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Three Debutants in Springboks Team for Wallabies Test

South Africa will hand three players their test debuts during Saturday’s clash against Australia

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(Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rassie Erasmus has named his Springboks squad for his team’s Rugby Championship opener against Australia on Saturday.

Within the squad there are three in Rynhardt Elstadt, Herschel Jantjies and Lizo Gqoboka, with the former two starting at blindside flanker and scrum-half respectively.

With Siya Kolisi still missing through injury, Eben Etzebeth will captain the Springboks for the 12th time.

Elsewhere, the front-three is made up of 107-cap prop Tendai Mtawarira, Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane.

While Etzebeth is joined in the engine-room by Lood de Jager, with Elstadt, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Francois Louw at six, seven and eight respectively.

Debutant Jantjies partners Elton Jantjies in the half-backs, with Andre Esterhuizen and Jesse Kriel outside them in the centre.

As Aphiwe Dyantyi is currently out injured it’s Makazole Mapimpi and Sbu Nkosi on the wings with Warrick Gelant finishing the XV from full-back.

There is a serious amount of experience on the bench with the likes of Marcell Coetzee, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn and Dillyn Leyds among the subs.

SA Rugby director of rugby Erasmus is happy with his squad and believes that his team can win the shortened championship.

“The squad have trained together for more than three weeks and this match is important for us to start a very important rugby year. We want to win the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and we have a specific plan, which starts Saturday with the first Test against the Wallabies. We have planned to mix things up in the first two Tests of the season, in order to give game time to as many of the players in our wider squad, and we believe this is the right combination to face a very good and competitive Australian side,” he said.

Erasmus went on to talk about how Etzebeth is an ideal leader and is looking forward to opening up their international season.

“We are excited for the forthcoming year and I want to congratulate Rynhardt, Herschel and Lizo on their first inclusion in a Springbok match-day squad, while the leadership role is not something new for Eben. The build-up has been good and there is definitely a very good vibe for match. Australia have prepared very well for this match and they have spent two weeks at altitude to acclimatise to the Highveld, so we are in for a great contest,” he added.

The Springboks kick-off their shortened Rugby Championship against the Wallabies on Saturday, before playing the All Blacks and finishing up their tournament against Argentina.

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

15. Warrick Gelant (Vodacom Bulls), 5 caps – 5 points (1 try)

14. Sbu Nkosi (Cell C Sharks), 6 – 20 (4t)

13. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Bulls), 40 – 60 (12t)

12. André Esterhuizen (Cell C Sharks), 6 – 0

11. Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks), 4 – 20 (4t)

10. Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), 33 – 229 (2t, 42c, 45p)

9. Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers), uncapped

8. Francois Louw (Bath, England), 65 – 45 (9t)

7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), 46 – 20 (4t)

6. Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), uncapped

5. Lood de Jager (Vodacom Bulls), 38 – 20 (4t)

4. Eben Etzebeth (captain, DHL Stormers), 75 – 15 (3t)

3. Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls), 37 – 5 (1t)

2. Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), 26 – 15 (3t)

1. Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), 107 – 10 (2t)

Replacements:

16. Schalk Brits (Vodacom Bulls), 11 – 5 (1t)

17. Lizo Gqoboka (Vodacom Bulls), uncapped

18. Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), 13 – 0

19. Marvin Orie (Emirates Lions), 1 – 0

20. Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), 28 – 30 (6t)

21. Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), 10 – 10 (2t)

22. Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France), 56 – 132 (10t, 5c, 21p, 3d)

23. Dillyn Leyds (DHL Stormers), 9 – 5 (1t)

International

Best to Captain Barbarians at Twickenham

The Barbarians have announced their squad for their clash with Fiji on November 16th and Ireland legend Rory Best will captain the invitational side on his final professional appearance

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Barbarians have confirmed their 23-man squad for their match against Fiji on Saturday November 16th at Twickenham, with Rory Best set to captain the side.

The invitational side take on Fiji in the Killik Cup as England head coach takes charge of the team and Irish rugby legend Best will captain the team from hooker in what will be his final professional appearance, having finished his international career with Ireland during the Rugby World Cup

Best is joined by Springbok ace and fellow legend in rugby Tendai Mtawarira in the front-row as the pair are joined by Enrique Pieretto. 

As well as Mtawarira, fellow World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi starts on the wing, while Boks’ centre Lukhanyo Am is on the bench along with former Springbok Morne Steyn, who joins up in a Barbarians squad with Mtawarira once again, having lined-out together back in 2009 during a 25-19 win over the All Blacks.

