This year the schedule comprises an innovative 'mini-tour' format that is a departure from the previous home and away structure that has been in place since 2012 when Argentina joined Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to create The Rugby Championship.
Each team will still play six matches comprising three home matches and three away matches, and will play each team twice. However, each team will host a two-match tour, will play an away two-match tour and a one-match home and away series against the third team. For example, in 2022 New Zealand will host Argentina for two consecutive matches, will play two consecutive matches in South Africa and will play Australia once at home and once away. This format will see the two-match 'mini tour' home and away hosting rotate over a two-year period. Australia and New Zealand will always play a split home and away series, as will South Africa and Argentina.
The mini-tour concept is locked in until the end of 2025 and SANZAAR and the national unions believe this new format will excite fans by bringing back rugby's traditional touring values and make for an even more exciting Championship. The format will also reduce the travel component of TRC, therefore, alleviating player welfare concerns and the amount of travel teams have to undertake.
TRC 2022 kicks off with a clash of the titans when World Champions South Africa hosts 2021 TRC champions New Zealand on 6 August in Nelspruit, and 13 August in Johannesburg. At the same time, Argentina will host Australia in Mendoza and San Juan. The Australia versus South Africa match on Saturday 3 September will be confirmed by Rugby Australia in the near future.
SANZAAR CEO Brendan Morris stated, "The Rugby Championship is one of world rugby's premier tournaments and sees four of the top eight international teams go toe-to-toe each year. The tournament has proved to be an important stepping stone to Rugby World Cup success for southern hemisphere teams but there is always room for improvement and innovation and the agreed move to a mini-tour concept by all stakeholders is an exciting one."
"It reinstates the touring traditions of rugby which previously have been an integral part of our game and will prove popular we believe with players, fans and broadcasters alike. Feedback from the teams has been very positive and the enthusiasm for the new concept is sure to build as we get nearer to the kick-off, of TRC"
"This year also sees the long-awaited return of The Rugby Championship to all our participating territories as over the last few years we have had, for obvious reasons, pandemic restrictions placed on travel and player movements. This year we are fully operational in Australia, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand which is fantastic for the tournament," added Morris.
The Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship 2022 (kick off all local time)
Saturday 6 August
South Africa v New Zealand, Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, 5.05pm
Argentina v Australia, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, 4.05pm
Saturday 13 August
South Africa v New Zealand, Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg, 5.05pm
Argentina v Australia, Bicentenario Stadium, San Juan, 4.05pm
Saturday 27 August
Australia v South Africa, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3pm
New Zealand v Argentina, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, 7.45pm
Saturday 3 September
New Zealand v Argentina, FMG Stadium Waikato, 7.05pm
Australia v South Africa, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 7.35pm
Thursday 15 September
Australia v New Zealand, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, 7.45pm
Saturday 17 September
Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires, 4.05pm
Saturday 24 September
New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland, 7.05pm
South Africa v Argentina, Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban, 5.05pm