SANZAR on Tuesday announced the full draw for The Castle Rugby Championship’s second year, kicking-off with a clash between the Wallabies and 2012 season winners, the All Blacks, at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday, August 17.
That same day the Springboks will host the Pumas at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.
The Pumas repeat the 2012 draw for their home matches, hosting their first home match of The Rugby Championship in Round Two against the Springboks at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza on Saturday, August 24, with the All Blacks hosting the Wallabies at Westpac Stadium in Wellington the same day.
Test matches in Brisbane, Hamilton, Perth, Auckland, Cape Town (SA vs Australia – Saturday, September 28 at DHL Newlands) and La Plata will follow during The Rugby Championship in 2013.
The final round will be played in Johannesburg between the Springboks and the All Blacks at Ellis Park, while the Pumas will host the final match of the Championship by hosting the Wallabies at Estadio Gigante de Arroyito, in Rosario.
The two travel byes will take place on Saturday, August 31 and Saturday, September 21, respectively.
SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said it was exciting to release the draw for The Rugby Championship as Test rugby closed out for the year.
“In 2012 we saw The Rugby Championship played for the first time, welcoming the Pumas into the fold alongside the original Tri-Nations teams, which saw the All Blacks claim inaugural success with an unbeaten charge to the title,” Peters said.
“The Rugby Championship will again feature the best teams in the world. With the recent end of year Tests yielding 10 victories for our competing rugby nations.
“The Pumas claimed a historic win in Cardiff against Six Nations champions Wales, the Springboks went through Europe unbeaten, while the All Blacks and Wallabies won three of their four Tests.”
Mr Peters said that the new dimension that Argentina brought to The Rugby Championship was evident with the fan response through the six rounds.
“A total of over 16-million viewers tuned into the twelve Tests of The Rugby Championship and an average of 44,000 attended the matches, which saw stadiums at 91% capacity, with the 88,739 crowd that saw the All Blacks come back from a half-time deficit to defeat the Springboks 32-16 at FNB Stadium in Soweto the most attended match of the season,” Peters said.
“The first round of action, with the Wallabies playing the All Blacks in Sydney, and the Springboks hosting the Pumas in Bloemfontein, will have added spice considering the last time each of these two nations played – the result was an 18-18 and 16-16 draw, respectively.
“We are also pleased to announce that the format for 2013 will be consistent with the recent season to enable Unions and fans to have certainty on which weekends matches will be played in their territories.”
Full kick-off times will be confirmed at a later date by SANZAR, as will all other particulars involving The Rugby Championship in 2013.
For now, CLICK HERE for the 2013 Rugby Championship draw, with confirmed dates and venues.