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6 Nations

Ireland Unchanged for Twickenham Clash

Ireland have confirmed their 23-man strong squad to take on England in the Six Nations this weekend with no changes to the starting XV

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has announced his 23-man squad to take on England in their key Six Nations clash at Twickenham on Sunday at 15 00.

Farrell has stuck with the same starting line-up that overcame Wales in round two as the boys in green look to seal a Triple Crown and continue their hopes of a Grand Slam. 

That means in the front-row it’s Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong either side of hooker Rob Herring, as Iain Henderson and James Ryan link-up once again in the second-row. 

Peter O’Mahony retains his spot at blindside-flanker following an impressive performance last time out, with Josh van der Flier on the openside and CJ Stander remains at No 8. 

Conor Murray and captain Johnny Sexton continue as the half-back pairing, and they have Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw outside them in the centre, with the latter coming through head injury protocols to start. 

Jacob Stockdale is again used on the left-wing, with Andrew Conway on the right and Jordan Larmour will look to continue his impressive form from full-back. 

Farrell has made only one change to the bench with Caelan Doris replacing Max Deegan, while the likes of Ronan Kelleher, Devin Toner and Keith Earls are available for the head coach to call upon if needed. 

Speaking on the decision to name the same starting XV Farrell admitted he was happy last time out and is looking to build some consistency. 

“We had a decent performance last time out. There’s a few things we needed to fix and a few boys went back and gave us a few headaches, but we decided to go with a similar selection for a little bit of continuity and see if we can build on what we did the last time around and see if we can get a better performance on the back of it,” he said. 

Ireland head into the game with two wins from two after an impressive start to the campaign, while England will be looking to put themselves firmly in contention for the title with a win over their rivals which makes the game almost impossible to call as we head towards Sunday.  

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV: 

15. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 23 caps

14. Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 20 caps

13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 42 caps

12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 25 caps

11. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 27 caps

10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 90 caps CAPTAIN

9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 80 caps

1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 97 caps

2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 10 caps

3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 43 caps

4. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 55 caps

5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 25 caps

6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 66 caps

7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 25 caps

8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 40 caps

Replacements:

16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 2 caps

17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 38 caps

18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 25 caps

19. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 69 caps

20. Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 1 cap

21. John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 10 caps

22. Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps

23. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 83 caps

6 Nations

Wales & France name side for 6 Nations restart

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Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his first squad in seven months as Wales kick off their Autumn campaign in Paris against France on Saturday (KO 21.10 local, ITV4 & S4C).

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will level the world record of test appearances when he makes his 148th international appearance (including 9 British & Irish Lions test caps). Jones will pack down alongside Cory Hill who makes his first start for his country since February 2019.
Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee comprise the front-row with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau featuring in the back-row.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are named at half-back with Nick Tompkins partnering the returning Jonathan Davies in midfield. Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny make up the back-three.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said:


“The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday.
“We have six matches this autumn and the game against France helps us get back into our stride international rugby-wise. We have picked an experienced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this autumn well and get on the front foot for the Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland.


“We have talked already about how fortunate we are to be going about our work on a daily basis. A lot of people can’t do that and certainly within our organisation there are a lot of people not back at work.

From our point of view this Saturday is an opportunity to prepare for this tournament and for Scotland, but two, to put some smiles on faces and put on a good performance and make the nation proud.
On Alun Wyn Jones equalling the world record for test caps, Pivac said:

“It is a fabulous achievement. He epitomises what a great rugby player is all about. He is a true professional on and off the field and a gentleman of the game. On the field he leads by example and you can’t ask more of your captain and we are very privileged here in Wales to have him.

”Uncapped duo Sam Parry and Louis Rees-Zammit are both named on the bench for the test at Stade de France. Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and James Davies complete the forward replacements with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell joining Rees-Zammit as the back-line cover.

France have also named their team.

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6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens

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(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.

Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.

Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.

Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.

Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.

Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020

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6 Nations

Scotland name squad for Autumn Internationals

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Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man squad for the forthcoming autumn international matches, which include the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and newly launched Autumn Nations Cup.

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has named a 40-man squad for the forthcoming autumn international matches, which include the conclusion of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations and newly launched Autumn Nations Cup.

The squad features three uncapped players in Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble, Edinburgh winger Duhan van der Merwe and Harlequins scrum-half, Scott Steele. In the 23 forwards there are five players who did not feature in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations earlier in the year, with Glasgow Warriors trio Richie Gray (lock), Rob Harley (back-row/lock) and Kebble selected alongside London Irish flanker Blair Cowan, who won his last Scotland cap in 2016 and earns his first call up under Townsend. Scarlets’ Blade Thompson (back-row) also re-joins the squad having last featured at Rugby World Cup 2019.

In the 17 backs selected there are returns for Harlequins centre James Lang, who last featured in the national side during the summer of 2018, as well as Glasgow Warriors centre Nick Grigg and Edinburgh winger Damien Hoyland, alongside squad debutants van der Merwe and scrum-half Steele.

Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell also joins the squad, with an opportunity to earn his 50th Scotland cap during the campaign.Gregor Townsend said:

“We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general. “There was a strong feeling that we were growing as a team during the Six Nations earlier this year, making progress from game-to-game as well as building closer bonds within the squad.

Our aim is to keep this momentum going as we take on Georgia and Wales before competing in the Autumn Nations Cup in November. “The squad we have selected is formed by the majority of the players we worked with in the Six Nations alongside players who have grabbed their opportunity in the past few weeks and have been in form for their respective teams. “Given the lack of games since March, there will be opportunities for players out-with the squad to break into our group over the next few weeks, but for now the focus is on this group that will be in camp from tomorrow.

It will be great to see some familiar faces, welcome a few back into our squad and also introduce some new players to Test match rugby.”

Scotland begin their autumn test matches at BT Murrayfield against Georgia on Friday 23 October before facing Wales in Llanelli on 31 October in the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations fixture.

The newly formed Autumn Nations Cup begins in November with Scotland in Pool B alongside France and Fiji who they will play at BT Murrayfield as well as an away test match against Italy.

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