There's been this little football tournament on in Brazil and an away test series win for the Blackcaps which has been vying for my attention. The current form of the Warriors in the NRL has been a nice change, and did someone mention the Commonwealth Games this month?
With a glut of sports to distract me I thought I'd keep my focus on some international Rugby and examine how the southern hemisphere national Rugby teams are tracking in the lead up to the Rugby Championship in August.
The Wallabies hosted France in the June international window, and came away with a cleansweep, three â zero in a comfortable series win. The French put up a good fight in the scrappy second test but failed to test the Wallabies in the first and third with blow out scores as the French lived up to their reputation of being either hot cold and nothing much in-between.
Australia have proved they want to play an expansive and attacking game with their flare and finishing players out wide. On a dry pitch they should test the All Blacks and Springboks which is something they usually do, though somewhat inconsistently in recent years.
I'm sure Ewen McKenzie would have hoped the French had pushed them harder to better prepare them for the Rugby Championship where the level of Rugby will be up another notch. However after seven straight wins the Wallabies are looking confident; they look like a true team with no star players hogging the limelight or causing distractions.
This Wallabies team has the talent with some exciting young forwards in the mix. They'll be hungry to break their 12 year drought of Bledisloe cup victory. Could this be their year?
The All Blacks were a little rusty and were thoroughly tested by the English in the June test series. England came off the back of some big wins in the six nations, but didn't quite have the mental edge and drive on the day to clinch a win on New Zealand soil.
On the other hand, the men in Black have a record that rolls on, they're now one game away from beating the record number of test wins in a row by any top tier test nation. South Africa and New Zealand have won 17 test matches in a row once before, but if this current All Blacks side can beat Australia on 16 August they'll hold that record outright at 18 wins on the trot.
The All Blacks have some aging players hoping to make the World Cup in 2015, so experience is not lacking. The difficulty this year will be whether Steve Hansen can continue to introduce some youthful speed and enthusiasm without changing the work ethic and culture of this winning team. If the depth at first-five and ominous return of Sonny Bill Williams in the centres is any indication of his methods I think they'll be ok.
They're the team setting the benchmark in international Rugby and have the confidence and depth to win when it matters. Unfortunately it's only a matter of time before the top dog will get knocked off his perch.
The Springboks hosted Wales for two matches and had a one off test against a world XV and Scotland this June. Like the Wallabies and All Blacks the Springboks showed southern hemisphere dominance with wins across the board.
Wales came close in their second encounter with the Boks losing 30-31 in what would have been their maiden test win on South African soil but it wasn't to be after a late come from behind effort by the home side.
South Africa were barely troubled by the world XV and Scotland, and showed they're a team with impressive forward power, a precise kicking game and speed out wide. At home the Springboks will be formidable as ever, and will back themselves to end the All Blacks winning streak if Australia don't do it first.
The Pumas played Ireland who were the form northern hemisphere team coming out on top of the Six Nations tournament tied with England but ahead on points differential. The Pumas came close with the Irish losing by 11 and 6 points respectively but were missing some star players who were still on club duty in Europe.
Argentina played one game against Scotland and lostby two points meaning they head into the Rugby Championship well and truly underdone with no momentum, and with tougher opposition to come.
I hope Argentina can pull at least one game out of the bag this year once their full strength team comes together and get their first win of the Rugby Championship.
The first game of the Rugby Championship sees the Wallabies host the All Blacks on 16 August followed by the Springboks hosting Argentina the next day. The All Blacks are at the top of the pecking order with their unbeaten season last year, but as South Africa and Australia look to build for the World Cup in 2015 I don't imagine this year will be another white wash.
Brad Mills enjoys the outdoors and almost any sport... For a day job he's a journalist who works at the Rhema Media in Auckland New Zealand.
Brad Mill's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/brad-mills.html