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It can’t be said that rugby is very popular in every corner of our planet. However, in several countries, this kind of sports sometimes draws even more attention than soccer. This statement is especially true for those countries which annually send their representatives to the Rugby Championship fixtures. Although this tournament involves only 4 participants, its every edition is popular and exciting.
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Competition history and format
The competition’s inaugural season took place more than 20 years ago — in 1996. Initially known as ‘Tri-Nations’, the tournament first included Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. Argentina joined the competition in 2012, and its name was changed to the current version after that.
As for now, only these four countries still participate. The season usually begins in the mid-August and lasts to the first week of October. Such a Rugby Championship schedule is convenient for those players who also partake in the Super Rugby.
In a course of a season, every team meets each of its competitors twice (once as hosts and once as guests). The winners get 4 match points, and the losers get 0. In case of a draw, every club is awarded 2 match points.
However, there are also the additional bonus points. A team gets 1 extra point for either scoring 3+ more tries than its competitors or losing by 7 points or fewer. So, even the underdog teams sometimes have a chance to improve their Rugby Championship results.
The team’s position in the Rugby Championship table depends on its total score. In the contentious situations, the following tiebreakers are used:
- numbers of wins (in total);
- amount of wins against the opponent(s) on the level position;
- points differences (in total);
- the points difference in the matches against the opponent(s) on the level position;
- numbers of tries (in total).
If still a tie, the position is split between all the contenders.
The past Rugby Championship winners
All the participating nations (except for Argentina) have become the Rugby Championship winners at least once since the competition’s inception. Now they have the following amounts of titles:
- New Zealand — 15;
- Australia — 4;
- South Africa — 3.
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