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WEEK 1

englandENGLAND 16-26 NEW ZEALANDnz
HILLARY SHIELD
TWICKENHAM: Saturday 6th November

 

englandENGLAND: 15 Ben Foden 13 Mike Tindall 12 Shontayne Hape 11 Mark Cueto 10 Toby Flood 9 Ben Youngs 1 Andrew Sheridan 2 Steve Thompson 3 Dan Cole 4 Courtney Lawes 5 Tom Palmer 6 Tom Croft 7 Lewis Moody (C) 8 Nick Easter BENCH: 16 Dylan Hartley 17 David Wilson 18 David Attwood 19 Hendrie Fourie 20 Danny Care 21 Charlie Hodgson 22 Delon Armitage

nzNEW ZEALAND: 1 Tony Woodcock 2 Keven Mealamu 3 Owen Franks 4 Brad Thorn 5 Samuel Whitelock 6 Jerome Kaino 7 Richie McCaw (C) 8 Kieran Read 9 Alby Mathewson 10 Daniel Carter 11 Hosea Gear 12 Ma’a Nonu 13 Sonny Bill Williams 14 Joe Rokocoko 15 Mils Muliaina BENCH: 16 Hikawera Elliot 17 Ben Franks 18 Anthony Boric 19 Liam Messam 20 Andy Ellis 21 Stephen Donald 22 Isaia Toeava

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walesWALES 16-25 AUSTRALIAaustralia
JAMES BEVAN TROPHY
MILLENNIUM STADIUM: Saturday 6th November

 

walesWALES: 15 James Hook 14 Will Harries 13 Tom Shanklin 12 Andrew Bishop 11 Shane Williams 10 Stephen Jones 9 Mike Phillips 1 Gethin Jenkins 2 Matthew Rees (C) 3 Adam Jones 4 Bradley Davies 5 Alun Wyn Jones 6 Dan Lydiate 7 Sam Warburton 8 Jonathan Thomas BENCH: 16 Huw Bennett 17 Paul James 18 Deiniol Jones 19 Martyn Williams 20 Richie Rees 21 Dan Biggar 22 Chris Czekaj

australiaAUSTRALIA: 15 Kurtley Beale 14 James O’Connor 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper 12 Matt Giteau 11 Drew Mitchell 10 Quade Cooper 9 Will Genia 8 Ben McCalman 7 David Pocock 6 Rocky Elsom (C) 5 Nathan Sharpe 4 Mark Chisholm 3 Ben Alexander 2 Stephen Moore 1 Benn Robinson BENCH: 16 Saia Faingaa 17 James Slipper 18 Dean Mumm 19 Richard Brown 20 Luke Burgess 21 Berrick Barnes 22 Lachie Turner

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IrelandIRELAND 21-23 SOUTH AFRICAsa
AVIVA STADIUM: Saturday, 6th November

 

IrelandIRELAND: 15 Rob Kearney 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll (C) 12 Gordon D'Arcy 11 Luke Fitzgerald 10 Jonathan Sexton 9 Eoin Reddan 1 Cian Healy 2 Rory Best 3 Tony Buckley 4 Donncha O'Callaghan 5 Mick O'Driscoll 6 Stephen Ferris 7 David Wallace 8 Jamie Heaslip BENCH: 16 Sean Cronin 17 Tom Court 18 Donnacha Ryan 19 Denis Leamy 20 Peter Stringer 21 Ronan O'Gara 22 Keith Earls /Andrew Trimble /Paddy Wallace

saSOUTH AFRICA: 15 Gio Aplon 14 Bjorn Basson 13 Zane Kirchner 12 Jean de Villiers/Patrick Lambie 11 Bryan Habana 10 Morne Steyn 9 Ruan Pienaar 8 Pierre Spies 7 Juan Smith 6 Deon Stegmann 5 Victor Matfield (C) 4 Bakkies Botha 3 Jannie du Plessis 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Tendai Mtawarira  BENCH: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle  17 CJ van der Linde 18 Flip van der Merwe 19 Willem Alberts/Keegan Daniel 20 Francois Hougaard 21 Adi Jacobs 22 Patrick Lambie/Lwazi Mvovo

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WEEK 2

england ENGLAND 35-18 AUSTRALIAaustralia
COOK CUP
TWICKENHAM: Saturday 13th November

Following a silence of Remembrance at Twickenham, England revealed its new alternative dark grey strip which frankly looked like the All Black shirt from a distance.

