The Rugby Championship 2022 will get underway on 6 August, hot on the heels of an exciting July test window.

Each of the competing nations head into the tournament on the back of demanding series against northern hemisphere opposition.

Argentina and South Africa edged their three-match encounters against Scotland and Wales respectively, while Australia and New Zealand lost to England and Ireland.

With Rugby World Cup 2023 kicking off in less than 14 months, the four nations will want to lay down a marker for what is to come in France next year.

So, ahead of the return of The Rugby Championship, we look at four players who will hope to leave their mark on the tournament.

Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina)

It was perhaps written in the stars that Emiliano Boffelli would make the difference in Argentina’s series against Scotland following his impressive debut campaign with Edinburgh Rugby.

Having been voted Players’ Player of the Season at the DAM Health Stadium, Boffelli provided both the winning try and conversion that gave Los Pumas a 34-31 victory in the deciding test in Santiago del Estero.

It took his personal tally to 30 points across the three matches and highlighted his growing importance to Michael Cheika’s side.

Boffelli will hope to maintain that form over the next couple of weeks as Argentina kick-off their Rugby Championship campaign with back-to-back matches against Australia.

Rob Valetini (Australia)

The battle between number eights Rob Valetini and Billy Vunipola was one of the most absorbing during Australia’s home series defeat to England earlier this month.

Vunipola arguably had the better of it as England edged the series and Valetini will want to rediscover the form that helped him nail down that position in the Wallabies team.

The Brumbies forward, who made his test debut almost three years ago, was an important cog in the team that finished second behind the All Blacks in The Rugby Championship 2021, beating both Argentina and the Springboks twice.

Australia have won only twice in seven tests since then though and the two-test tour of Argentina offers both Valetini and the Wallabies an opportunity to hit the ground running in 2022.

Will Jordan (New Zealand)

A bright spot in an otherwise disappointing mid-year series against Ireland, Will Jordan highlighted his ability with a stunning try in the third test.

That score wasn’t enough to prevent a first series defeat to the Irish but while the All Blacks inquest continues, barring injury Jordan’s place in Ian Foster’s backline is surely safe.

New Zealand begin this year’s Rugby Championship with back-to-back matches in South Africa, and the winger has form against the Webb Ellis Cup holders. He scored less than three minutes into his only appearance against them, as the All Blacks won 19-17 in Queensland last year.

Since making his test debut as a replacement against Australia two years ago, Jordan has been a prolific presence, scoring 19 tries in only 15 matches.

Lukhanyo Am (South Africa)

In a recent interview, Springboks centre Lukhanyo Am revealed his reason for playing rugby: “I always wanted to excite people.”

Am has certainly excited Springbok fans over the past five years, combining strength and skill to become one of the best centres in the world.

He supplied a stunning assist for Makazole Mapimpi during the Rugby World Cup 2019 final defeat of England and topped that during last year’s Rugby Championship with a turnover and behind-the-back pass that led to Damian de Allende’s try against New Zealand.

The All Blacks provide the opposition again over the first two weekends of this year’s Rugby Championship and Am will hope to add to his expanding highlight reel.