Elsewhere, the side contains big names such as Mathieu Bastareaud, who links up with Andre Esterhuizen in the midfield. 

It is the first of three fixtures for the Baa Baas as they follow their game with Fiji, with clashes against Brazil in Sao Paolo and Wales at the Principality Stadium to conclude their November tour for 2019. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

15. David Havili

14. Dillyn Leyds

13. Mathieu Bastareaud

12. Andre Esterhuizen

11. Makazole Mapimpi

10. Curwin Bosch

9. Joe Powell

1. Tendai Mtawariria

2. Rory Best ©

3. Enrique Pieretto

4. Luke Jones

5. Tyler Ardron

6. Pete Samu

7. Marco Van Staden 

8. Josh Strauss

Replacements:

Andrew Makalio, Campese Maafu, Hencus Van Wyk, Angus Cottrell, Matt Philip, Jano Vermaak, Lukhanyo Am, Morne Steyn

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6 Nations

Wales Dealt Six Nations Double-Blow

Wales’ Six Nations title defence has been dealt a massive blow already with two stars facing surgery to fix injuries picked up on international duty

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(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Wales will be without both Jonathan Davies and Rhys Patchell for some part of the 2020 Six Nations campaign due to injury it has been confirmed.

Davies, a key member of the Welsh squad for the past number of seasons sustained a knee injury during Wales’ recent Rugby World Cup campaign, and Scarlets have announced that he will undergo surgery on the injury.

The recovery time for the for the centre is set to be six months, meaning he will miss the entire Six Nations tournament in what could be a critical blow as they look to defend their title. While it also means that he could potentially miss the entire club season for Scarlets.

As for Patchell, things aren’t as severe as Davies, but the fly-half is still set to miss the start of the Six Nations with a shoulder injury, which he too will have surgery on.

He is expected to miss between 12-16 weeks due to the injury in what is a cruel blow for a player that has suffered with injury previously, but had shown some brilliant form in recent times.

It is a far from ideal start to life at the helm for new head coach Wayne Pivac as he heads into his first tournament with the team.

As well as these injuries there are also further concerns regarding the likes of stars Liam Williams and Josh Navidi, who are both currently sidelined through injury, with the former looking likely to miss some part of the Six Nations.

Wales are looking to bounce-back during the tournament following a fourth-place finish at the World Cup, with all players hoping to impress Warren Gatland’s successor.

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International

Why Gatland Turned Down the All Blacks

Warren Gatland has confirmed that he was approached by the All Blacks to fill their vacant head coach position, but has explained why he said no

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(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Former Wales head coach Warren Gatland has confirmed that he turned down the chance to be in the running as the next New Zealand head coach due to his commitment to the Chiefs and the British and Irish Lions.

Gatland, who finished his time with Wales following their Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan earlier this month, has taken the reins at New Zealand Super Rugby side the Chiefs, with a contract that runs until 2023 and allows for a year out to lead the Lions on their 2021 tour of South Africa

Speaking to Radio Sport Breakfast the Kiwi admitted that it was great to be in the running for the All Blacks position, however, he could not accept as he is loyal to the teams that he had already agreed deals with but isn’t turning down the possibility of having the role in the future.

 “I was contacted about that…it was nice to be contacted I politely declined putting my name forward. I’m a little bit old school…I’d made the commitment to the Chiefs and I’d made the commitment to the Lions, it was important that I carry on with that…honour the commitment I made to those two sides. Maybe sometime in the future I may get that opportunity again,” he said. 

New Zealand Rugby have confirmed that a total of 26 coaches have been given the opportunity to apply for the position, but Gatland is focused on his new job with the Chiefs and believes that if he is meant to have a role with the All Blacks that it will happen later in his career. 

“I’m not one of those people who plan ahead too much…I’m a great believer in what will be will be. For me having been away a long time there are a lot of different challenges and the challenges are to kind re-integrate myself back into New Zealand rugby. If you are successful other opportunities will come along. It was time for me to make a decision to leave Wales and the northern hemisphere and come back to New Zealand and I’m excited by that,” he added. 

Gatland, who had 12 successful years with Wales until his return to New Zealand is preparing for the 2020 Super Rugby season with his new franchise, who have confirmed the signings of promising backs Kini Naholo and Quinn Tupaea ahead of the campaign. 

As well as those youngsters there is a return to New Zealand rugby for fly-half Aaron Cruden, who signed a one-year contract ahead of a move to Japan and both he and Gatland will hope to make big impacts upon their returns to their home nation. 

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