The hosts began strongly taking the game to the Wallabies. But the first penalty took only two minutes to concede; James O’Connor’s kick fell short and wide from far out. Six minutes and England not releasing again, but O’Connor missed again from almost halfway.

From deep inside Australia’s 22, the hosts turned over the ball and Ben Youngs to Toby Flood to Mike Tindall and back to Youngs made up 50m before Flood kicked for goal with the penalty. Eleven minutes and 3-0.

It took another fifteen minutes before the scoreline changed with a Chris Ashton try for England courtesy of good ball handling from Flood, Tindall, Mark Cueto and Tom Croft. Flood’s boot gave the home side a 10 point unanswered lead.

With Australia now in possession, Tindall’s offside gave baby-face O’Connor another chance at goal but he missed his third kick as it bounced off the posts. But he did not have to wait long before England gave up another penalty and finally with eight minutes of the half to go, O’Connor put 3 points on the board.

Flood cancelled out the Wallaby penalty with one of his own straight away; Matt Giteau was awarded ten minutes rest for preventing the ball from being played, and the resulting penalty took England further in the lead to 16-3.

It was captain Nick Easter who provided the Wallabies with 3 points going into half time but still firmly in the lead at 16-6.

England wasted no time adding to the point tally with a penalty from Flood for Aussie props not releasing the ball...again. England 19-6 Australia.

Five more minutes and Australia were all over the England tryline trying in desperation to get the ball over; the home side had other ideas. Youngs cleared out the turnover ball to Courtney Lawes to Chris Ashton who ran the length of the pitch to score and Flood added the extras for a 20 point lead.

Australia made it up to England’s 22, and turnovers on both sides gave Kurtley Beale the perfect opportunity to chip and chase his way over the line. O’Connor this time easily added the conversion to narrow the England lead to 26-13.

Seventeen minutes in to the second half and Australia penalised again for not rolling away so Flood punished them with another 3 points.

Into the final quarter and Kurtley Beale scored his second try following excellent ball handling from the Wallabies, but another missed kick for O’Connor left the score at 29-18.

England was bearing down on the Australian tryline, and more ruck infringements gave Flood another opportunity to show off his kicking skills with a penalty kick taking the score to 32-18.

Less than five minutes to go and Toby Flood made England history for the largest win over Australia with his seventh penalty kick.

The final score of 35-18 left Australia in England’s wake and the Cook Cup firmly back in the Twickenham trophy cabinet.

england
T: Ashton 2 C: Flood 2 P: Flood 7

15 Ben Foden 14 Chris Ashton 13 Mike Tindall 12 Shontayne Hape 11 Mark Cueto 10 Toby Flood 9 Ben Youngs 1 Andrew Sheridan 2 Dylan Hartley 3 Dan Cole 4 Courtney Lawes 5 Tom Palmer 6 Tom Croft 7 Lewis Moody (C) 8 Nick Easter BENCH: 16 Steve Thompson 17 David Wilson 18 Simon Shaw 19 Hendrie Fourie 20 Danny Care 21 Charlie Hodgson 22 Delon Armitage

australiaT: Beale 2C: O'ConnorP: O'Connor 2

15 Kurtley Beale 14 James O’Connor 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper 12 Matt Giteau 11 Drew Mitchell 10 Quade Cooper 9 Will Genia 8 Ben McCalman 7 David Pocock 6 Rocky Elsom (C) 5 Nathan Sharpe 4 Mark Chisholm 3 Ben Alexander 2 Stephen Moore 1 Benn Robinson BENCH: 16 Saia Faingaa 17 James Slipper 18 Dean Mumm 19 Richard Brown 20 Luke Burgess 21 Berrick Barnes 22 Lachie Turner Top

 

Ireland IRELAND 20-10 SAMOA Samoa
AVIVA STADIUM: Saturday 13th November

IrelandA much-changed team will go in search of Ireland's first win in five Test matches when they clash with Samoa at the Aviva Stadium. Declan Kidney's men are determined to bounce back from a disappointing debut at the redeveloped ground last weekend.

