydney (20-16).
Rugby Championship Form: Australia are the only nation to deny the All Blacks the Rugby Championship title when they won in 2015. They finished as runners up last year, beating Argentina home and away, drawing with the Boks home and away and losing twice to the All Blacks.
Fixtures: Aug 18th New Zealand (Sydney), Aug 25th New Zealand (Auckland), Sep 8th South Africa (Brisbane), Sep 15th Argentina (Robina, Gold Coast), Sep 29th South Africa (Port Elizabeth), Oct 7th Argentina (Salta)
2018 June International Form: After an experimental side were beaten 22-20 by Wales in a one off unofficial contest in the USA, South Africa were 2-1 winners at home to England. The Boks clinched the series with wins in Johannesburg (42-39) and Bloemfontein (23-12) but they did lose the final match (25-10) in Cape Town.
Rugby Championship Form: The Boks have never won the Rugby Championship, runners up places in 2012/13/14 being the nearest they have come to the title. In 2017 they started with back to wins over Argentina and a draw with the Wallabies in Perth before receiving a 57-0 hiding off the All Blacks in New Zealand. The Boks finished with a second draw against Australia and they ran the All Blacks close in Cape Town.
Fixtures: Aug 18th Argentina (Durban), Aug 25th Argentina (Mendoza), Sep 8th Australia (Brisbane), Sep 15th New Zealand (Wellington), Sep 29th Australia (Port Elizabeth), Oct 6th New Zealand (Pretoria)
2018 June International Form: Despite starting as favourites Argentina lost twice at home to Wales (23-10 and 30-12) before crashing to a 44-15 home defeat to Scotland.
Rugby Championship Form: Argentina have finished with the wooden spoon in 5 of the 6 editions of this tournament with a third placed finish in 2015 being their best display. In 2017 Los Pumas lost all 6 of their matches and the average margin of defeat was 21 points.
Fixtures: Aug 18th South Africa (Durban), Aug 25th South Africa (Mendoza), Sep 8th New Zealand (Nelson), Sep 15th Australia (Robina, Gold Coast), Sep30th New Zealand (Buenos Aires), Oct 7th Australia (Salta)
Rugby Championship 2018 Outright Betting
New Zealand 1 / 7
South Africa 7/1
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
Look out for our trademark previews for each of the Rugby Championship games and remember we are also covering every match in Currie Cup 2018.
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum