Rugby Union

Rugby Championship: Preview

Are the Springboks title contenders? (©GettyImages)
Are the Springboks title contenders? (©GettyImages).

With the second edition of the Rugby Championship set to commence this weekend, all eyes will be on New Zealand and Australia's clash for the Bledisloe Cup.

Last year's competition saw the reigning World Champions run away with the title but expect this year's edition to be more competitive.

The South African outfit look a much more well-oiled machine since last year's event and some new young talent being brought in has made a big impact in a team who struggled to put points on the board.

With the likes of Bulls duo JJ Engelbrecht and Jan Serfontein in the midfield and newcomer Willie Le Roux, there is more of an excitement every time the back-line gets the ball.

The Springboks looked good during the incoming tour although Italy and Scotland are much lighter competition than what lays ahead.

The other team with a point to make will be the Australians, especially after their 2-1 series loss to the British & Irish Lions which resulted in the removal of Robbie Deans as coach and Ewen Mckenzie instated to bring the Wallabies back to winning ways.

The inclusion of outcast Quade Cooper already shows that the new coach wants to inject that extra something into the Wallabies back-line and if there is a time to strike its now against an ageing All Blacks team.

Australia and New Zealand clash in Sydney on Saturday in the opening match of the Rugby Championship which also includes South Africa and Argentina.

New Zealand's 28-man squad who is led by captain Richie McCaw who is one of eight players over the age of 30 compared to Australia, whose team are mostly in their early to mid-20s with only hooker Stephen Moore over 30.

It seems McKenzie has installed a new sense of confidence to the Wallabies team and they will be hoping to end New Zealand's dominance after losing 14 out of 18 under coach Robbie Deans.

 

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Topics:
Rugby Union
New Zeland Rugby
Australia Rugby
South Africa Rugby

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