Devin Toner will win his first senior cap for Ireland in the second row this Saturday against Samoa as one of 11 changes, including a positional switch, to the starting team that played against South Africa.

Toner will be partnered by the experienced Donncha O'Callaghan, who this week signed a new three-year Ireland international contract.

They will be supporting a new front row of Tom Court, Sean Cronin and John Hayes who are all selected to start. The 37-year-old Hayes becomes Ireland's oldest Test cap.

Denis Leamy and Sean O'Brien have been called into the back row, with Jamie Heaslip retaining the number 8 jersey. It will be O'Brien's first Test start.

Luke Fitzgerald makes the switch from wing to full-back, with Andrew Trimble coming into the vacant left wing position.

Paddy Wallace also comes into the team at inside centre to partner captain Brian O'Driscoll, and Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer, both used as replacements against South Africa, will form Ireland's starting half-back combination for the 55th time.

IRELAND: 15 Rob Kearney 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll (C) 12 Gordon D'Arcy 11 Luke Fitzgerald 10 Jonathan Sexton 9 Eoin Reddan 1 Cian Healy 2 Rory Best 3 Tony Buckley 4 Donncha O'Callaghan 5 Mick O'Driscoll 6 Stephen Ferris 7 David Wallace 8 Jamie Heaslip BENCH: 16 S Cronin 17 T Court 18 D Ryan 19 D Leamy 20 P Stringer 21 R O'Gara 22 TBC BENCH: 16 Rory Best 17 Cian Healy 18 Donnacha Ryan 19 Stephen Ferris 20 Isaac Boss 21 Jonathan Sexton 22 Keith Earls

 

SamoaThe Samoa team boasts a wealth of experience at the highest level with eight of the starting line-up playing in either the French Top 14 Championship or the English Premiership.

In the back-line, Samoa have two powerful wingers in Wasps' David Lemi and Alesana Tuilagi, who played for Leicester Tigers in the 2009 Heineken Cup final against Leinster.

Inside centre Seilala Mapusua will be well known to Ireland as he played for London Irish in the recent Heineken Cup pool match against Munster.

Mapusua will be relying on out-half Tasesa Lavea, another player with considerable experience in the Heineken Cup and French Championship with his club Clermont Auvergne, to supply him with attacking opportunities.

The side is captained by hooker Mahonri Schwalger, who plays his rugby with New Zealand province Taranaki and is part of a front row which also has English Premiership experience in prop Sakaria Taulafo.

Number 8 George Stowers, who also plays for London Irish in the Premiership, anchors a pack chocful of players, with the exception of former Connacht star Ofisa Trevarinus, who currently play in either the New Zealand provincial competitions or in Europe.

SAMOA:15 Paul Williams 14 David Lemi 13 George Pisi 12 Seilala Mapusua 11 Alesana Tuilagi 10 Tasesa Lavea 9 Kahn Fotualii 1 Sakaria Taulafo 2 Mahonri Schwalger (C) 3 Anthony Perenise 4 Filipo Lavea Levi 5 Kane Thompsen 6 Ofisa Trevarinus 7 Manaia Salavea 8 George Stowers BENCH: 16 Ti'i Paulo 17 Simon Lemalu 18 Iosefa Tekori 19 Afa Aiono 20 Junior Poluleuligaga 21 Gavin Williams 22 Jamie HelleurTop

 

wales WALES 25-29 SOUTH AFRICAsa
MILLENNIUM STADIUM: Saturday 13th November

walesWales have made four changes, one positional, to their starting line-up for the visit of the world champions South African, to the Millennium Stadium on Saturday following defeat to Australia in the Invesco Perpetual Series opener last weekend.

Lee Byrne returns from injury to fill the full-back birth leaving Ospreys colleague James Hook to take up his position at inside centre, partnering Blues stalwart Tom Shanklin at the expense of another Osprey Andrew Bishop who moves to the bench.

The other change in the backline sees uncapped Scarlets wing and former Llandovery and Scarlets Academy player George North handed his first international chance, becoming Wales' 1,078th player at just 18 years of age.

