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The Rugby Championship Info & FAQs

Ready to dive into The Rugby Championship? Whether you’re new to rugby or a life-long fan, our Rugby Championship information page contains answers to some of our most popular and frequently asked questions. From its opening year through to the current competition, get ready to explore every aspect of The Rugby Championship with our FAQs.

Do you want to know when New Zealand won their first Rugby Championship? Discover South Africa and Australia’s most successful tournaments? Or find out what year Argentina joined the competition? Here at RugbyPass, our rugby gurus have searched through your comments and scoured the world wide web to provide a comprehensive list of Rugby Championship answers.  

Perhaps you’re prepping for a pub quiz, just want to improve your sporting knowledge or become a Rugby Championship superfan? No matter the reason, you’ll find all the answers you need right here. From the Tri Nations to the first official Rugby Championship, browse our FAQs to read about record wins, players and more. 

What is The Rugby Championship? What is The Rugby Championship?

The Rugby Championship is an annual tournament contested by the four highest ranked nations from the southern hemisphere: Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. This tournament is often regarded as the southern hemisphere’s equivalent of the Six Nations.

When was the first edition of The Rugby Championship? When was the first edition of The Rugby Championship?

The first edition of The Rugby Championship was held in 1996, when the tournament was known as the Tri Nations. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa competed for the title. New Zealand won the inaugural competition after winning all four of their matches.

How many teams compete in The Rugby Championship? How many teams compete in The Rugby Championship?

Four teams compete in The Rugby Championship. The tournament was known as the Tri Nations between 1996 and 2011, when it was contested by Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The competition expanded to include Argentina in 2012. At this point, it was rebranded as The Rugby Championship.

Which teams compete in The Rugby Championship? Which teams compete in The Rugby Championship?

Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are the teams that compete in The Rugby Championship. These are the four top ranked nations in the southern hemisphere and the tournament features some of the world’s finest rugby talents.

Which side holds the record for the most The Rugby Championship titles? Which side holds the record for the most The Rugby Championship titles?

New Zealand holds the record for the most The Rugby Championship titles. The All Blacks have won 19 tournaments, including 11 Tri Nations (1996-2011 and 2020) and eight Rugby Championships (2012-2019, 2021-present).

What’s the format of The Rugby Championship? What’s the format of The Rugby Championship?

The format of The Rugby Championship is structured on a home-and-away basis. Each team faces the others twice and plays a total of six matches: three at home and three away. The winner is determined via a points system, with each team awarded four points for winning a match and two points for a draw.

When did the Tri Nations become known as The Rugby Championship? When did the Tri Nations become known as The Rugby Championship?

The Tri Nations became known as The Rugby Championship in 2012, when Argentina joined the competition.

When did Argentina join The Rugby Championship? When did Argentina join The Rugby Championship?

Argentina joined The Rugby Championship in 2012. Prior to this, Argentina was the only tier one nation that didn’t compete in an international tournament.

Who competes for the Bledisloe Cup? Who competes for the Bledisloe Cup?

Australia and New Zealand compete for the Bledisloe Cup. The cup was first awarded in 1931 and New Zealand has raised the cup more times than Australia.

Who competes for the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate? Who competes for the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate?

Australia and South Africa compete for the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate. The two teams first contested the trophy in 2000 and Australia has won the most titles to date.

Who competes for the Freedom Cup? Who competes for the Freedom Cup?

New Zealand and South Africa compete for the Freedom Cup. The Freedom Cup was first awarded in 2004 and New Zealand has won the most titles to date.

Who competes for the Puma Trophy? Who competes for the Puma Trophy?

Argentina and Australia compete for the Puma Trophy. The two teams compete against one another to win the trophy, which is in the shape of a bronze puma. The Puma Trophy was first introduced in 2000 and Australia has won the most titles.

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