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Wallabies name unchanged XV for sold out Springboks Test in Sydney

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has named an unchanged starting XV for the first time in his International coaching career, ahead of Saturday night’s Test against South Africa in Sydney.

The eToro Rugby Championship clash will be the first International event held at the brand new, state-of-the-art venue in front of a sold out 42,500 spectators.

James Slipper will captain the side at loosehead prop, playing his 121st Test which equals that of Michael Hooper and former teammate Adam Ashley-Cooper. He’s joined in the front row by long-time ACT Brumbies teammates Folau Fainga’a and Allan Alaalatoa.

The second-row combination of Rory Arnold and Matt Philip will again start for the Wallabies as the team looks to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this year after defeating South Africa 25-17 last Saturday in Adelaide.

Waratahs Player of the Year Jed Holloway will get to wear Wallaby gold for the first time in his home state, lining up at blindside flanker. Dual try scorer Fraser McReight again starts on the openside with Rob Valetini going strength to strength as the no. 8.

An impressive performance from 22-year-old Noah Lolesio in Adelaide has assured him another start at flyhalf, where he will partner 53-Test halfback Nic White.

The ever-improving midfield pairing of Hunter Paisami and Len Ikitau will get another chance to work on their combination at inside and outside centre respectively.

Reece Hodge had a near flawless game at fullback last weekend and is named again to fill the number 15 jersey with Tom Wright and last week’s man of the match Marika Koroibete on the edges.

The bench remains a 6-2 split for the second consecutive week, with David Porecki, Scott Sio and Taniela Tupou the front row reinforcements.

Darcy Swain will cover the second row, with Rob Leota and Pete Samu offering versatility across the remaining forward positions.

Waratahs captain Jake Gordon is the only change to the matchday 23, named as the finishing scrumhalf in his hometown. The dynamic Andrew Kellaway will also play his first ever Test in Sydney and rounds out the matchday 23.

The team currently sits second on the eToro Rugby Championship ladder at the halfway mark of the competition.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “It’s great to be able to have some consistency in selection with the team that played last week earning the right to wear the jersey again in Sydney.”

“While rapt with last week’s effort, we’re well aware of the challenge a wounded Springbok poses and the intensity we will require again on Saturday night.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to play in front of a sold out crowd in the first International event at the new Allianz Stadium.”

Every Wallabies Test will be ad-free, live and on-demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport. Every home Wallabies Test will also be live, free-to-air on the Nine Network.

Wallabies team to play South Africa at Allianz Stadium, Sydney on Saturday 3 September, 7:30pm AEST

  1. James Slipper (c) (120 Tests)
  2. Folau Fainga’a (30 Tests)
  3. Allan Alaalatoa (57 Tests)
  4. Rory Arnold (31 Tests)
  5. Matt Philip (25 Tests)
  6. Jed Holloway (3 Tests)
  7. Fraser McReight (5 Tests)
  8. Rob Valetini (24 Tests)
  9. Nic White (53 Tests)
  10. Noah Lolesio (13 Tests)
  11. Marika Koroibete (48 Tests)
  12. Hunter Paisami (19 Tests)
  13. Len Ikitau (18 Tests)
  14. Tom Wright (15 Tests)
  15. Reece Hodge (58 Tests)
    Replacements
  16. David Porecki (4 Tests)
  17. Scott Sio (72 Tests)
  18. Taniela Tupou (43 Tests)
  19. Darcy Swain (14 Tests)
  20. Rob Leota (11 Tests)
  21. Pete Samu (25 Tests)
  22. Jake Gordon (13 Tests)
  23. Andrew Kellaway (15 Tests)

2022 eToro Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures

Wallabies 41 defeated Argentina 26, Sunday 7 August at Estadio Malvinas, Mendoza

Wallabies 17 defeated by Argentina 48, Sunday 13 August at Estadio del Bicentenario, San Juan

Wallabies 25 defeated South Africa 17, Saturday 27 August at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 3 September, 7:35pm AEST at Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Wallabies v New Zealand, Thursday 15 September, 7:45pm AEST at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

Wallabies v New Zealand, Saturday 24 September, 5:05pm AEST at Eden Park, Auckland

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


International

Eddie upbeat for ‘intriguing’ World Cup

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Eddie Jones admits the Wallabies are in the chasing pack but still close enough to catch the favourites and win September’s Rugby World Cup.

Jones, after a 15-minute technical glitch, gave his first wide-ranging interview from England on Thursday after his shock appointment on Monday.

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He said the battle to wear the No.10 jersey in France was wide open, touched on the side’s ill-discipline and current eligibility laws, assessed the health of the code in Australia and had a neat return-of-serve to rugby league powerbroker Peter V’landys in the latest code-war chapter.

But when asked if he genuinely thought the inconsistent world No.6 side could win the World Cup this year, he was serious.

“There’s no long term; the whole thing is to win the World Cup in 2023,” said Jones, who is on a five-year contract.

“We have to concentrate on areas that will make the biggest difference to the performance of the team and we have to get selection right.
“And we’ve got to create an environment where players are going to give that little bit more, because nobody knows how much they can give.”

Jones will have just five Tests to prepare his men before the Cup and he turned to racing parlance to assess the current power rankings.

He says feels there’s still time for the field to settle with the team who improves the most between now and October set for victory.

“At the moment France and Ireland, in a horse race they’re at the front on the top of the rise,” he said.

“But there’s still plenty of work to do.