Up front the coaches have said same again to the forward pack, led by captain Matthew Rees, which impressed against the Wallabies last time out with the exception of Martyn Williams who returns in the back row for his 97th cap in place of his injured Blues colleague Sam Warburton (calf).

Elsewhere, Ryan Jones and Andy Powell both return to bench duty in place of the promoted Williams and Dieniol Jones, who misses out, while Ospreys pivot Dan Biggar makes way for Bishop.

"We worked hard last week on ensuring we were combative up front, we put a huge emphasis on forward play in training and we now know we can bring that kind of game into play when necessary," said Gatland.

"The coaches have told the players they have a licence to be creative, to be confident with the ball in hand, to offload and to be positive in attack, we need to build on that performance last week.

"With Lee Byrne back at full-back and James Hook hopefully with the ball in his hands more often at centre we have plenty of experience and guile around in our back line and are simply looking for the same again up front."

WALES: 15 Lee Byrne 14 George North 13 Tom Shanklin 12 James Hook 11 Shane Williams 10 Stephen Jones 9 Mike Phillips 1 Gethin Jenkins 2 Matthew Rees (C) 3 Adam Jones 4 Bradley Davies 5 Alun Wyn Jones 6 Dan Lydiate 7 Martyn Williams 8 Jonathan Thomas BENCH: 16 Huw Bennett 17 Paul James 18 Ryan Jones 19 Andy Powell 20 Richie Rees 21 Andrew Bishop 22 Chris Czekaj

 

saCoach Peter de Villiers on Tuesday made one change to the Springbok XV for Saturday’s Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

De Villiers drafted in Frans Steyn to the outside centre berth to the team that beat Ireland 23-21 in Dublin on Saturday. Zane Kirchner drops to the bench while the replacement looseforward position will be confirmed later in the week.

“We pulled this team together at short notice for last week’s Test and after they performed against Ireland, but we couldn’t ignore the experience of Frans Steyn,” said de Villiers.

De Villiers had welcomed the arrival Steyn into the squad on Sunday – from duty with his French club - and had no hesitation in getting him straight into action.

“He has only had two field training sessions with us to date so he is still slotting himself back in, but he has brought real enthusiasm to the squad and it’s a pleasure to have him back with us.”

De Villiers said he expected a fierce onslaught from Wales: “They have been bitterly disappointed on a couple of recent occasions when they felt they could have beaten us and they’ll be looking to put that right,” he said.

“They’ll be hurting after losing to the Wallabies at the weekend and I’m sure they’ve targeted us as the soft target in their three matches against the Vodacom Tri-Nations teams.

“We’ve had a tough year, but we’re only focusing on delivering another improved performance on Saturday and then the result should look after itself.”

SOUTH AFRICA: 15 Gio Aplon 14 Bjorn Basson 13 Frans Steyn 12 Jean de Villiers 11 Bryan Habana 10 Morne Steyn 9 Ruan Pienaar 8 Pierre Spies 7 Juan Smith 6 Deon Stegmann 5 Victor Matfield (C) 4 Bakkies Botha 3 Jannie du Plessis 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Tendai Mtawarira  BENCH: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle  17 CJ van der Linde 18 Flip van der Merwe 19 Willem Alberts 20 Francois Hougaard 21 Zane Kirchner  22 Patrick LambieTop

 

italy ITALY 16-22 ARGENTINAArgentina
M BENTEGODI, MILAN: Saturday, 13th November

italyITALY: 15 Luke McLean 14 Tomasso Benvenuti 13 Gonzalo Canale 12 Andrea Masi 11 Mirco Bergamasco 10 Craig Cower 9 Tito Tebaldi 8 Sergio Parisse (C) 7 Robert Barbieri 6 Alejandro Zanni 5 Quintin Geldenhuys 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava 3 Martín Castrogiovanni 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini 1 Salvatore Perugini BENCH: 16 Fabio Ongaro 17 Andrea Lo Cicero 18 Santiago Dellapé 19 Paul Derbyshire 20 Pablo Canavosio 21 Luciano Orquera 22 Alberto Sgarbi

