Connect with us


PREVIEW: All Blacks v Argentina Second Test (Hamilton)



The All Blacks will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to Argentina and keep their Rugby Championship hopes alive when they take on the Pumas again in Hamilton on Saturday night.

MATCH DETAILS: All Blacks v Argentina, Saturday 3 September, 7.05pm NZT, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton. (TICKETS)


Played: 34

Won: All Blacks 31, Argentina 2, Drawn 1

Last time: All Blacks 18, Argentina 25 (27 August 2022, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch)

Referee: Nic Berry




With the Lipovitan-D Rugby Championship at the halfway point, the competition has never been more open or unpredictable. All four teams are still in the running for the title with Argentina and Australia sitting on top with nine points. The All Blacks are in third place on five points with South Africa at the bottom on four points. Such is the nature of the tournament this year, the table could completely flip this weekend if the All Blacks and South Africa both secured victories. All Blacks playmaker Beauden Barrett said: “It’s a great competition this year, anyone can win on their day, and it’s going to be an interesting few weeks to finish.”




All Blacks selectors Ian Foster, Joe Schmidt and Jason Ryan have opted for the same starting fifteen as the two previous Tests against South Africa and Argentina – the first time since 1997 that the All Blacks have retained the same starting fifteen for three consecutive Test matches. There is a new look bench with first five-eighths Beauden Barrett and lock Brodie Retallick returning from injury. The pair add 201 Test caps of experience between them, while Barrett is the most capped All Black against Argentina with 16 appearances. Additional changes have been made to the reserves where hooker Dane Coles and loose forward Dalton Papali’i will look to make an impact later in the game.



After missing selection for the Steinlager Series, young props Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax have impressed in the Rugby Championship and are looking forward to their third-straight start together. De Groot said he felt the pair had something to prove coming into the side and were building their combination every day. “We know that we have to be on because there is a lot of competition at the moment. George (Bower) is playing well, Rossy (Aidan Ross) has come in and is training well every week, and then you’ve got the other boys on the tighthead side as well, Fletcher has come in and going unreal, you’ve got a bit of experience in Angus, so me and Loey (Tyrel) just got to keep it on.”




All Blacks coach Ian Foster said lifting the side’s performance in the final quarter would be a focus in Hamilton. “Great All Black teams have always been good in that last 20 minutes at backing themselves and doing the right thing. We got it right in South Africa, but wrong in Christchurch.” Foster said. “It is something we are working hard on to grow the confidence in the last part of the game to make sure we embrace those moments but also stay clear in our decision-making.”



Argentina have the best success rate on lineout throws of any team in the Rugby Championship in 2022 (90% – 37/41). However, no team has stolen more opposition lineouts in the competition this year than the All Blacks with six.




All Blacks (Test caps in brackets):


1. Ethan de Groot (7) 2. Samisoni Taukei’aho (14) 3. Tyrel Lomax (17) 4. Sam Whitelock (137) 5. Scott Barrett (53) 6. Shannon Frizell (20) 7. Sam Cane © (83) 8. Ardie Savea (65) 9. Aaron Smith (108) 10. Richie Mo’unga (38) 11. Caleb Clarke (8) 12. David Havili (19) 13. Rieko Ioane (53) 14. Will Jordan (18) 15. Jordie Barrett (42)


Reserves: 16. Dane Coles (82) 17. George Bower (17) 18. Fletcher Newell (2) 9. Brodie Retallick (95) 20. Dalton Papali’i (15) 21. Finlay Christie (9) 22. Beauden Barrett (106) 23. Quinn Tupaea (12)




1: Thomas Gallo 2: Julian Montoya (c) 3: Joel Sclavi 4: Guido Petti 5: Tomas Lavanini 6: Santiago Grondona 7: Marcos Kremer 8: Pablo Matera 9: Tomas Cubelli 10: Santiago Carreras 11: Santiago Cordero 12: Matias Orlando 13: Matias Moroni 14: Emiliano Boffelli 15: Juan Cruz Mallia


Reserves: 16: Santiago Socino, 17: Mayco Vivas, 18: Eduardo Bello, 19: Matias Alemanno, 20: Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21: Gonzalo Bertranou, 22: Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23: Lucio Cinto.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


Marshall primed for Crusaders coaching opportunity



James Marshall couldn’t escape rugby’s draw after retiring from playing and failed in his promised avoidance of the coaching ranks.

The former Super Rugby title winner with the Hurricanes has fitted into coaching so well that he will spend 2023 as backs coach for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Auckland-born Marshall started his rugby career with Tasman, but when missing a place in the Super Rugby structure, in a team or wider training group, he had a chance as a 20-year-old to play in Italy with Zebre.

