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The Rugby Championship: Round 3 Predictions

I have a confession to make. Just before Round 2 started, I switched my pick from Argentina to Australia, which worked out pretty well and put me back into contention in most of my Superbru pools.

There are two tough picks to make this weekend, with the All Blacks playing the Wallabies in Perth, whilst the Springboks travel to Salta to take on the Pumas.

Here are my predictions for Round 3 of the Rugby Championship.

Australia v New Zealand

The All Blacks are providing some encouragement to the rest of the rugby world with their below-par performances in this tournament so far. Whether Australia can capitalise is a different story though. New Zealand have named a strong side, and I suspect all the talk of potential weaknesses will spur them on for a thumping victory to put everyone right.

In five of their last six matches against Australia, they have won by at least 20 points, and I think they’ll be there or thereabouts this weekend too.

New Zealand by 18

Argentina v South Africa

Confidence in the Springboks is rising just in time for the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has quietly developed some depth in every position, and their defensive performance against the All Blacks last weekend was outstanding. They’ll be extremely tough to beat in Japan, and that could well take them all the way.

There are lots of changes again this week for the Pumas, and with the prospect of winning their first ever 4-team Rugby Championship title, I think South Africa will win.

South Africa by 9

This weekend will also see our 'August Internationals' predictor game get underway with England vs. Wales and Ireland vs. Italy. It's a very small opening round but Round 2 will see more teams involved - including the fixtures that involve the Rugby Championship teams next week (NZ v AU and SA v ARG). Here are my thoughts on this weekend's games, make sure you get involved and submit your own picks!

Ireland v Italy

Whilst the result is probably not in doubt anyway, the performance of some players will be the most interesting aspect of this match. Joe Schmidt has named several people on the fringes of his World Cup squad, and they’ll be desperate for a strong showing to propel themselves into the squad.

South African-born Jean Kleyn makes his debut at second row, and is one of those players keen to make an impact, and whilst many first-choice players are not involved, this Ireland team will still be too strong for the Azzurri.

Ireland by 19

England v Wales

Warren Gatland has named what looks like a first-choice lineup, whilst Eddie Jones seems to be giving a chance to those pushing for squad selection.

The England backline looks pretty shaky to me, with George Ford at 10 and Piers Francis alongside Henry Slade in midfield, up against the established Welsh trio of Gareth Anscombe, Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies.

England’s pack looks strong as usual, with two mobile 7s in the form of Tom Curry and Sam Underhill, with Billy Vunipola providing the ballast at the back.

I think if England are to win the World Cup, they need to play to their strengths and dominate up front as they did against Ireland in Dublin. With a powerful defence and a solid forward platform, the personnel out wide becomes less important, and I’d like to see England laying down a marker in terms of how they are going to play. It doesn’t have to be imaginative to win the World Cup and they don’t have to be reticent about giving opposing teams any clues - they just need to be effective and powerful.

I’m not too confident in this prediction, but I’m always an optimist.

England by 4

8,253 caps
Agree, exact same prediction for NZ, but think the game in Salta is going to be a closer one. SA by 6. Good luck to all.
8 Aug 10:43
13,021 caps
New Zealand by 28

South Africa by 19
8 Aug 11:11
4,845 caps
I think the All Black/Wallaby game will be closer. NZ by 7... and I predict SA to win by the same margin. Potentially if NZ and SA both win then 1 point will be the difference on the log. So the All Blacks must get a bonus point win.
8 Aug 12:31
44,978 caps
Argentina to spoil SA party
8 Aug 21:00
21,368 caps
Lol 10 Aug 23:23
14,497 caps
With every Confession comes a Penance young James! You must bet on 10 'Hail Mary' passes by Australia and switch to them beating NZ! I wondered how you ended up in 31st 1 behind be in 30th out of 71? Actually picking upsets might be our only hope? Repent Late Switching Sinner REPENT!
8 Aug 21:55
21,368 caps
Lol 10 Aug 23:23
5 caps
SA by 12
10 Aug 18:56
6 caps
Add a comment
10 Aug 19:31
75 caps
th boks are stunning... we are just like 2007 with the word cup japan we are on our way !!!!!!!! ??????
13 Aug 04:22
75 caps
world cup sorry for my spelling
13 Aug 04:22
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