Argentina1 Rodrigo Roncero 2 Mario Ledesma 3 Martín Scelzo 4 Manuel Carizza 5 Mariano Galarza 6 Genaro Fessia 7 Miguel De Achaval 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 9 Nicolás Vergallo 10 Felipe Contepomi (C) 11 Lucas González Amorosino 12 Santiago Fernández 13 Gonzalo Tiesi 14 Gonzalo Camacho 15 Martín Rodríguez BENCH: 16 Agustin Creevy 17 Marcos Ayerza 18 Juan Figallo 19 Esteban Lozada 20 Alvaro Galindo 21 Alfredo Lalanne 22 Horacio Agulla

 

scotland SCOTLAND 3-49 NEW ZEALANDnz
MURRAYFIELD: Saturday, 13th November

scotlandScotland head coach Andy Robinson has challenged his side to build on their four match unbeaten run and earn the respect of the world’s best side when they face New Zealand in the first EMC Autumn Test at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Robinson has made five changes from the Scotland team that started their last international – the historic 13-9 series-clinching success against Argentina in Mar del Plata in June.

Rory Lamont replaces the recently injured Simon Danielli on the wing, while the rejuvenated Mike Blair, Scotland’s most-capped scrum-half, will start instead of Rory Lawson and will captain his country for the 14th time.

In the pack Euan Murray is preferred to Moray Low at tight-head while the Glasgow pair, Richie Gray, 21, and Richie Vernon, 23, will both make their first starts for Scotland in place of their team-mates, Alastair Kellock and Johnnie Beattie both of whom are recovering from injuries.

Robinson said: “It is imperative that we front up from the first whistle against the All Blacks on Saturday and play the game at a tempo where we can unveil our skills and show our discipline, because the winning of this Test match is in our hands.

“We have shown our appetite to drive forward our game and our aim is to improve on our best performances last season, which we know inspired the country.

“As someone who loves his rugby it’s been a real thrill to watch many of New Zealand’s games this year and, for me, it’s important that this month the Scotland team earn the respect of the southern hemisphere by the qualities we bring to bear.”

“The support we had during our Autumn Test against Australia last year was phenomenal – the crowd shared the players’ belief and conviction that day and roared us on and we have to do our bit to create that same fabulous atmosphere this weekend,” he said.

SCOTLAND: 15 Hugo Southwell 14 Rory Lamont 13 Max Evans 12 Graeme Morrison 11 Sean Lamont  10 Dan Parks 9 Mike Blair (C) 1 Allan Jacobsen 2 Ross Ford 3 Euan Murray 4 Richie Gray 5 Jim Hamilton 6 Kelly Brown 8 Richie Vernon 7 John Barclay BENCH: 16 Scott Lawson 17 Alasdair Dickinson 18 Nathan Hines 19 Ross Rennie 20 Rory Lawson 21 Ruaridh Jackson 22 Nikki Walker

 

nzAll Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named their team for the Test against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday 13 November, the third Test in the All Blacks Telecom BackingBlack Tour.

The match will see a significant milestone for two All Blacks – captain Richie McCaw and fullback Mils Muliaina will equal former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick’s record of 92 Test caps.

29-year-old McCaw and 30-year-old Muliaina first met on the rugby field when McCaw’s Otago Boys’ High School played Muliaina’s Southland Boys’ High School in 1997. They then played together in various New Zealand age-grade teams before embarking on their stellar All Blacks careers.

McCaw made his All Blacks Test debut on 17 November 2001 against Ireland as a fresh-faced 20 year old and captained the All Blacks for the first time against Wales on the 2004 end of year tour, aged just 23. He is already the most capped All Blacks Test captain in history and will extend that record when he leads the side for the 55th time this weekend.

Muliaina joined the national squad in 2003 making his Test debut as a 22 year old against England in Wellington on 14 June and has also captained the side in three Tests. He has scored 145 points in Tests and, remarkably, will play his first Test against Scotland this weekend.

