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All Blacks named for historic 100th Test against South Africa

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Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

The All Blacks team has been named to play in the historic 100th Test match against South Africa in the Fortinet Rugby Championship at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville, on Saturday 25 September (Kick-off: 5.05PM AEST, 7.05PM NZT).

The matchday 23 is (Test caps in brackets):

1. Joe Moody (52)
2. Codie Taylor (62)
3. Nepo Laulala (35)
4. Brodie Retallick (87)
5. Scott Barrett (46)
6. Akira Ioane (8)
7. Ardie Savea (54) – captain
8. Luke Jacobson (9)
9. TJ Perenara (73)
10. Beauden Barrett (96)
11. George Bridge (15)
12. David Havili (9)
13. Rieko Ioane (42)
14. Will Jordan (8)
15. Jordie Barrett (30)

16. Samisoni Taukei’aho (6)
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe (22)
18. Ofa Tuungafasi (40)
19. Patrick Tuipulotu (39)
20. Ethan Blackadder (5)
21. Brad Weber (12)
22. Damian McKenzie (35)
23. Quinn Tupaea (3)

In the starting front row, Joe Moody retains the number one starting jersey and Nepo Laulala is back in the number three jersey, with Codie Taylor returning at starting hooker.  Props Karl Tu’inukuafe and Ofa Tuungafasi, along with hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho, are front row cover from the bench.

In the second row, the hugely-experienced Brodie Retallick returns alongside Scott Barrett, with Patrick Tuipulotu the reserve lock. In the loose forwards, Akira Ioane is at blindside flanker, captain Ardie Savea is at seven and Luke Jacobson at number eight.  Ethan Blackadder is the loose forward impact from the bench.

In the backs, TJ Perenara is again at halfback, with Beauden Barrett back in the starting 10 jersey in his 97th Test, playing his 15th Test against South Africa. David Havili returns at second five-eighth, Rieko Ioane is again at centre and the starting back three from last week’s Test are retained, with George Bridge again on the left wing, Will Jordan on the right wing and Jordie Barrett at fullback. Halfback Brad Weber, Damian McKenzie and midfielder Quinn Tupaea are the back reserves.

All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said: “The whole team is excited at what lies ahead this weekend.  The group is working hard, we have been building our performances and we’ve put ourselves in a great position to win the Fortinet Rugby Championship and that’s really exciting for the team. The fact that it is against South Africa is pretty special.”

The All Blacks are expecting a torrid battle up front, as always against the Springboks. Commenting on the forwards selection, Foster added:  “It’s a tough pack to pick at the moment because there are a lot of players putting their hands up and there were some players who played well last week.”

“But we have got some very good combinations that we have worked on since the start of the Championship. It’s great to have experienced players like Joe Moody, Ofa Tuungafasi and Patrick Tuipulotu back. It has given us a great starting pack and a strong bench.”

Foster said the team was looking forward to playing in the 100th Test match, but had a narrow focus this week.

“For us, as a team, we’re trying to zone in on what we want to do in this game. We are all aware of the history and legacy of this match and respect that, but the only way we can do justice to that is to prepare well and focus on what we have to do.

“We’re excited and getting ready for what will be a huge challenge.  It will be the first time a number of our guys have played South Africa so they’re excited and ready for it,” Foster said.

Stats and facts

– The 100th Test will be played in the centenary year of the famous All Blacks- Springboks rivalry.  The very first Test was played at the historic Carisbrook ground in Dunedin on 13 August 1921, with the All Blacks winning 13-5 that day.  The last Test match was the Pool match at RWC2019 which the All Blacks won 23-13.

– In the 99 Tests to date, the All Blacks have won 59 times, South Africa 36, with four drawn matches.  The All Blacks have scored 2,050 points in that time including 225 tries while the Springboks have scored 1,577 points, including 153 tries.

– The teams will once again be playing for The Freedom Cup, which was introduced in 2004. The All Blacks have held the Cup since 2010.

– The All Blacks have scored 16,997 points in Test matches and are set to be the first international team to top 17,000 points.

