The quest for silverware begins with the Bledisloe Cup against the All Blacks along with the Rugby Championship, and you won’t miss a minute of the action when watching on a big screen TV or streaming the matches live to your mobile device.
2018 Wallabies Rugby Preview
We are just over twelve months away until the 2019 Rugby World Cup and that will be a point of focus for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. He has said himself that if he doesn’t have success at the World Cup, he will walk away, and the preparation begins now. There’s a lot he can take out of the 2-1 series loss against Ireland, a contest that was world class with exciting footy combined with gritty and tough defence when it was needed. That sort of game style will be the formula in order to beat the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup. The kiwis were brilliant in the first game last year, so the Wallabies don’t want a repeat of that. A loss in game one means they will have to head to Eden Park to save the series, a ground they have not won at in over 30 years. It’s been a mixed 2018 for Australian players, with drug bans to Karmichael Hunt and Jams Slipper, plus the controversy surrounding Israel Folau, but there is no doubting that if the Wallabies can play at their best, they are in with a huge chance.
When: August 18-October 7
Where: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina
Though much of the attention will be on the Bledisloe Cup, there will be some focus on the Rugby Championship, which features the two teams mentioned above, along with South Africa and Argentina. In recent years it’s been a battle for second as New Zealand have dominated, but they aren’t going to be up forever. There is pressure on the South Africa Springboks because after winning the World Cup in 2011, they haven’t really gone on with it since and have slipped down the world rankings. This will be a good test for them as to see where they are at in terms of the World Cup for next year. As for Argentina, who probably will finish last, playing them at home is one tough ask and you’ll have worked your backside off in order to get the win there. They are also looking to potentially tinker with the World Cup in mind, so combine all that, this Rugby Championship is one of the most important since this format began several years ago.
Wallabies and Rugby Championship Live TV Times (AEST)
Sun 30 Sept LIVE: South Africa v Wallabies at 1.05am (Foxtel/Ten)
Sun 30 Sept LIVE: Argentina v All Blacks at 8.40am (Foxtel)
Sun 7 Oct LIVE: S. Africa v All Blacks at 3.05am (Foxtel)
Sun 7 Oct LIVE: Argentina v Wallabies at 9.40am (Foxtel/Ten)
Sat 27 Oct LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at TBD (Foxtel/Ten)
Shown as Sydney time on Fox Sports, adjust for regional differences. Full Wallabies TV replays will be available on Fox Sports during the month. See upcoming Wallabies fixtures below.
Watch or Stream the Wallabies Live
You may not find every match of the 2018 Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship on Free to Air TV in Australia, but Fox Sports 501 (Foxtel) will be broadcasting every match LIVE, in HD, and with no ad-breaks during play.
Australian residents may wish to review the Foxtel Sports Combo which includes Wallabies online streaming options and currently has no lock-in contract and is offering 2 months FREE if trialled by October 13. With the Sports Combo pack you can watch the matches at home, or if you’re out and about you can stream the Wallabies free to eligible mobile devices using the Foxtel App.
2018 Bledisloe Cup (AEST)
Saturday 18 August LIVE: Wallabies v All Blacks at 8.05pm (Foxtel/Ten)
Saturday 25 August LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at 5.35pm (Foxtel/Ten)
Saturday 27 Oct LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at TBD (Foxtel/Ten)
While the Rugby Championship defence is important for the Wallabies, coach Michael Cheika clearly has eyes on the prize that is the 2018 Bledisloe Cup, naming a squad filled with long standing experience, notably from Europe, with the likes of Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell named in the 33 man squad. Will Genia has also been named, hoping to find his feet given he hasn’t played since January to injury.
The Wallabies will be keen to get some respect after a poor recent series loss at the hands of former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones and the England side. They went within a lip of winning the World Cup last year and at their best, they can certainly challenge. The issue will be the scrum, which has been their major issue for a long, long time. If they can fix that, they have every chance of winning the Championship again, but don’t look for every exciting match involving Wallabies Free to Air in Australia.
New Zealand All Blacks
Coach Steve Hansen has openly stated that his main aim for this campaign is to win the Rugby Championship and not the Bledisloe Cup. The NZ All Blacks have named a pretty strong squad, but their big issue will be doing the job without Sonny Bill Williams, who ruptured his achilles during the Rugby 7’s at the Rio Olympics. The side though is still full of experience, with close to 950 caps covering the entire squad.
The All Blacks are still the dominant force in World Rugby, but the World Cup showed that they are not the invincible side they once were, and maybe the remaining three sides in the Rugby Championship see a golden opportunity to dismantle New Zealand from top spot.
South Africa Springboks
The Springboks played pretty well in a recent test series against Ireland and look well poised to do some damage in the 2016 Rugby Championship despite some controversial selections with the squad, with several big names left out. Seven changes have been made from the squad that played Ireland in said series.
Coach Allister Coetzee has made it clear that he is looking to expand the depth of his squad and get some much needed experience heading towards the future, with an eye towards the 2019 World Cup in Japan. The squad is well experienced though and they have a wonderful record when playing at home.
Argentina did okay in the World Cup last year and indeed in the Rugby Championship, causing some real headaches for all three sides. Coach Daniel Hourcade has picked a 33 man squad for the Championship, with six newcomers to the arena, including Marcos Kremer, who recently played in the U20 World Championships in Manchester, England.
The Pumas don’t have the depth to be a force in this Championship, but they are very capable of giving each of the three sides a serious game, as we saw in the Championship last year when they stunned South Africa in front of their home fans, so you surely want to watch this year’s Rugby Championship live.