An expansion of the Tri Nations, which ran between 1996 and 2011, and was contested by New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Argentina campaigned for many years for inclusion in one of the world’s major competitions, even looking to enter the Northern Hemisphere’s Six Nations tournament on more than one occasion. But in 2012 they made their debut in the revised Tri-Nations competition, to be known as the Rugby Championship, starting life in the elite with a 27-6 loss to the Springboks in Cape Town, South Africa.
The advent of the Tri-Nations coincided with the full on-set of professionalism in rugby, and was immediately recognised as the Southern Hemisphere’s foremost competition. New Zealand’s All Blacks dominated the competition from the outset, winning three of the first four tournaments, and eventually laying claim to ten titles, with South Africa and Australia each holding three.
New Zealand’s clashes with the Australian ‘Wallabies’ also double as Bledisloe Cup matches, the coveted trophy that is contested over a series of matches between the two sides each year. New Zealand’s dominance in recent years has been significant, having held the Cup since 2003.