– Beauden Barrett will be playing his 15th Test against South Africa and Brodie Retallick his 12th. Eight players (Akira Ioane, Luke Jacobson, David Havili, Will Jordan, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ethan Blackadder, Brad Weber and Quinn Tupaea) will be playing them for the first time.

For more information and to get fully immersed in the All Blacks-Springboks rivalry go to www.allblacks.com/NZLvRSA100 


All Blacks matches – 2021 Fortinet Rugby Championship

Round 1
All Blacks 57 Australia 22, Saturday 14 August, Eden Park, Auckland

Round 2
Australia 21 All Blacks 38, Sunday 5 September, Optus Stadium, Perth

Round 3
All Blacks 39 Argentina 0, Sunday 12 September, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Round 4
Argentina 13 All Blacks 36, Saturday 18 September, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane,

Round 5
All Blacks vs South Africa, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville, Saturday 25 September
(Kick-off: 5.05PM AEST, 7.05PM NZT)

Round 6
South Africa vs All Blacks, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast, Saturday 2 October
(Kick-off: 8.05PM AEST, 11.05PM NZT)

Source – All Blacks Rugby

International

Saints sign Wallabies star

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Image Credit: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints are delighted to confirm the signing of Australian international lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The 6’6” second row – who clocks in at 116kgs and can also line up in the back row – has 30 Test caps to his name for the Wallabies, and will arrive at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens following the conclusion of the 2022 Super Rugby campaign.

After representing Sydney’s Western Suburbs rugby league side at age-group level, Salakaia-Loto came through the Colts and Shute Shield teams for Randwick, also getting selected for Australia in the 2015 and 2016 World Rugby Under-20s Championships.

He signed his first professional contract with Queensland Reds in 2015 and has since enjoyed a stellar seven-year Super Rugby career, making 64 appearances in the competition to date.

His form for the Reds was rewarded with a Test debut for Australia against South Africa in 2017; Salakaia-Loto then notched up five appearances at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and has also taken his Rugby Championship tally to 12, but the 25-year-old is now relishing the prospect of proving his ability in the Gallagher Premiership.

“I am incredibly excited to be signing for Northampton Saints, a prestigious Club which is known around the world and boasts a long history of success,” Salakaia-Loto said.

“I’ve heard that Franklin’s Gardens is an amazing place to play rugby, and for a long time now, I have wanted to test myself in the Northern Hemisphere.”

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

“The Northampton squad is already filled with talent and I’m just looking forward to getting over to England later this year to try to develop my game, and help the team win some trophies.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me and my family, so I can’t wait to pull on a Black, Green and Gold jersey for the first time.”

Saints’ incoming Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson, added: “First and foremost, Lukhan is a big man and a phenomenal athlete, who in the lineout can both jump and call as well. From a set-piece point of view that’s a massive feather in his cap as he can get in the air in attack and in defence.

“But he’s also got a fantastic skillset with a background in rugby league; he’s fast and has got the ability to move and offload the ball too, so he possesses all the credentials he needs to be a real handful in the Gallagher Premiership.

“He’s still a young man at 25, but is really highly regarded within the Australian environment and comes to Franklin’s Gardens with international experience – so he’s a very exciting signing for us and I’m sure he will add a huge amount to the group.”

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International

Samu extends Brumbies & Wallabies stay

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LachlanLawson/BrumbiesMedia

Wallabies and Brumbies backrower Pete Samu has re-signed with Australian Rugby until the end of 2023.
 
Born in Melbourne, 30-year-old Samu has settled at the Brumbies after a unique Rugby story saw him play in Cornwall in the United Kingdom straight out of school before returning to play for Randwick in Sydney, followed by a stint in New Zealand where he won two Super Rugby Championships with the Crusaders.
 
He was lured home in 2018 to the Brumbies where he again tasted Super Rugby success in 2020.
 
Known for his athleticism, speed and skill, the versatile backrower made his International debut in 2018 against Ireland but narrowly missed selection in the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.
 
He has since gone on to wear the Wallaby gold 19 times, starting at openside flanker against Wales in the side’s final Test of 2021 and will chase a maiden Rugby World Cup berth in 2023.
 