NEW ZEALAND: 1 Tony Woodcock 2 Keven Mealamu/Hikawera Elliot 3 Owen Franks 4 Brad Thorn 5 Samuel Whitelock 6 Liam Messam 7 Richie McCaw (C) 8 Kieran Read 9 Jimmy Cowan 10 Daniel Carter 11 Hosea Gear 12 Sonny Bill Williams 13 Conrad Smith 14 Isaia Toeava 15 Mils Muliaina BENCH: 16 Andrew Hore 17 John Afoa 18 Anthony Boric 19 Daniel Braid 20 Andy Ellis 21 Stephen Donald 22 Ma’a Nonu Top

 

france FRANCE 34-12 FIJI fiji
BEAUJOIRE STADIUM, NANTES: Saturday 13th November

The heavens threw everything at Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes - squalling winds and torrential rain did their utmost to deny two sides known for their flair and running rugby style. Both France and Fiji were stifled but still managed to put on an entertaining game.

Both teams had sides had almost wholly different players to those from their summer series, with three new caps for France in prop Jerome Schuster, centre Fabrice Estebanez and Benjamin Noirot who came off the bench.

Despite undoubted passion, Fiji never looked to threaten the French line with any conviction. The pivotal moment came when a Yachvili penalty fell wide of the posts, but instead of deftly grounding the ball, Napolioni Nalaga fumbled and the bounce allowed David Marty to touch down for the first try.

France’s Dmitri Yachvili provided 19 of the 34 points, whilst Seremaia Baikeinuku kicked all of Fiji’s points but four penalties were no match for Max Medard (2) and Marty’s three tries. The first quarter both sides were equally matched, and by half time the score was at 16-6, but it was the second half where Les Blues started pulling away significantly.

France and Fiji must now regroup for their opponents next weekend as Les Blues face their nemesis, Argentina who have won all but two of their matches over the last decade. France’s saving grace may be that both wins were on home ground. Fiji are in a similar situation facing Wales in Cardiff against whom they have only one recorded narrow win during the last Rugby World Cup.

franceT: Marty, Medard 2 C: Yachvili 2 P: Yachvili 5

15 Jerome Porical 14 Julien Arias 13 David Marty 12 Fabrice Estebanez 11 Maxime Medard 10 Damien Traille 9 Dimitri Yachvili 1 Jerome Schuster 2 Guilhem Guirado 3 Luc Ducalcon 4 Romain Millo-Chlusky 5 Jerome Thion 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo 7 Alexandre Lapandry 8 Imanol Harinordoquy (C) BENCH: 16 Benjamin Noirot 17 Thomas Domingo 18 Julien Pierre 19 Sebastien Chabal 20 Morgan Parra 21 David Skrela 22 Alexis Palisson

fijiP: Baikeinuku 4

1 Graham Dewes 2 Talemaitoga Tuapati 3 Deacon Manu (C) 4 Wame Lewaravu 5 Jone Qovu 6 Semisi Saukawa 7 Akapusi Qera 8 Sisa Koyamaibole 9 Nemia Kenatale 10 Seremaia Bai 11 Napolioni Nalaga 12 Seru Rabeni 13 Albert Vulivuli 14 Sireli Naqelevuki 15 Norman Ligairi BENCH: 16 Setefano Somoca 17 Viliame Veikoso 18 Sekonaia Qaraniqio Kalou 19 Malakai Ravulo 20 Seveci Taka 21 Josh Matavesi 22 Gabiriele Lovobalavu

Top

 


WEEK 3

Munster RugbyMUNSTER 15-6 AUSTRALIAaustralia
THOMOND PARK - Tuesday 16th November

The Qantas Wallabies fell to top Irish province Munster 6-15 in treacherous conditions in the Tour match at Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland.

All 15 of the home side’s points were scored by its Australian-born fly half Paul Wallace as the Irishmen handed the Wallabies a second consecutive defeat on the Spring Tour, after Australia had opened the trip with three straight wins.

Australia played with a strong wind, and the rain, at its back in the first half but was frustrated by a combination of stern Munster resistance and small errors in possession which stymied momentum.

Although the tourists opened the scoring with a penalty goal by skipper Berrick Barnes in the second minute, it was held to 6-6 at halftime, with a penalty and a dropped goal by Warwick cancelling out the two penalty goals kicked by Barnes.

The Wallabies, who were caned in the penalty count by Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence, were further hindered when inside centre Anthony Faingaa was sin binned for not rolling away from the tackle area in the 32nd minute.

