All Blacks and Wallabies are tipped to be the two best teams in the 2019 Rugby Championship.
OPINION: Wallabies are undisputed kings in the Rugby Championship with a small catch: the crown only fits every four years.
In 2011 and 2015, the Wallabies won the Rugby Championship after beating All Blacks in Brisbane and Sydney.
The draw has again been friendly in 2019, with the luxury of a home-holding against All Blacks in this year's championship (they travel to Eden Park for the second Bledisloe game, but it sits outside the Rugby Championship).
But that's not all: Springbok's decision to land a weakened team in Johannesburg next weekend also creates a valid opportunity for Wallabies. If Springbok No.10 Handre Pollard and hooker Malcolm Marx miss the game that is "saved" for the All Blacks the following week, it is very winnable for Michael Cheikas men.
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Australia's decision to travel early to South Africa was clever: get away from Israel Folau, get James O & # 39; Connor inside the tent away from the glare, and get close together as a group.
But is Wallabies a real chance to back up their performance in 2011 and 2015 and grab some significant silverware?
Here is where we see the four teams in the structure for this year's edition.
Will use the Rugby Championship to see if they can finally break the code for defensive line speed, even though they've talked about that topic for three years without much evidence of progress. Their second goal is to see which of their old men will or will not make it to the Rugby World Cup, and Sonny Bill Williams is very much the name of everyone's lips. A team minus the superior crusaders has been sent to Argentina and they have made the Bledisloe Cup a priority over winning the Rugby Championship – but they have the quality to do both.
Principal: Beauden Barrett. New Blues recruitment is a brilliant runner, but can he develop his game enough to escape the coupling of stifling test-defensive systems?
Under pressure: Williams has to show that his body can stick together enough to make the Rugby World Cup, because players like Ngani Laumape are pushing the 33-year-old hard for the No.12 shirt.
Provided position: 1.
Ellis Park may be a fortress for Springboks, but coach Rassie Erasmus has decided to put his best fighters on a plane to New Zealand. South Africans can try and sugarcane everything they want, but it is a big blow to Wallabies face.
So this is a huge opportunity for Australia, and no doubt Cheika will feed them the line all week that their hosts do not respect them.
Sometimes a large number of overthinking surrounds the modern game when it is interior dressing room, which is actually the simplest message that resonates.
If Wallabies can get off to a good start in South Africa – and it is still a big if – they will feel that they can push and add the 2019 title to their 2011 and 2015 crowns.
Principal: Michael Hooper. I'm not sure there is a player in the world rugby who bears such a burden: he captains the Warata Army, just misses a game, gets a short break and is then asked to do the same for Wallabies. David Pocock's return from injury could be seen as a complement to the pressure, but Wallabies can do this if they give both men good minutes of No. 7.
Under pressure: James O & # 39; Connor. The Wallabies have embarked on a limb for him again, and Connor is going to face the front physically. He has always been surprisingly strong for his size – he transfers his weight well – so let's see that with something good the ball and some committed defense. He doesn't have to produce miracles, but people should see that he cares.
Provided position: 2.
Erasmus obviously has the World Cup in mind, but if they lose to Wallabies next week, the reaction in South Africa will be unforgivable. The proud sporting nation has just endured Protea's unfortunate Cricket World Cup campaign, and the appetite for further failure will be limited. At best, the Springboks can beat anyone – including the All Blacks – but have the same depth as the kiwis? The jury is out.
Chief: Faf de Klerk. The sales half was excellent in some games last year and is far from Springbok's best 9.
Under pressure: Damian de Allende. Frans Steyn's return to the team suggests that Springboks are not completely satisfied with their opportunities in No. 12.
Predictive position: 3.
They will have a crack on a "weakened" All Black side next week, and it will show whether Jaguar's Super Rugby season has put them well or is rather meaningless. My money would be on the latter given the gap between the Super Rugby and the Test arena, and Wallabies will be determined to revenge against Los Pumas in Brisbane later this month as they got their massive losses on the Gold Coast last year.
Principal: Pablo Matera. Appeared in the Super Rugby Final, he is world class, and Argentina will need him to get only one win.
Under pressure: Nicolas Sanchez. Can No. 10 slip back into the test page after a season in France and hold its place in front of the promising jaguar's playmaker joaquin diaz bonilla?
Prediction Position: 4