Wallabies and Brumbies backrower, Pete Samu said: “I’m really happy to have my future sorted out early on in the year so I can focus on playing my best Rugby for the Brumbies in Super Rugby Pacific.”
 
“I’ve loved my time here at the Brumbies since coming over in 2018, it’s a special club and my family and I are really settled here in Canberra.
 
“I feel I’ve got a lot of improvement left in my game and to be able to work alongside world class coaches like Laurie (Fisher) and Dan (McKellar) week in week out will help me achieve that.”
 
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “Pete’s a great team man and we’re thrilled he’s extended his commitment to Australian Rugby.”
 
“His athleticism and speed are a point of difference across the backrow and we think his best footy lies ahead of him in the gold jersey.
 
“He’s had an unorthodox journey to get to where he is and you can see how motivated he is to make the most of his opportunities.”
 
Brumbies coach, Dan McKellar said: “It’s great for the Brumbies to have Pete locked in for another season.”
 
“He’s got a point of difference in attack you don’t see from many backrowers and when he’s healthy and on form, he’s a genuine match winner.
 
“He bought into what we’re about here at the Brumbies from very early on and he’s extremely popular, both within our group and among our members and supporters so we’re all thrilled to have him in a Brumbies jersey until the end of 2023.”

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International

Beale return to Australia confirmed

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(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs are delighted to announce Kurtley Beale will return to home soil after committing to Australian Rugby until the end of 2023. 

Currently plying his trade in France’s Top 14, Beale has featured in 95 Tests for the Wallabies and was most recently called into the national set up by Dave Rennie for the side’s Spring Tour in the United Kingdom.

The versatile Beale can cover a range of positions across the backline but has been predominantly seen at fullback during his last two seasons playing for his French club, Racing 92.

A member of the past three Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squads, Beale’s return puts him squarely in the frame to become just the third Australian to feature at four World Cup tournaments. 

The 33-year-old is currently the second most capped NSW Waratah with 148 Super Rugby games across 11 seasons for the club.

Beale will return to the Wallabies and Australian Rugby following the conclusion of the 2021 French Top 14 season and will be available for the 2022 Wallabies’ International season and the Waratahs’ 2023 Super Rugby Pacific competition. 

Returning Wallabies and NSW Waratahs back, Kurtley Beale said: “I’m really happy to be returning to Australia and would like to thank RA and the Waratahs for allowing me that opportunity.”

“There’s nothing better than representing my state and my country and I’ll be working hard to earn the right to do both when I return to Australia.

“From what I can see the Waratahs and the Wallabies are building really strong cultures and environments and I’ll be looking to contribute as much as I can to ensure that continues.”

Rugby Australia CEO, Andy Marinos said: “We’re really pleased that Kurtley is returning home and committed to Australian Rugby to the end of the 2023 season. “

“His decision is especially significant given the current Rugby player market and speaks to his desire to represent both the Waratahs and the Wallabies again. We remain determined to be successful and play a brand of rugby that delivers results and engages fans. Kurtley has shown this in his career to date and we are excited to see the continued impact he can have as we build towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“Kurtley’s return certainly adds depth and experience to Australian Rugby, in positions that provide an opportunity to showcase his skill and diversity. With a new Super Rugby competition and a packed home Test season against Tier 1 nations, there is a lot to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead from both Kurtley and the teams he plays in.”

NSW Waratahs Head Coach, Darren Coleman said: “It’s going to be great having Kurtley back not only for the team but for the NSW Rugby public.

“He’s an excitement machine and his ability to play multiple positions is a real asset for us.”

“I’ve had a long association with Kurtley dating back to 2006 and he’s a really positive guy to have around. 

“I feel he will be a great mentor for some of our young backs as they progress through their professional career.”

Kurtley Beale
Position: Fullback
Height: 183cm
Weight: 90kg
Born: 6 January 1989
Place of birth: Blacktown, New South Wales
Super Rugby debut: 2007 v Brumbies, Canberra (NSW Waratahs)
Super Rugby caps: 148 (NSW Waratahs); 14 (Melbourne Rebels)
Test debut: 2009 v Wales, Cardiff
Test caps: 95

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