It took Munster just a minute to take the lead once play resumed in the second half, with Warwick landing his second penalty goal of the evening, before he added a third and his second dropped goal of the night to push Munster out by nine points.

Although Wallabies coach Robbie Deans made personnel changes in the second half, introducing hooker Tatafu Polota Nau, lock Van Humphries, flanker Pat McCutcheon, halfback Nick Phipps and winger Peter Hynes into the game, Australia battled to gain field position in the elements, being unable to make an impression on either the Munster defence or the scoreboard as the clock ticked down.

The final 19 minutes of the game were scoreless, with Munster camped inside Australian territory for most of that period.

The visitors received their final insult five minutes from time when a second of their number, prop Ben Daley, earned the wrath of the referee by being sin binned.

Munster RugbyJohne Murphy, Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Sam Tuitupou, Denis Hurley, Paul Warwick, Duncan Williams, James Coughlan (C), Niall Ronan, Peter O’Mahony, Ian Nagle, Billy Holland, Peter Borlase, Damien Varley, Wian du Pree

australiaLachie Turner, Luke Morahan, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Rod Davies, Berrick Barnes (C), Luke Burgess, Richard Brown, Matt Hodgson, Scott Higginbotham, Dean Mumm, Rob Simmons, Salesi Ma’afu, Saia Faingaa, Ben Daley.

Top

 

Combined Services COMBINED SERVICES 25-66 SAMOA Samoa
KINGSHOLM: Wednesday 17th November

 Go to Forces Unplugged

Created By J. FowkeJPF Graphics

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wales WALES 16-16 FIJIfiji
MILLENIUM STADIUM: Friday, 19th November

walesRyan Jones returns to captain Wales against Fiji on Friday night at the Millennium Stadium in one of nine changes (pending Dan Lydiate's fitness) made to the side which started the Invesco Perpetual Series defeat to South Africa on Saturday.

In the backs a new half-back pairing of Osprey Dan Biggar and Blues scrum-half Richie Rees replace Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips, who both take up positions on the replacements bench.

Dragons wing Aled Brew starts in place of the injured Shane Williams and wins his fourth cap after last featuring on the international stage against England at Twickenham in 2007. Ospreys centre Andrew Bishop is reunited with his regional colleague James Hook, with Blues back Tom Shanklin moving to the bench.

Up front it's an all Ospreys front row with Huw Bennett taking up hooker duties from Scarlet Matthew Rees, who is rested. In the second row Ian Gough and Deiniol Jones lock the scrum, with Bradley Davies moving to the bench and Alun Wyn Jones rested.

In the back row Jonathan Thomas is retained alongside returning captain and fellow Osprey Jones, Dragons back row Lydiate faces a fitness race to replace veteran Blues flanker Martyn Williams. If Lydiate returns from ankle trouble in time Williams will sit out the Fiji match, but should the Dragon fail fitness testing this week Williams will win his 98th cap for Wales.

On The bench Tongan born 'Toby' Faletau (full name: Tangaki Taulupe Faletau) is set to be Wales' 1079th player.

WALES: 15 Lee Byrne 14 George North 13 James Hook 12 Andrew Bishop 11 Aled Brew 10 Dan Biggar 9 Richie Rees 1 Paul James 2 Huw Bennett 3 Adam Jones 4 Ian Gough 5 Deiniol Jones 6 Ryan Jones 7 Martyn Williams 8 Jonathan Thomas BENCH:  16 Richard Hibbard 17 John Yapp 18 Bradley Davies 19 Toby Faletau 20 Mike Phillips 21 Stephen Jones 22 Tom Shanklin

fijiHead coach Sam Domoni has rung the changes, after last Saturday’s 34-12 loss to the French, naming six new players for Friday’s Test against Wales.

In general the changes are part of a rotational policy Domoni is implementing as manager Talemo Waqa explains.

"We've got a rotational policy in place to make sure players get game time and this helps the coaching staff get to view firsthand how players are able to perform at the very top level, while at the same time giving our players much needed exposure on the international field of play," Talemo said.

In the scrum Graham Dewes is relegated to the bench in favour of Australian based Campese Ma’afu while veteran lock Ifereimi Rawaqa reclaims his position in the engine room after recovering from a slight back injury.

