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This weekend sees the start of another Super Rugby season. With three less teams and a slightly changed format, all the Southern Hemispheres big clubs are ready to fight it out again.
The start sees only the South African conference in action before all teams start playing the following week.
The 2018 Americas Rugby Championship starts this week with a game between Canada and Uruguay. This match is also the first in a 2 match qualifying series for the RWC 2019.
Then the two North American and four South American teams continue throughout the month to find out who is the Americas champion. The USA won last year.
The leading two competitions in Europe begin this month, with the start of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup. All the usual teams are there, spread among the two competitions and there is a new team from Russia as well.
The Rugby Championship, the leading international rugby competition in the southern hemisphere, starts in this month. South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina battle it out for supremacy in 2017.
The domestic rugby competitions in the southern hemisphere countries are starting this month and next. In South Africa, the Currie Cup has started already, in New Zealand the Mitre 10 Cup and the Heartland Championship start in a couple of weeks and in Australia the National Rugby Championship begins in the first week of September.
All the results will be here at globalrugbyresults.com. The pages for the competitions are all set up, waiting for the start of the competitions.
The British & Irish Lions have drawn the last test match against New Zealand 15-15 to share the series 1-1 with 1 drawn.
In a close match that no team could get a decisive lead established, the end result was a draw that meant the series was tied. The match did however end in controversy.
The French referee awarded a penalty to New Zealand for offside in a handy position to the posts. He was then persuaded to take another look at the incident and then was persuaded to change to just a scrum. Debate raged on after the final whistle as to why he would do that.
The match had been a close affair for most of the 80 minutes, with NZ scoring 2 tries to none but never getting away from the Lions.
It is a shame that these big games are still being decided by the referees and not the players on the field. There continues to be too many poor or controversial decisions being made that effect the outcome of matches.
New Zealand supporters may feel a little aggrieved at the final results of the series as the NZ team was only ever behind on the scoreboard for 3 minutes in the whole series. They just couldn't finish off things as the Lions superb defensive efforts kept the last 2 matches very close.
Northampton Saints have beaten Stade Francais, who two weeks ago won the European Rugby Challenge Cup, by 23-22 and qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup for the next season.
Stade Francais led 22-9 at half time scoring three tries to take a comfortable lead. Northampton scored two 2nd half tries, despite being down to 13 men for a period, to take the win and a place in the Champions Cup.