the All Blacks in crisis and under pressure

Attention, monument in danger. A leading nation in world rugby, New Zealand is in crisis after losing two matches in a row at home against Ireland in July (23-12 and 32-22).

Already beaten twice last fall, by XV du Clover (29-20) and France (40-25), it has slipped to fourth place in the world rankings, unheard of, and seems to no longer really do scare his opponents.

Strongly criticized in the land of the long white cloud, Foster has so far managed to save his head, unlike two of his deputies, John Plumtree and Brad Mooar, recently sacked.

The Rugby Championship, a benchmark annual competition in the southern hemisphere, in which defending champion New Zealand has won eight of the last ten editions, sounds to him like the tournament of the last chance.

Will he see the end? The All Blacks of Sam Cane, renewed as captain against all odds, begin with two delicate meetings in South Africa, reigning world champion.

A replacement in case of red in test

The Springboks, who also suffered last month to win (two wins to one) their Test series against Wales, will be without Toulon winger Cheslin Kolbe on Saturday in Nelspruit, in the northeast of the country. , wounded in the jaw.

“The All Blacks are doubled in all areas. They will come to Nelspruit to make up for their lost series against Ireland and show that they remain one of the best teams in world rugby,” warned South African coach Jacques Nienaber.

The other meeting of this first day of the Rugby Championship will pit Argentina against Australia on Saturday in Mendoza. A special match for the new coach of the Pumas, the Australian Michael Cheika, who spent five years at the head of the Wallabies.

Victorious without asking to convince of their series against Scotland in July (two wins to one), the Argentinians, struggling in the competition since their integration ten years ago, will have a shot at home against Australia, who remains on two home defeats and a lost series against England (25-17 and 21-17).

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