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6 Nations

Wales Change One for Irish Trip

Wales have made only a single change to their starting line-up for their trip to face Ireland this weekend

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has announced his team to take on Ireland in the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday at 14 15.

There is only one change to the starting XV as Johnny McNicholl is replaced in the line-up by Nick Tompkins, who scored a try on his debut after coming off the bench last weekend. 

Tompkins comes in to the outside-centre position pushing George North to the wing for this weekend’s game. 

Elsewhere, it’s as you were with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Dillon Lewis in the front-three, while Jake Ball and captain Alun Wyn Jones remain in the second-row. 

Aaron Wainwright continues at blindside-flanker, with Justin Tipuric at openside and Taulupe Faletau finishes up the forward pack from No 8. 

In the half-backs Tomos Williams is at scrum-half and partners Dan Biggar at out-half once again, with the duo having Hadleigh Parkes and Tompkins outside them in the midfield. 

Last weekend’s hat-trick hero Josh Adams stays on the left-wing, with North on the right and Leigh Halfpenny completes the starting XV from full-back. 

McNicholl takes a place on the bench along with the likes of Adam Beard, Gareth Davies and Ross Moriarty. 

Speaking ahead of the game Pivac is hoping that his side can continue their winning start to the tournament following their 42-0 thrashing of Italy last Saturday. 

“We’ve made just one change after a winning start last weekend. Nick comes into the side, I thought he played exceptionally well when he came on last week so he deserves the start. George, who played really well last weekend at centre, moves back out to the wing. On the bench, we have a few players back available. Rhys Carre impressed at the RWC and he comes back in. Adam Beard comes in for Cory Hill who picked up a leg injury earlier this week, Gareth (Davies) is fully fit and Owen Williams comes onto the bench and gives us a bit more cover. Momentum is important in the Championship. It was nice to get a good winning start under our belts and hopefully we can build on that through the tournament,” he said. 

Wales head into the match as the current Grand Slam holders and are looking to continue their winning run in the competition, but they know that they will have to be at their best to overturn Ireland in their own backyard come Saturday. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below. 

Starting XV:

15. Leigh Halfpenny (86 Caps)

14. George North (92 Caps)

13. Nick Tompkins (1 Cap)

12. Hadleigh Parkes (26 Caps)

11. Josh Adams (22 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (80 Caps)

9. Tomos Williams (17 Caps)

1. Wyn Jones (23 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (74 Caps)

3. Dillon Lewis (23 Caps)

4. Jake Ball (43 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (135 Caps)

6. Aaron Wainwright (19 Caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (73 Caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (73 Caps)

Replacements: 

16. Ryan Elias (10 Caps)

17. Rhys Carre (6 Caps)

18. Leon Brown (7 Caps)

19. Adam Beard (20 Caps)

20. Ross Moriarty (42 Caps)

21. Gareth Davies (51 Caps)

22. Owen Williams (3 Caps)

23. Johnny McNicholl (1 Cap)


6 Nations

Ireland’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations Home Games To Be Played At Musgrave Park

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Ireland’s home matches in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations will be played at Musgrave Park.

The Cork venue has been the home of the Ireland U20s since 2019 and has become a real fortress in recent seasons, with Ireland Women also enjoying huge support there when they defeated Italy at Musgrave Park in last year’s Six Nations.

Greg McWilliams‘ side open their 2023 Championship against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, 25th March (2.15pm) before welcoming France to Cork in Round 2 on Saturday, 1st April (3.15pm). After a rest weekend, Ireland will be on the road again, going head-to-head with Italy in Parma on Saturday, 15th April (4.45pm).

World Cup finalists England will visit Musgrave Park in Round 4 on Saturday, 22nd April (2.15pm) and the Championship will conclude with a trip to Edinburgh to take on Scotland at the DAM Health Stadium on Saturday, 29th April (7.30pm).

“We received huge home support during last year’s Six Nations and we’re excited to make Cork our home base for the 2023 Championship,” McWilliams said. “We enjoyed a good day out against Italy last year, with the people of Cork coming out to support the team and we will be hoping for more of the same in 2023, as two of the best teams in women’s rugby come to visit.”

Ticket details for Ireland’s home matches at Musgrave Park will be announced in due course.

