London’s Twickenham Stadium has been formally confirmed as one of the host venues for this year’s Rugby Championship after the full schedule for the national team tournament was unveiled today (Thursday), with Nelspruit in South Africa also set to stage a game for the first time.
Details of the match at Twickenham, which will pit Argentina against Australia, were first revealed in April. The match will serve as the final round of the tournament, which also features New Zealand and South Africa. The game will take place on October 8 and will mark the first Rugby Championship fixture to take place in the northern hemisphere.
Argentina will act as the ‘home’ team for the game, which will serve as a repeat of the 2015 World Cup semi-final at the same venue. Australia won that match 29-15.
Meanwhile, Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium will stage its first-ever Rugby Championship game on August 20 – the opening day of the tournament. The game will see host South Africa take on Argentina.
In other news, event organiser Sanzaar, the umbrella body for the Argentinian, Australian, New Zealand and South African rugby unions, has confirmed that the bonus-point system used during the Super Rugby club competition will be incorporated into this year’s Rugby Championship.
The system will grant a bonus point to any team that finishes three or more tries ahead of the opposition. The new system will replace the four-try bonus point that has previously been used during the tournament. Teams will still be awarded a bonus point for losing by seven or fewer points.
Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos said: “Sanzaar ExCo reviewed the bonus point system implemented into Super Rugby this year and believed it had a significant impact in rewarding the more dominant teams, created a competition for the full 80 minutes and is providing a reward system that recognises both attack and defence.
“Having witnessed some of the most exciting and complete 80-minute games in the history of the competition this season, spurred on by the introduction of the new bonus point system, we believe that across the Sanzaar tournaments, for the sake of the players, broadcasters and the fans, we should have consistency in terms of the tournament points system.”