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The Rugby ChampionshipSANZAR have announced the draw for the 2014 Rugby Championship which will start on the 16th of August when Australia host New Zealand in Sydney.

The 2014 Super Rugby season ends on August the 2nd and then the Southern Hemisphere’s best players will get the weekend of August the 9th off and then the Rugby Championship starts a week later on the 16th.

The 2014 Rugby Championship season features a repeat of the 2013 season as the All Blacks final game is against the Springboks in Johannesburg and Australia finish in Argentina as they did this year.

SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said that he was looking forward to watching the top three ranked resume their rivalry in 2014.

“As New Zealand, Australia and South Africa end their European Tours as the world’s top three nations and with Argentina entrenched inside the top 10, The Rugby Championship continues to pit the best against the best,” said Peters.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a more thrilling culmination to this year’s edition of The Rugby Championship and 2014 promises to up the ante with the gap between champions and challengers narrowing with each contest.

“We look forward to delivering The Rugby Championship to a new market in New Zealand with Napier’s McLean Park scheduled to host New Zealand and Argentina while the Gold Coast returns to the Australian rotation with the Wallabies and Pumas scheduled to do battle at Skilled Park on September 13.”

McLean Park will become the 27th stadium overall and the eighth in New Zealand to host a match in The Rugby Championship/Tri-Nations history.

The 22,000-seat venue staged two matches as part of Rugby World Cup 2011 and will welcome the All Blacks for just the second time, the first being a 51-10 win over Samoa in 1996.

Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host the third Bledisloe Cup clash between Australia and New Zealand on October 18, which is not part of The Rugby Championship schedule.

Kick-off times will be confirmed in early 2014, as will venues for Argentina’s home matches which are still subject to UAR approval.

 

The Rugby Championship 2014:

  • 16 August Australia v New Zealand ANZ Stadium, Sydney
  • 16 August South Africa v Argentina Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
  • 23 August New Zealand v Australia Eden Park, Auckland
  • 23 August Argentina v South Africa TBC, Argentina

30 August – BYE

  • 6 September Australia v South Africa Patersons Stadium, Perth
  • 6 September New Zealand v Argentina McLean Park, Napier
  • 13 September Australia v Argentina Skilled Park, Gold Coast
  • 13 September New Zealand v South Africa Westpac Stadium, Wellington

20 September – BYE

  • 27 September South Africa v Australia Newlands, Cape Town
  • 27 September Argentina v New Zealand TBC, Argentina
  • 4 October South Africa v New Zealand Ellis Park, Johannesburg
  • 4 October Argentina v Australia TBC, Argentina

11 Responses to The Rugby Championship: 2014 Schedule revealed

  • 1

    Jeeez, same old, same old schedule… are they too lazy to change the order?

  • 2

    Wellington, easiest place to play in NZ.
    Perth is an SA outpost.
    The Aussies always fall at Newlands.
    Ellis Park round two will go to the Boks.

    COME ON BOYS!!! No excuses!

  • 3

    2 @ Greenpoint-Gunner:
    Agree, there must not be any excuses…

    But it’ll be the 3rd time in a row where we play Agies (here), Argies (away), Wallabies (away), All Blacks (away), Wallabies (here), All Blacks (here)… yip, the exact same sequence!

    Would have been nice to see some change to the schedule, maybe play the All Blacks 1st…

  • 4

    @ grootblousmile:
    Agree, GBS.

  • 5

    @ Lion4ever:

    GBS, also agree. I think though that the guys said, “look, this was always gonna be a logistical nightmare, the system works, keep it as it.” I for one would not have minded if we played the All Blacks at home on the first weekend.

    Manne, judging by the Aussies’ form on the EOYT, do you think they have clicked and will be a much bigger threat next year?

    Also, judging the AB’s form on the EYOT, do you think that they were simply tired, or that the (much inferior) opposition have figured them out and they now suddenly seem beatable?

  • 6

    5 @ Greenpoint-Gunner:
    Regarding the Wallabies under Ewen McKenzie…

    It is all good and well to play “Wow-factor Reds-type” rugby against Northern Hemisphere sides and against teams down the pecking order in the World Rankings, but against the Top Tier (All Blacks & Springboks), where defence is so bloody tight, the “Wow-factor Reds-type” rugby won’t work…. hell it does not even work anymore against the better defending Super Rugby Franchises.

