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6 Nations

Wales name team to play Argentina

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Head coach Wayne Pivac has named the Wales senior men’s team to face Argentina in the second round of the Autumn Nations Series.

Wales play Los Pumas under a closed roof at Principality Stadium on Saturday ( KO 5.30pm). The match is live on Amazon Prime, with English and Welsh broadcasts available. There are also highlights on S4C.

Captain Justin Tipuric, who marked his return to international rugby last weekend with a try, starts at openside flanker. Dan Lydiate is selected at blindside flanker. He makes his first appearance in this Autumn Nations Series having started from that position for all three matches in the July Test series against South Africa. Taulupe Faletau is again named at No. 8.

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Dillon Lewis (tight-head prop) will make his 17th start for Wales, joining Gareth Thomas (loose-head prop) and Ken Owens (hooker) in the front row. Adam Beard and Will Rowlands continue their partnership in the second row.

Alex Cuthbert also returns to the Wales starting XV for the first time this autumn taking a position on the wing, with Rio Dyer following up his try-scoring debut against New Zealand with another start in the number 11 jersey.

Louis Rees-Zammit completes the back three with his first international appearance at full back.

Gareth Anscombe, who faced the All Blacks at full back following the late withdrawal of Leigh Halfpenny, will revert to fly half this weekend. Tomos Williams is at scrum half. Nick Tompkins and George North partner up for the fifth time in the centres.

Rhodri Jones (loose-head prop) is named among the replacements and in line to win his first cap since the summer of 2021. Sam Wainwright (tight-head prop), who made his senior international debut during the July Test Series in South Africa, also features on the bench.

Ben Carter and Jac Morgan provide the second and back-row cover respectively, with both having last featured for Wales in the 2022 Guinness Six Nations. Kieran Hardy, Rhys Priestland and Owen Watkin are the replacement backs.

Pivac said: “Last week we had Leigh Halfpenny unavailable at the last minute and we’d trained a certain way so we went with Gareth Anscombe at full back who’s done that before at this level.

“We’re back to Gareth at 10 and we have Louis Rees-Zammit at full back. He’s trained there the entire week. He’s looked good in training and it’s something we’ve explored in the background, so it will be good information going forwards with the Six Nations around the corner and the Rugby World Cup.

“Dillon had done well in South Africa. This is probably the last opportunity to give guys starts and learn as much as we can. Both Dillon and Dan Lydiate have trained well.

“There are some changes among the replacements. There are some niggles that players pick up in games and in training, so some guys have been left out to get themselves 100% right for next week. Some boys we want to have a look at across the competition so in the case of Nicky Smith and Rhodri Jones that’s certainly what we wanted to do the first couple of games.

“We saw last week what Argentina are capable of. They’re a very big team, very strong up front. They have expanded their attacking game and they took an excellent try against England from the set play. They’ve knocked over some big scalps in the last 18 months, New Zealand being one of them.

“They are going to be a big challenge but one we’re looking forward to. After last week’s performance we need a reaction from our team.”

Wales senior men’s team to play Argentina in the Autumn Nations Series. Saturday 12 November, KO 5.30pm GMT. Live on Amazon Prime (English and Welsh broadcasts) with highlights on S4C.
15 Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 20 caps)
14 Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 52 caps)
13 George North (Ospreys – 106 caps)
12 Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 24 caps)
11 Rio Dyer (Dragons – 1 cap)
10 Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 33 caps)
9 Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 37 caps);
1 Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 14 caps)
2 Ken Owens (Scarlets – 83 caps)
3 Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 42 caps)
4 Will Rowlands (Dragons – 22 caps)
5 Adam Beard (Ospreys – 38 caps)
6 Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 68 caps)
7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 86 caps) captain
8 Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 92 caps)

Replacements
16 Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 31 caps)
17 Rhodri Jones (Dragons – 21 caps)
18 Sam Wainwright (Saracens – 2 caps)
19 Ben Carter (Dragons – 6 caps)
20 Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 3 caps)
21 Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 15 caps)
22 Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby – 53 caps)
23 Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 34 caps)

Images & Content – Wales Rugby


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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