Just when you thought the British & Irish Lions Tour of Australia was the highlight of the rugby calendar, only six weeks later and the Rugby Championship kicks-off across the southern hemisphere.
With World Champions New Zealand lining up against Australia, South Africa and Argentina, the fixtures have now been confirmed for the annual competition which is regarded as second only in terms of prestige to the Rugby World Cup itself.
As defending champions, the All Blacks will be setting out for a repeat performance of last year which saw them sweep aside all comers and record a perfect 6-0 record during the competition.
The first opening match gets under way on August 17th as New Zealand and Australia meet in Sydney for the Bledisloe Cup whilst Argentina travel to South Africa. Over the course of six rounds and twelve bruising encounters, the winners will be crowned on October 5th.
The inaugural Rugby Championship took place in 2012 with Argentina entering the frame and joining the existing tri-nations. Even in its previous guise, New Zealand lead the way with 10 titles whilst Australia and South Africa share three titles each.
Show your support for the Rugby Championship and cheer on your team with our collection of replica rugby shirts.