“favorites” tag, even before the tournament begins to speak volumes. Fans’ expectations have reached their zenith with other contenders pitching in with a spirited performance to destabilize the Kiwis and their mantle. The reality is that the All Blacks will arrive for the championships having lost their last five outings. The worst was an all-series defeat at home against Ireland, which was unthinkable in the past. The position of the head coach lies at stake and nothing short of the crown will assure him his job.
To begin with, the coach has to prove his and the team’s mettle against the Springboks (South Africa), who had finished third in the 2021 Championships. The South Africans have been going through a rough phase with not having performed well against Wales at home but two matches against the All Blacks at home gave South Africa the upper hand.
In the meantime, the Wallabies (Australia) have been at their prime and have outshone themselves against the Springboks twice last year during the championships. This time, they are to have both their matches against the South Africans at home and that could prove to be a cracker of a contest. The point is that Australia has not been at its peak performance and has lost all but one of their matches since.
Argentina has a lot to prove this year in the Rugby Championships having beaten Scotland at home last month. Argentina was able to clinch a series win against the Scots but this time they are counting a lot on their winning strategy and would be hoping of giving a good performance.
Captain of Australia Michael Hooper has withdrawn his participation in the match against Argentina due to not being ready mentally for the game. In fact, he has decided to go back to Australia and not be a part of the team in Mendoza. James Slipper will be captain on his behalf. The team members have appreciated his courage and decision. They hope to
in Mendoza against the Pumas.
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