The 2017 Rugby Championship, the sixth edition of the four-nation rugby event organized by SANZAAR, is set to begin on August 19. With the rugby championship only a month away, now is the best time to predict the winner. The tournament kicks off on August 19 when Australia hosts reigning champions New Zealand. In case you didn’t know already, the four teams that take part in the rugby championship are Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa.
To get a good idea of who’s likely to win the 2017 rugby championship, let’s briefly discuss the previous winners of the championship and the 2017 rugby championship odds. To date, the rugby championship organized by SANZAAR has been held five times. Of the five rugby championships held so far, New Zealand has won four while Australia has taken home one rugby championship title. Prior to 2012, the rugby championship was a three-nation event involving Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The tri-nation event was held 16 times with New Zealand winning the event 10 times. Australia and South Africa won three titles a piece.
Which team is expected to win?
Considering what’s been said above, it wouldn’t be wrong to tag the reigning champions New Zealand as the favourites for the 2017 rugby championship. Talking about New Zealand, the team performed exceptionally well in last year’s rugby championship. The All Blacks won all their 6 games and had a points difference of +178. Considering that second placed Australia had a points difference of −28, this is nothing short of exceptional. Beating New Zealand to the title will be incredibly hard for Australia, Argentina or South Africa. This is the reason most betting sites are backing the All Blacks to win the 2017 rugby championship.
Talking about New Zealand’s competitors, the team most likely to challenge the All Blacks for the title is Australia. After all, the Wallabies are the only team other than New Zealand to have won the rugby championship in the past seven years. However, for Australia to win the 2017 rugby championship, experienced pros such as Stephen Moore, Scott Higginbotham and Israel Folau will have to step up to the plate. The chances of South Africa and Argentina–the other two teams in the event–to win the title are slim. Argentina has never won the rugby championship while South Africa last won the championship in 2009 when it was a still a three-nation event.
If we go by the stats, then there can be only winner of the 2017 rugby championship and that is New Zealand. But, we all know well that stats and previous records mean nothing in sports. Even the best teams have bad days and there’s no guarantee that the All Blacks won’t have its bad days during the 2017 rugby championship. So, every team enters the 2017 rugby championship with a clean state and has an equal chance of winning the rugby championship title.