With The Rugby Championship starting this weekend, we thought we would take a look at how the Southern Hemisphere teams have fared in the competition during a World Cup year.
The competition is a shortened one this year, so that means each side will only play each other once in a round-robin format.
This tournament will definitely be used as heavy preparation for the showpiece in Japan, and we are sure some teams will want to gather as much Intel on each other in the next 3 weeks.
QUICK STAT: No team has ever won the Rugby Championship and the Rugby World Cup in the same year, with England the only team to win both the Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup in the same year.
Here is how the teams have fared in the TRC during a World Cup year:
The Australians have had winning Rugby Championship campaigns when they have fallen in World Cup years. The Wallabies pipped their arch-rivals, New Zealand, to the Southern Hemisphere competition in 2011(was still known as the Tri Nations) and 2015.
This form has unfortunately not always turned into World Cup wins, but they did finish in the top 3 of the tournament when things have gone well for them in the TRC.
In 2011 the Rugby Championship was still known as the Tri Nations and unfortunately, Los Pumas was not part of that tournament. The Argentines were, however, part of the 2015 edition of the competition and although they picked up the wooden spoon this preparation proved well for them in the World Cup were they finished fourth overall.
If you look back over the past two World Cups years, the All Blacks have not exactly had great TRC campaigns.
They finished second both those years, but they did manage to win the Bledisloe Cup (rivalry between them and Australia) which is prestigious in its own right.
New Zealand will not be to bothered with how they have featured in the championship in their last two world cup years as they have gone on to win those World Cups.
They will, however, look to hold onto the Bledisloe Cup which they have held onto for over a decade now.
The Springboks have not exactly lit up the Rugby Championship in recent years and the last two that fell in World Cup years were much of the same.
The Boks are arguably in a rebuilding phase again and have decided to pick two different squads for this year's tournament. In 2011 the Springboks got knocked out World Cup in the quarterfinals, while in 2015 the did manage to pick up the bronze medal.
A poor Rugby Championship shouldn't bother the Springboks too much with Jake White's side taking the wooden spoon in the 2007 Tri Nations before going on to lift the William Webb Ellis Cup in Paris later that year.
The results in the Rugby Championship shouldn't concern the head coaches of the four nations too much, rather they will be looking to trim down their squad and iron out a few game plans during the competition. As we mentioned before, no side has won the World Cup and Rugby Championship in the same time. It is all about peaking at the right time.