“Australia and England are nestled behind them and the team that improves the most over the next nine months will win the World Cup.

“This is the most intriguing World Cup we’ve ever seen.

“Throw in the volatility of the refereeing at the moment with red and yellow cards.

“You’ve got all these things happening that give us this massive opportunity.”

He said every player would have a chance to “select themselves” in club rugby and that replacing Rennie before his contract was to expire at the end of this year wasn’t in his control.

“I wasn’t thinking, ‘I can do this better than Dave, or, I’m a better person’, it’s not that at all,” he said.

“It’s the fact that there was an opportunity there that as an Australian when you get a chance to coach your country you want to do it, mate.”

In a boost for James O’Connor’s hopes after he was cut from Rennie’s extended squad, Jones said he’d base selection on Super Rugby Pacific form and keep an eye on his foreign-based playmakers.

But Jones admits time isn’t on his side when it comes to settling on a preferred partnership, with rival five-eighth Quade Cooper’s recovery from an Achilles tear counting against him.

“We are going to have to decide quite quickly who we think are the best nines and tens and 12s, particularly, to try and build up that cohesion,” he said.

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


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6 Nations

England team to face Scotland in Six Nations opener

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Ollie Hassell-Collins will make his England debut at left wing, Max Malins returns to the side at right wing and Freddie Steward is named at full back.

Owen Farrell captains the side from inside centre and is joined in the midfield by Joe Marchant. Marcus Smith is at fly-half with Jack van Poortvliet at scrum half.

The front row is made up of vice-captain Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler with Jamie George at hooker. Maro Itoje and Ollie Chessum start at lock, while Ben Curry makes his second appearance for England at open-side flanker. Lewis Ludlam and Alex Dombrandt complete the back row.

Jack Walker is in line to make his England debut after being named as a substitute, Anthony Watson could make a first England appearance since March 2021, and if Dan Cole comes off the bench he will earn a 96th Test cap.

Mako Vunipola, Nick Isiekwe, Ben Earl, Ben Youngs and Ollie Lawrence make up the remaining replacements.

“There are few fixtures in the rugby calendar that excite both players and supporters alike more than the annual Six Nations meeting of the Auld enemy as they battle for the honour of lifting the Calcutta Cup,” said Borthwick.

“Another packed Twickenham will witness the start of the next chapter of English rugby in one of the most keenly contested tournaments in the world. There is no doubt this England team shares the supporters’ sense of eager anticipation.

“To a man, the players are determined to play with the commitment, fight and desire that is at the very heart of representing England, the sort of passion that our tremendous supporters rightly expect.”

England Match Day Squad

Starting

15. Freddie Steward

14. Max Malins

13. Joe Marchant

12. Owen Farrell (C)

11. Ollie Hassell-Collins

10. Marcus Smith

9. Jack van Poortvliet

1. Ellis Genge (VC)

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. Ollie Chessum

6. Lewis Ludlam

7. Ben Curry

8. Alex Dombrandt

Replacements

16. Jack Walker

17. Mako Vunipola

18. Dan Cole

19. Nick Isiekwe

20. Ben Earl

21. Ben Youngs

22. Ollie Lawrence

23. Anthony Watson


Images & Content from England Rugby
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6 Nations

Scotland name team to face England in 2023 Guinness Six Nations Opener

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Head coach Gregor Townsend has named his squad to face England in the opening fixture of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations this Saturday as Scotland bid to retain the Calcutta Cup.

Leading his side in the championship for the first time, blindside flanker Jamie Ritchie is joined at openside by Luke Crosbie, whose excellent recent form is rewarded with a second start for Scotland, with Matt Fagerson completing the back row.

In the second row, the experienced Richie Gray and Grant Gilchrist, who is named as Vice Captain, resume a partnership that impressed during last year’s Autumn Nations Series.

Pierre Schoeman starts at loosehead prop in what is a 17th consecutive international since his 2021 debut, with the evergreen WP Nel – who reached 50 caps in November – selected at tighthead and George Turner named at hooker.

In the back division, scrum-half Ben White will link up with stand-off Finn Russell, a year on from his try-scoring debut in the Calcutta Cup at BT Murrayfield.

Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones are named as a centre pairing, the former having scored his first tries for Scotland in November’s win over Argentina, with the latter having notched no fewer than four tries against England in as many games against them.

In the back three, Scotland’s record try-scorer Stuart Hogg continues at full-back, with Duhan van der Merwe and Kyle Steyn lining up on the wings.

Townsend has selected a bench with a 5-3 split between forwards and backs, with Glasgow Warriors clubmates Fraser Brown, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan and Jack Dempsey, alongside Jonny Gray, listed as pack replacements. George Horne, Blair Kinghorn and Chris Harris complete the matchday squad as substitute options.

Scotland team to face England in the Guinness Six Nations opener on Saturday, 4 February at Twickenham, kick-off 4.45pm, live on STV and ITV

15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 96 caps

14. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 23 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) 65 caps
9. Ben White (London Irish) 9 caps

1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 16 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 30 caps
3. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 50 caps
4. Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 69 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – Vice Captain – 59 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 36 caps
7. Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh Rugby) 2 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps

Replacements

16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps
17. Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps
18. Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors) 31 caps
19. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) 72 caps
20. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 4 caps
21. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps
22. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 38 caps
23. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby) 39 caps

Tickets for Scotland’s match against Italy at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness Six Nations on Saturday 18 March are still available HERE

Images & Content – Scotland Rugby


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