I started researching for this article thinking that the condensed Rugby Championship in 2015 is nothing more than going through the motions of training runs before the Rugby World Cup, to give teams the final opportunity to put the finishing touches on their squad before England 2015. The draw is lopsided with each team playing each other once and because there are four teams, this means that each team has three games, with South Africa and Australia hosting two games, which gives them an unfair advantage.
Who remembers who won the Rugby Championship in 2011, when we all know that the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup in 2011?
After initially thinking that no one cares about the Rugby Championship in a Rugby World Cup year, I then stumbled upon an amazing fact. The winner of the Rugby Championship in a Rugby World Cup year, has never gone on to win the Rugby World Cup later that year. This bodes well for Argentina and New Zealand who have both only got one home game! Maybe it is a good thing not to win the Rugby Championship!
Proof of this is obvious when you consider that the All Blacks won the Rugby Championship in 1999, 2003 and 2007, but Australia won it in 2011. We all know Australia won the Rugby World Cup in 1999, England in 2003, South Africa in 2007 and New Zealand in 2011.
Despite this amazing statistic, I still wonder if it is worth having a Rugby Championship in a Rugby World Cup year, when squads are going to be chopped and changed all tournament?
Should we care about the Rugby Championship in Rugby World Cup year?