It proved a stimulating experience in coping with playing a different style of rugby at a different level.

He returned to New Zealand six months later for another three seasons with Tasman before getting a chance in the Hurricanes’ wider squad. He had spent four years trying to get a place in the Crusaders.

“I could never crack it as a player but I’m here now as a coach,” he said.

“It is surreal to be here now. When I finished rugby, I promised my wife I wouldn’t get into coaching. We had moved around so many times during my career, even when I was playing for the Hurricanes moving to Taranaki every six months.

“We worked it out there were well over 20 houses we lived in throughout my career so when I got to the end of it I did say I wouldn’t be chasing the coaching dream, and I wouldn’t be moving the family around any more.”

However, back in Nelson, he got the chance to work with Andrew Goodman and Shane Christie, which gave him coaching work where he had decided to settle.

“Then a couple of years later,, I get a call from Razor [Scott Robertson] and it really throws a spanner in the works for my wife and when I got the opportunity, it was a no brainer. It’s such a good opportunity for me to learn and see where coaching can now take me.”

He contacted David Havili to see if he felt Marshall could do the job asked of him as backs coach and to see if he would have the backing of the players.

Havili got back in touch to say how much he thought Marshall could add to the environment. He also contacted some of his Hurricanes contacts and admitted being surprised at how supportive they were.

The Crusaders were one of the most successful sides in the sport’s history, and looking from the outside while playing, he had always wondered what went on and how they did it.

“It’s been impressive. It’s a well-run ship. Razor does a great job. Scotty Hansen, the detail he has on the rugby programme. Tamati Ellison, some of his coaching, it’s all world-class.

“It’s been awesome for me as a young coach to witness these guys at work and try and learn as much as I can off them.

“There’s also the players. It’s a pretty impressive squad when you look at it on paper and the chance to work with some world-class athletes and try and teach them as much as I can, but also try and learn from them,” he said.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

Continue Reading

6 Nations

RTÉ And Virgin Media Confirm Details Of Free-To-Air Six Nations Coverage



RTÉ and Virgin Media Television today announced details of its joint Guinness Six Nations coverage, where the action will be free-to-air for supporters in the Republic of Ireland.

Kicking off on Friday, 3 February, this year’s Six Nations coverage will include all fixtures from Ireland’s Men’s, Women’s and U20 tournaments.

The partnership will see all games equally aired across both broadcasters again this year.

The 2023 Men’s Six Nations will open with Ireland v Wales on Virgin Media One, followed by England v Scotland on RTÉ2. Ireland will then take on current champions France on Saturday, 11 February.

The TikTok Women’s Six Nations will begin on Sunday, 26 March with Wales v Ireland.

Speaking at this morning’s launch at the Aviva Stadium, presenters Jacqui Hurley and Joe Molloy were joined on stage by members of their broadcast teams this year including pundits Rob Kearney, Fiona Hayes (Virgin Media Television), and RTÉ’s Jamie Heaslip and Hannah Tyrrell.

RTÉ also confirmed that Irish international and Munster player Simon Zebo will be joining their punditry team.

Commenting, Head of RTÉ Sport, Declan McBennett said: “With this being a great year for rugby, there is added excitement about this year’s Six Nations which RTÉ is once again bringing to sports fans all over the country free-to-air along with Virgin Media Ireland as part of our historic partnership which we launched last year.

“It’s going to be a huge year for Irish rugby and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography

Continue Reading


Statement on behalf of Dave Rennie



Following Monday’s announcement Dave Rennie has issued the following statement.

“Firstly, I’d like to thank all of those who have reached out to Steph and I over the past 48 hours or so.

“The support has been immense and much appreciated from the more than 500 messages I’ve received from current and former players, coaches, administrators and friends both here and abroad.

“I’ve loved my time with the team. They’re outstanding young men who are keen to learn and prepared to work hard.

“The staff I worked with during my time with the Wallabies are some of the best in the world and they played a massive role in creating a quality environment and developing the depth of the playing group.

“I’d like to particularly thank those in the Australian Rugby community for their support of the team over the past three years and for all the words of encouragement when we have crossed paths in schools, on the training field or in airports around the country.

“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to see out my contract in the way I agreed to back in 2019 but leave knowing I had the full support of the playing group and the staff.

“I certainly felt we have made massive shifts over the past three years both on and off the field, which is off the back of a hell of a lot of hard work put in by good people.

“I wish Eddie, the staff and the team all the best in what’s a massive year, with the Rugby World Cup less than nine months away.”

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby

Continue Reading