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Wallabies welcome reinforcements for clash with World Champion Springboks

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has made six changes to the starting XV ahead of Saturday afternoon’s clash with South Africa at the iconic Adelaide Oval, in what will be the first Test to be played in the South Australian capital since 2004.

The two sides will square off for the Mandela Challenge Plate, with the Test also featuring as part of a double header with the Wallaroos taking on the Black Ferns in the earlier game.

57-Test capped Reece Hodge returns to the starting line-up at fullback with Tom Wright shifting back to the right wing and Marika Koroibete on the familiar left edge for the match which forms part of the eToro Rugby Championship.

After returning to Australia early from Argentina for a family bereavement, Allan Alaalatoa will start in the front row at tighthead prop alongside hooker Folau Fainga’a and club teammate James Slipper who plays his 120th Test. Slipper will also continue to captain the side this weekend.

Rebels stalwart Matt Philip’s experience has been called upon, named in the run-on second row pairing alongside Rory Arnold who made his first appearance in the gold jersey this year, in the side’s last outing in San Juan.

The backrow remains unchanged for the third consecutive week with Jed Holloway continuing his impressive start to his Test career at blindside flanker. He’ll combine with Fraser McReight who is selected at openside flanker and Rob Valetini who will wear the number eight jersey for the 16th consecutive Test.

The experienced Nic White will again be the starting scrumhalf, partnering Brumbies teammate Noah Lolesio who will play his first Test against the Springboks on Saturday afternoon.

Queensland inside centre Hunter Paisami is another who returns to the starting team, reigniting his midfield combination with the fleet-footed Len Ikitau who will wear the number 13 jersey.

Rennie has opted for a 6-2 split, with Waratahs hooker David Porecki also recalled after overcoming injury to be named as the finishing rake, with the experienced duo of Scott Sio and Taniela Tupou the other replacement front rowers.

Darcy Swain will be called upon as the lock cover, with Melbourne-born duo Rob Leota and Pete Samu the other forward replacements.

Reds skipper Tate McDermott will be asked to bring energy as the finishing scrumhalf while Andrew Kellaway has recovered from injury to round out the match day 23, in what will be his first Test since the Wallabies defeated England in Perth in July.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “It’s great to have a number of experienced players back in the mix this weekend.”

“We understand that respect is earned daily and we get an opportunity to earn it against the current World Champions on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s really motivating to be back at home in front of our supporters, especially in Adelaide, a place we haven’t played at in 18 years.”

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 Adelaide Oval, Adelaide on Saturday 27 August, 3:00pm ACST

  1. James Slipper (c) (119 Tests)
  2. Folau Fainga’a (29 Tests)
  3. Allan Alaalatoa (56 Tests)
  4. Rory Arnold (30 Tests)
  5. Matt Philip (24 Tests)
  6. Jed Holloway (2 Tests)
  7. Fraser McReight (4 Tests)
  8. Rob Valetini (23 Tests)
  9. Nic White (52 Tests)
  10. Noah Lolesio (12 Tests)
  11. Marika Koroibete (47 Tests)
  12. Hunter Paisami (18 Tests)
  13. Len Ikitau (17 Tests)
  14. Tom Wright (14 Tests)
  15. Reece Hodge (57 Tests)
    Replacements
  16. David Porecki (3 Tests)
  17. Scott Sio (71 Tests)
  18. Taniela Tupou (42 Tests)
  19. Darcy Swain (13 Tests)
  20. Rob Leota (10 Tests)
  21. Pete Samu (24 Tests)
  22. Tate McDermott (17 Tests)
  23. Andrew Kellaway (14 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 v South Africa, Saturday 27 August, 3:00pm ACST at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Wallabies v South Africa, Saturday 3 September, 7:30pm 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

Marshall primed for Crusaders coaching opportunity

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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


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6 Nations

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

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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


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International

Statement on behalf of Dave Rennie

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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


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