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South African Eyes on New Zealand and Australia ahead of Rugby Championship

South African Eyes on New Zealand and Australia ahead of Rugby Championship

All BlacksJune 12, 2024

New All Blacks and Wallabies coaches have ensured interest will be high in this year's Rugby Championship in South African eyes.

Respected South African rugby writer Mark Keohane said while attention in his country may have been turned towards their sides participating in the United Rugby Championship, there was also interest in DHL Super Rugby Pacific.

Keohane said much of that was driven by New Zealand and Australia having new coaches, Scott Robertson and Joe Schmidt, for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

"The Brumbies have been Australia's best team in Super Rugby Pacific, while much of the interest in New Zealand's broadcast audience numbers [and attendances at grounds] is being attributed to the revival of the Hurricanes and Blues and the temporary demise of the Crusaders.

"New Zealander Vern Cotter, who is an iconic coaching figure at Clermont, France, after a decade in charge, also coached Scotland and Fiji. But it is his most recent transformation of the Blues that is his most inspiring achievement.

"So many high-profile coaches have failed to restore former Super Rugby glory to the Blues. Cotter has proved the exception, and he is also a coach appreciative and enjoying of big forwards.

"The Blues are a squad on the rise, and several players from Auckland will be in the mix when Robertson announces his first All Blacks squad."

Schmidt was likely to build on the Brumbies' solid foundation but would also consider Reds players who had contributed to the side's revival.

"There has been tremendous player growth in the professional game of New Zealand and Australia by way of performance.

"The All Blacks, heroic in the 2023 World Cup final's 12-11 defeat against the Springboks, will be more consistent and formidable than was the case with his predecessor, Ian Foster.

"Schmidt will also add steel and intelligence to the Wallabies. It is going to make for a compelling Rugby Championship, with the Argentinian Pumas finally settled in the competition with wins against the Springboks, Wallabies and All Blacks in recent years."

Keohane pointed out that since 1994, the Springboks have only had four wins and two draws in the 25 Tests played in New Zealand and, since 1993, have won only seven and drawn two of 34 Tests in Australia. That's 11 wins in 59 Tests on either side of the Tasman.

The support is unreal 🥰

Check out the latest episode of In Their Own Words 2 to see the reactions from the team to all of your support. Live now across Youtube and NZR+ 📺

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— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 9, 2024

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