Connect with us

Rugby World Cup

All Blacks Go All Out for Ireland

The All Blacks have announced a star-studded line-up for their Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with Ireland this weekend, but one veteran has been left out

Published

on

(Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed his 23-man squad for his side’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland in Japan this Saturday.

The biggest selection question was who would start in the midfield for the reigning champions and Hansen has decided to go with the duo of Anton Leinert-Brown and Jack Goodhue who started the last game against Namibia. Meaning that Sonny Bill Williams takes a place among the replacements with Ryan Crotty missing out completely. 

As well as Crotty fellow veteran Ben Smith has been dropped from the squad as Hansen has chosen Jordie Barrett to cover the back-three from the bench. 

Elsewhere it is what you would expect with Joe Moody, Cody Taylor and Nepo Laulala opening the game in the front-row, while Hansen has taken a risk by starting Brodie Retallick alongside Sam Whitelock in the engine-room, with the former having played very little rugby in recent times. 

Ardie Savea has been handed the No 6 jersey, with Sam Cane wearing No 7 and captain Keiran Reid completes the forwards from No 8. 

Aaron Smith has pipped TJ Perenara to start at scrum-half and is joined by Richie Mo’unga in the half-back partnership as Leinert-Brown and Goodhue are outside them in the centre. 

George Bridge has been selected on the left-wing, with Sevu Reece on the right and Beauden Barrett finishes the starting XV from full-back. 

There is plenty of talent among the reserves with the likes of Dane Coles and Scott Barrett joining players such as Sonny Bill and Perenara on the bench.

Speaking ahead of the game Hansen confirmed that all of his 31-man squad were available for selection but he chose the players that impressed him the most so far. 

“This is a great reflection on the players themselves and the staff who have done a great job getting them through the Pool Play phase of the tournament. We are very happy where the team is at at this stage and it feels like the team is right where it needs to be for what will be a physical and fiercely-fought encounter,” he said. 

New Zealand are not only hot favourites for this game but to go on and win the whole tournament for the third successive time, but Ireland have defeated the mighty All Blacks in two of their past three encounters meaning they will need to be at their best if they are to make it past the men in green. 

Check Out the Full 23-Man Squad Below.

Starting XV:

Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody

Replacements:

Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett

International

Ireland Climb in Latest World Rankings

Ireland have had the biggest boost in the latest World Rugby Rankings ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw later this year

Published

on

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ireland have leapfrogged Wales in the latest World Rugby Rankings of the the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw in November of this year.

The boys in green have taken over the No 4 spot in the rankings following their 24-14 win over Wales in the Six Nations over the weekend, with their opponents dropping down to fifth. 

It is a major boost for the Irish and gives them something to hold on to heading into the rest of this year’s fixtures as they are now currently in the top seeds ahead of the draw for the pool stages of France 2023. 

World Rugby announced recently that they will hold the draw later this year meaning that teams will have less time to climb the rankings than last time around when they had 18 months between the previous World Cup and the draw for the next one. 

A total of twelve teams will head into the draw as seeds in three brackets with the top four in the rankings being first seeds, meaning as of now Wales would be second seeds along with France, Australia and Japan. 

While Scotland, Argentina, Italy and Fiji are in the third bracket, with the remainder of the teams to be decided through different qualifiers over the next three years. 

Elsewhere in the rankings Georgia have moved up ahead of Italy, following the former’s latest two defeats in the Six Nations, while the biggest risers have been Portugal, who have moved from 22nd to 20th, but Russia have dived from 20th to 25th. 

Ireland will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the Six Nations campaign when they take on the third-ranked team England away from home, whom they may look to overtake in the rankings before the draw. 

It is certainly heating up between the Six Nations teams as they try to be the best-placed behind South Africa and New Zealand, who take the first and second spots, but won’t play until the summer.

Continue Reading

Rugby World Cup

World Rugby Confirm Timing of 2023 RWC Draw

World Rugby have confirmed when they will be hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw and it has put pressure on teams to get positive results this year

Published

on

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

World Rugby has announced that it will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw in November of this year.

The tournament will take place in France with the draw being held in Paris following the November internationals. 

That means that teams only have between now and then to better their current rankings and move into a different drawing band, whereas for the previous draw they had 18 months to improve. 

Speaking on the announcement World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont is excited to discover the fate of the teams and has put the pressure on teams to do well this year. 

“The pool draw is an important milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France as it really drives excitement and momentum both in the host nation and throughout the global rugby family – it is the moment teams and fans can start to plan. With the World Rugby rankings determining the bands for the RWC 2023 pool draw, it promises to be a fascinating year of men’s international rugby with every match counting towards seeding at the end of the November Test series,” he said. 

Twelve of the 20 participating teams from last year’s World Cup in Japan have automatically qualified, with the other eight to be decided in the qualifiers that will begin later this year. 

However, the twelve teams that are already involved will have to be at their best to move up a band in the current rankings or fear dropping down in which case they could get a harder draw. 

As of this moment the first band contains the World Cup semi-finalists from last year in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Wales, with the remaining quarter-finalists making up band two in Ireland, Australia, Japan and France. 

While in band three Scotland and Argentina are joined by Italy and Fiji. 

It will be a tough task for teams to improve their current standings with the Six Nations teams only having one edition of the tournament to improve compared to the two editions they had last time around, but it does add some extra competition to this year’s fixtures.

Continue Reading

International

Fans Player of the Decade Confirmed

World Rugby have announced the winner of their Fans Player of the Decade vote and there’s no surprise who’s won

Published

on

(Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Former All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has been named World Rugby’s Fans Player of the Decade following their polls over the past couple of weeks.

The organisation narrowed the competition down to 16 players, as they split them into a last-16 style format, with backs on one side and forwards on the other. With two players going head-to-head in the polls to make it through to each respective round. 

Last week it was brought down to the final four, with all of them being New Zealand internationals as Carter was pitted up against Beauden Barrett, with Richie McCaw facing Kieran Read. 

McCaw and Carter were victorious and now Carter has come out as the overall winner as the best player over the past 10-years. 

It is not hard to see why fans have gone for the 112-cap All Black, who finished up his international career in 2015, having guided his country to historic back-to-back Rugby World Cup crowns. 

As well as that he holds the title for the most points scored at test-level rugby with an incredible 1598 to his name. 

On the international stage he was impressive, but he has been equally so at club-level, winning domestic crowns in both France with Racing 92 and in Japan with the Kobelco Steelers. 

The 37-year-old is still under contract with the Japanese outfit, but has been unable to play for them for the majority of the year, having suffered a major injury, which also prevented him from a brief return to Racing 92 for the latter-half of last season. 

However, he is poised to return to the playing field shortly and will be hoping to guide his team to further success and will have the aid of another All Black great joining him in the form of Brodie Retallick, who is linking up with the side for the season during his year sabbatical.  

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Secured By miniOrange