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Australia A confirm side to face Japan XV

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Australia A coach Jason Gilmore has named an imposing side as they prepare to kick-off a three-match series against a Japan XV on October 1 in Tokyo.

Scrumhalf Ryan Lonergan once again will lead the side as they look to build from their second-place finish in the Pacific Nations Cup in July.

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Lonergan is joined in the halves by Waratahs flyhalf Ben Donaldson, eager to continue his breakout season, with Gilmore confirming Tane Edmed will likely get a shot in the second Test.

Suliasi Vunivalu will get his chance to shine, selected on the wing in an all-Reds back-three as he partners Filipo Daugunu and Jock Campbell.

Gilmore has kept a relatively settled front-row from their last match against Tonga, with Brumbies hooker Lachlan Lonergan coming in to partner Matt Gibbon and Tom Robertson.

Wallabies Nick Frost and Cadeyrn Neville form an imposing second-row, with Ned Hanigan making his return from injury with Ollie Callan and Langi Gleeson in the back row.

Force centre Bayley Kuenzle will make his first appearance in the Australia A side, partnering Brumby Hudson Creighton.

Exciting Brumbies hooker Billy Pollard headlines the replacements off the bench alongside Archer Holz and Harry Hoopert.

Rebels back-rower Brad Wilkin has been rewarded for a strong season with selection on the bench, with Ryan Smith rounding out the forwards’ reserve.

He is joined by club teammate James Tuttle as well as Reds back Isaac Henry and Mark Nawaqanitawase, who returns from a brief stint with the Sevens.

Gilmore also confirmed Tom Banks will be likely used in some capacity in the second Test, still recovering from a broken arm.

Every game of the Australia A tour of Japan will be streamed live and available on demand on Stan Sport.  

Australia A team to play Japan at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday 1 October, 7:00pm JST/8:00pm AEST

1. Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels)

2. Lachlan Lonergan (ACT Brumbies)

3. Tom Robertson (Western Force)

4. Nick Frost (ACT Brumbies)

5. Cadeyrn Neville (ACT Brumbies)

6. Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs)

7. Ollie Callan (Western Force)

8. Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs)

9. Ryan Lonergan (c) (ACT Brumbies)

10. Ben Donaldson (NSW Waratahs)

11. Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds)

12. Bayley Kuenzle (Western Force)

13. Hudson Creighton (ACT Brumbies)

14. Suliasi Vunivalu (Queensland Reds)

15. Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)

Replacements

16. Billy Pollard (ACT Brumbies)

17. Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds)

18. Archer Holz (NSW Waratahs)

19. Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds)

20. Brad Wilkin (Melbourne Rebels)

21. James Tuttle (Melbourne Rebels)

22. Isaac Henry (Queensland Reds)

23. Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW Waratahs)

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


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Spencer looking to bring innovation to Sky Super Rugby Aupiki

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Former All Blacks and Blues first five-eighths Carlos Spencer hopes to pass on the sort of rugby that marked his career as a backs coach for the Blues women’s side in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki in 2023.

The 99-time Blues’ pivot played 44 Tests for the All Blacks and 89 games for Auckland during his career spanning the turn of the century. He also played for Northampton and Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Since building his coaching record after completing his rugby-playing career in South Africa in Gauteng, he has coached in the Republic, the United States and the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Now he has taken the chance to join head coach Willie Walker and fellow assistant coach Linda Itunu with the Blues.

Spencer, 47, said: “When I was playing, I always liked to bring a bit of innovation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to the table. Now, as a coach, I want to encourage and help grow those same traits in our Blues wahine.”

Like most of New Zealand, he was caught up in the Black Ferns’ World Cup success, and he anticipates there will be a follow-on effect in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki.

“You’ve seen the rise of women’s rugby and the way the public got right in behind the Black Ferns.

“We’re at an exciting juncture for the sport, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and doing what I can to help grow and support women’s rugby.”

“I’ve known Willie [Walker] for a while. We’ve thrown the touch ball around and have a good relationship. He’s done some fantastic work with the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup, and I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and getting the backline humming.

“I don’t know Linda, but have seen her exploits on the field for many years with the Black Ferns – she was an enforcer on the field,”

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said having Spencer on board with the Blues organisation was special, and was an example of harnessing the resources available within the franchise’s region.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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Constructive talks between World Rugby, Erasmus

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies met with South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general.

Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions.

There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players.

Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.

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Nienaber, Kolisi praise Boks for special win

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi praised the team for their brave effort to earn their first win over England at Twickenham since 2014, and their first personal victories in London as they registered a rewarding 27-13 victory on Saturday.

The Boks built up an encouraging 14-3 halftime lead and managed to stretch it to 27-6 in the 57th minute before being reduced to 14 men for the last 20 minutes after replacement prop Thomas du Toit received a red card for a dangerous tackle. Despite this, the team hung on as if their lives depended on it to snatch the memorable victory.

The result saw the Boks win two of their four matches on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour – with the two narrow defeats being against the first and second ranked teams in the world in Ireland and France.

“We’ve had a couple of special results as a team, but this was the first win for Siya and I at Twickenham, so it’s very special to us,” said Nienaber.

“The forwards were outstanding and created a good platform for our backs to attack, so all-in-all, it was a fantastic team effort.”

Kolisi echoed lauded the entire team for their efforts to make the victory possible.

“Sometimes we take it for granted what a special environment one is in and the great coaching team we have,” said Kolisi.

“When we got together with most of this coaching team in 2018, we all bought into the plans and the synergy and the way we work together is really special in this group.”

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Nienaber was delighted with the way some of the young players rose to the occasion and said: “With this match being outside of the international Test window there were a whole lot of players who were not available for selection, but we have a lot of players knocking on the door and it was great to give those guys an opportunity tonight.

“It’s always good to give those players a chance under such pressure in front of a packed Twickenham, which can be pretty hostile, and they stood up today.”

Asked what he had told his players when they were reduced to 14 men, Kolisi said: “We actually said last week there is nothing we haven’t faced together as a group year. We’ve even been in situation when we had a red card, so the players knew what to do.

“Everyone knew they had to work harder to make up for the extra man, and the way the forwards played was great, and everyone did their bit to get the result.”

Wrapping up the tour, Nienaber said: “This was one of the most enjoyable four weeks we’ve had had even though we only got a 50% win record. The way the team, coaches, management and the game drivers made plans and worked tightly together with it was great, and we can take a lot from this going forward.”

The team will make their journey back to South Africa on Sunday and arrive on their home soil on Monday.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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