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Wallabies confirm 2022 Spring Tour squad

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed a 36-man squad for the upcoming End of Year Tour which will see the side take on five northern hemisphere nations, including the current top-two ranked sides in the world France and Ireland.

Rennie has selected five uncapped players in the group with Melbourne Rebels prop Sam Talakai and NSW pair Ben Donaldson and Mark Nawaqanitawase named as members of the Wallabies squad for the first time.

Donaldson and Nawaqanitawase impressed in the Australia A program in Fiji and Japan, alongside Jock Campbell and Langi Gleeson who are the other two players who could potentially debut in Europe.

Test-centurion Michael Hooper has also been named to re-enter the environment for the first time since the side travelled to Argentina, with the 123-Test capped James Slipper named to continue as captain of the side for the upcoming tour.

The versatile Ned Hanigan has been named in his first national setup since 2020 after also impressing in Japan for Australia A, with Western Force front rower Tom Robertson re-joining the group after Angus Bell was ruled out for the rest of the International season.

Rennie has chosen two overseas-based players in the squad, with La Rochelle’s Will Skelton in line for more game time in Wallaby gold after appearing in all three games off the bench in last year’s Spring Tour.

Flyhalf Bernard Foley is the other, with the number 10 making a return to the Test arena in the Bledisloe Cup Series last month.

The side will kick off their campaign with a Test against Scotland in Edinburgh before their first Test against France in Paris since 2016.

They will then move to play Italy in Florence before Tests against Ireland in Dublin and Wales in Cardiff to round out their 2022 season.

The squad will assemble in Sydney on Tuesday before embarking on the five-game tour the following day.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “We’ve got a massive opportunity over the next five matches to test ourselves against some of the best teams in the world and string together some performances that our supporters are proud of back home in Australia.”

“It’s been really pleasing to continue to get game time into our players through the Australia A program and a number of those guys have been rewarded for their form with selection in the squad.

“To have Michael back in the group is massive for our team on and off the field and we’ll continue to make sure that he has the support around him he needs.”

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Squad summary

Total Test caps: 936

Average Test caps: 25

Average age: 27

Uncapped players: 5 (Jock Campbell, Ben Donaldson, Langi Gleeson, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Sam Talakai)

Most capped: James Slipper (123 Tests)

Youngest member: Langi Gleeson, 21

Oldest member: Cadeyrn Neville, 33

Breakdown: Brumbies 13, NSW Waratahs 9, Queensland Reds 6, Melbourne Rebels 5, Western Force 1, Overseas clubs 2

Wallabies squad for the 2022 Spring Tour (age, team, Tests played)

Allan Alaalatoa (28, ACT Brumbies, 60 Tests)

Tom Banks (28, ACT Brumbies, 20 Tests)

Jock Campbell (27, Queensland Reds, uncapped)

Ben Donaldson (23, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)

Folau Fainga’a (27, ACT Brumbies, 33 Tests)

Lalakai Foketi (27, NSW Waratahs, 4 Tests)

Bernard Foley (32, Kubota Spears, 73 Tests)

Matt Gibbon (27, Melbourne Rebels, 2 Tests)

Nick Frost (23, ACT Brumbies, 5 Tests)

Langi Gleeson (21, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)

Jake Gordon (29, NSW Waratahs, 16 Tests)

Ned Hanigan (27, NSW Waratahs, 25 Tests)

Reece Hodge (28, Melbourne Rebels, 60 Tests)

Jed Holloway (29, NSW Waratahs, 6 Tests)

Michael Hooper (30, NSW Waratahs, 121 Tests)

Len Ikitau (24, ACT Brumbies, 21 Tests)

Andrew Kellaway (27, Melbourne Rebels, 18 Tests)

Noah Lolesio (22, ACT Brumbies, 14 Tests)

Lachlan Lonergan (23, ACT Brumbies, 6 Tests)

Tate McDermott (23, Queensland Reds, 18 Tests)

Fraser McReight (23, Queensland Reds, 8 Tests)

Mark Nawaqanitawase (22, NSW Waratahs, uncapped)

Cadeyrn Neville (33, ACT Brumbies, 3 Tests)

Hunter Paisami (24, Queensland Reds, 20 Tests)

Jordan Petaia (22, Queensland Reds, 22 Tests)

Matt Philip (28, Melbourne Rebels, 27 Tests)

David Porecki (29, NSW Waratahs, 7 Tests)

Tom Robertson (28, Western Force, 27 Tests)

Pete Samu (30, ACT Brumbies, 28 Tests)

Will Skelton (30, Stade Rochelais, 21 Tests)

James Slipper (c) (33, ACT Brumbies, 123 Tests)

Sam Talakai (31, Melbourne Rebels, uncapped)

Taniela Tupou (26, Queensland Reds, 43 Tests)

Rob Valetini (24, ACT Brumbies, 27 Tests)

Nic White (32, ACT Brumbies, 56 Tests)

Tom Wright (25, ACT Brumbies, 18 Tests)

2022 Spring Tour Fixtures

Wallabies v Scotland, Sunday 30 October, 3:30am AEDT at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Wallabies v France, Sunday 6 November, 7:00am AEDT at Stade de France, Paris

Wallabies v Italy, Sunday 13 November, 12:00am AEDT at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

Wallabies v Ireland, Sunday 20 November, 7:00am AEDT at Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Wallabies v Wales, Sunday 27 November, 2:15am AEDT at Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


International

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.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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Nienaber, Kolisi praise Boks for special win

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

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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