    Not for one minute do I believe Quade Cooper could get away with what he got away with against Wales and the dazzle he brings, against the likes of the All Blacks and Springboks.

    The Wallabies forwards (as a pack) is also still suspect in the tighter exchanges, notwithstanding excellent play by individuals like Hooper. Their whole front row is suspect!

    I believe the Wallabies will be better in 2014 than they were in 2013… but I recon the Springboks and All Blacks are some distance ahead of the Wallabies.

    Regarding the All Blacks…

    There are chinks in the All Blacks armour, their tight 5 and set pieces are vulnerable and an area to target, despite having had such a good season. I think it was a long season for them and that they did enough to win at all costs on the End Of Year Tour, without being spectacular.

    I also think the recipy to beat the All Blacks is becoming clearer and clearer, but I also think their positive mindset, winning culture and conditioning is miles ahead of their peers… and until 1 or more of the Springboks, Wallabies, England, France, Wales & Ireland can get their conditioning and skills … and mindset on that level, they will lose more to the All Blacks than they will win.

    That the All Blacks are beatable is sure, and that the other top sides are gravitating and progressing towards achieving better against the All Blacks, is also all true… and all this talk of the All Blacks being the best ever is the biggest poppycock out there.

    The All Blacks forwards were bettered on a number of occasions in 2013, both in set pieces and at the breakdowns and some of their players are reaching sell-by date rather quickly, which might bite them in the arse by the time the next Rugby World Cup comes around in middle 2015.

    The reverance people have for the All Blacks is bigger than life and bigger than what they actualy are.

    They deserve No 1 spot, they are good… but they are far from perfect.

  • 7

    @ grootblousmile:

    GBS, very valid points indeed.

    Starting with Aus.
    I didn’t watch most of their games on this EOYT, since, well, staying up till 4am here in the east to watch them is not my idea of fun.

    The thing for me about the “razzle-dazzle” style the Aussies employ is, that is it part of their traditional game. Roth, Campese, Morthlock, Lynach, et al. brings that to mind. They have a crop of players that can provide the same style of play, given they stay sober and injury free.
    For me their biggest stumbling block have been the employment of Deans, who tried to instill in them a more “modern” way of playing, and the fact that they started off the year as losers.

    IF they can harness their traditional strength with the demands and realities of the modern game, as you rightfully point out, and they have most of their tier 1 players at hand, they should be able to beat anyone on any day.

    This is McKenzie’s greatest challenge for next season, IMHO. The “losers” tag have been brushed off, now he should focus on international realities.

    As for the AB’s, I agree that their fitness is their biggest strength. Everyone always wonder why they are able to “pull away” in the last 20 mins (see Eng, France, Ellis Park and Ire games). It is simply down to conditioning.
    They didn’t suddenly become better players, they just up the pace a little while the opposition drop a beat.

    Kitch knew this, and every player in the ’95 squad will admit they were not the best team, but they were the fittest.

    As for the AB’s the other thing they have in their favor, as Mitchel points out as well, is their system. In SA we love Rugby, in NZ they love the All Blacks. Their entire system, the franchises and everyone works towards the national team.
    We can learn from this.

    Agree as well, they are not the greatest ever. They are very beatable.

  • 8

    *Roff

  • 9

    7 @ Greenpoint-Gunner:
    Very much the same sentiment from both you and me, I suppose.

  • 10

    @ Greenpoint-Gunner:
    I think Ireland and France showed us the way to beat the AB’s. They are a very, very good side, but the best ever, I am not so sure. The Wallabies seem to have gotten their mojo back, but both SA and NZ won’t give them the space to run.

  • 11

    @ grootblousmile:
    Yes-Sir

    @ Lion4ever:

    It does seem like they got their mojo.
    I might be hoping against hope, but I wouldn’t mind if the Aussies cause an upset and trip the kiwis up in Sydney.

    Far lesser teams have succeeded in doing much more in recent years (Italy over France; Samoa over Aus, Scotland over SA).

    L4E, how are things looking in Jo’burg in prep for next year? Think the Lions will do ok?


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