TikTok Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2023:

  • Wales v Ireland, Saturday 25 March, Cardiff Arms Park, 2.15pm
  • Ireland v France, Saturday 1 April, Musgrave Park, 3.15pm
  • Italy v Ireland, Saturday 15 April, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 4.45pm
  • Ireland v England, Saturday 22 April, Musgrave Park, 2.15pm
  • Scotland v Ireland, Saturday 29 April, DAM Health Stadium, 7.30pm.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Leading Rugby Stakeholders Unite To Consider Future Of Rugby

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Rugby’s major stakeholders have united to consider the short and long-term insights and priorities for ensuring the sport is a relevant, accessible and attractive sport for all as it grows over the next decade.

The World Rugby Shape of the Game conference, hosted in London, gathered leading coaching, playing, officiating, medical and event owner minds to consider how to build a better game for all, focusing on safety and spectacle. Underpinning that mission is the ongoing prioritisation of player welfare, while fostering an environment that is simpler, more accessible and more attractive.

It will be followed by similar conferences on the elite women’s 15s and community games as the sport looks to growth opportunities over the next decade. The process will also consider fan views and general sport and entertainment considerations to create a holistic approach to the future of the sport.

Over two days, delegates considered the global welfare landscape, including reinforcing the data regarding the relative safety of the community and age-grade game, global playing trends and the role of match officials, the narrative around the sport with all participants focused on the bigger picture.

The conference identified key areas for further exploration:

• Focus on the fan: Insights from fans and broadcasters to inform the longer-term development of the sport as an entertainment product

• Speed up the game: Focus on interventions and innovations to reduce stoppages, increase continuity and the rhythm of the game

• Support match officials: Provide them with the tools to perform their role to their best ability, consider TMO intervention reductions

• Underpin with player welfare: Continue to implement evidence-based strategies to mitigate head injuries and overall injuries in the sport

• Change the narrative: The community game is the lifeblood of the sport, the risk of injury is much less than that of the elite game, focus on the benefits while managing the risks

World Rugby will take away the considerations and insights for further exploration to prioritise areas that can be implemented in the short term without changing law ahead of Rugby World Cup 2023.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“As a sport, a movement and a family, we must always challenge ourselves to be better. That means taking time to consider what fans and players want the future of our sport to be, a future where more people want to play and support the game, where injury risk is reducing and where all involved in the game have their say.

“This conference was the first step towards a reimagination of our sport. The full and frank contributions from a wide spectrum of disciplines gives us plenty to consider and to move forward with through our structures. I would like to thank all participants for taking time out at a busy time to unite, collaborate and consider our future.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

England side to face Springboks

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England host the Springboks at Twickenham Stadium in their final Autumn Nations Series game on Saturday 26 November (5.30pm KO).

Manu Tuilagi will make his 50th appearance for England at outside centre, having made his debut for England against Wales in August 2011. Owen Farrell will again captain the side at inside centre.

Marcus Smith is at fly half and Jack van Poortvliet is at scrum half. Tommy Freeman comes in at right wing, Jonny May is at left wing and Freddie Steward is full back.

Jamie George (hooker) and Mako Vunipola join fellow prop Kyle Sinckler in two changes to the starting front row. Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill stay at lock. Alex Coles comes in at flanker with Tom Curry, while Billy Vunipola is No.8.

Last weekend’s double-try scorer Will Stuart is named as a finisher along with Luke Cowan-Dickie, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, Henry Slade and vice-captains Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell.

“This is our last game of the autumn and our chance to continue building on the improvements we have made throughout the matches,” said Jones. “We have made steady progress from game-to-game, culminating in a pulsating draw against New Zealand.

“Now we have the chance to test ourselves against the might of the world champions. We’re going out there to light the crowd up. The support at Twickenham was outstanding last week and we want to work hard on the pitch to make sure we have another atmosphere like that again on Saturday.”

Squad

Starters

15. Freddie Steward

14. Tommy Freeman

13. Manu Tuilagi

12. Owen Farrell (C)

11. Jonny May

10. Marcus Smith

9. Jack van Poortvliet

1. Mako Vunipola

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. Jonny Hill

6. Alex Coles

7. Tom Curry

8. Billy Vunipola

Finishers

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie

17. Ellis Genge

18. Will Stuart

19. David Ribbans

20. Sam Simmonds

21. Ben Youngs

22. Henry Slade

23. Jack Nowell


Images & Content from England Rugby
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