In the backs and on the wings Napolioni Nalaga is replaced by former Digicel Fiji 7s captain Vereniki Goneva while Sireli Naqelevuki has been replaced by Saracen’s Michael Tagicakibau.

On the bench Ropate Ratu and Taniela Rawaqa have forced their way into the match day 22.

Missing out from the match day side, from the team that played France, are Wame Lewaravu, Napolioni Nalaga, Seru Rabeni, Sireli Naqelevuki and Norman Ligairi.

It’s understood visa issues have meant Domoni has been unable to consider Rabeni or Lewaravu for the Wales match.

Dewes, Akapusi Qera and Talemaitoga Tuapati alongside Seveci Taka are the other players named on the bench.

FIJI: 15 Josh Matavesi 14 Michael Tagicakibau 13 Albert Vulivuli 12 Gabriele Lovobalavu 11 Vereniki Goneva 10 Seremaia Baï 9 Nemia Kenatale 8 Sisa Koyamaibole 7 Malakai Ravulo 6 Semisi Saukawa 5 Jone Qovu 4 Ifereimi Rawaqa 3 Deacon Manu (C) 2 Viliame Veikoso 1 Campese Ma'afu BENCH: 16 Tuapati Talemaitoga 17 Graham Dewes 18 Sekonaia Kalou 19 Akapusi Qera 20 Seveci Taka 21 Ropate Ratu 22 Taniela Rawaqa

IRB Wales Fiji Key FactsTop

 

 

england ENGLAND 26-13 SAMOA Samoa
TWICKENHAM: Saturday, 20th November

England were likely still buzzing off their spectacular and historic win against Australia last week, but no doubt coach Martin Johnson warned them of complacency against a Samoan Side who put the frighteners on Ireland.

Samoan has never beaten hosts, but gave England a run for their money in the pool stages of the 2007 World Cup. Furthermore the Pacific Islanders had never even scored a try at Twickenham. SO there was much to play for.

England was back in their traditional white shirts and led out by Harlequins No. 8 Nick Easter in his first major captaincy role. The weather favoured free-flowing rugby as the rain and wind had stayed off in London.

It took only four minutes for England to concede the first penalty and Samoa opened the scoring with a good penalty kick from PB Williams. Three penalties in six minutes was not impressive for England and luckily Williams missed his second kick so ten minutes in and the score remained at 3-0 to the visitors.

Ben Foden went over in the corner for the try but rightly the Ref deferred to the TMO who confirmed Foden’s foot had slid into touch before the ball got over the line. But then Toby Flood had no problems slotting over the goal kick to equalise.

Switching into the second quarter and the home side were back within centimetres of the  tryline but a Samoan turnover forced play right back into English territory where the visitors were awarded a penalty kick but it fell wide.

Young Hape looked dangerous as he off loaded and Chris Ashton ran under the posts but the Ref called him back for the forward pass. “Swing Low” rebounded round the stadium as England earned another penalty and opted for a scrum in front of the posts. Samoa conceded a penalty at the ruck and Flood opted for a kick at goal again to take the lead to 6-3 within thirteen minutes left. But the shine was taken off as fisticuffs broke out.

Again England had possession and position deep in the 22 but the Samoan defence was nothing less than impressive; the hosts built phase after phase in attack but Samoa repeatedly shut them down. England showed promise and flair but was not quite as powerful and composed as last week’s encounter against the Wallabies.

A knock on from Flood 5m out gave Samoa the opportunity to clear their lines and the half time score remained at 6-3.

Samoa came out with absolute determination and Fotuali'i cleared out the ruck to Lavea to Williams who scored the first try of the game. The conversion fell short, but Samoa was in the lead again 6-8. Seilala Mapasua’s drop goal attempt went wide of the posts and then the home side took over.

A great pick up from Shontayne Hape passed wide to Chris Ashton moved to Matt Banahan who ran in a magnificent try, and a conversion from Flood took England back ahead to 13-8. Not long after, Flood kicked over his third penalty; England led 16-8.

The next ten minutes saw England in charge deep in Samoan territory but again the visitors’ defence held up well and eventually forced play back to half way.

The last quarter started a trademark Mark Cueto break and passed to Banahan again for what looked like his second try, but the touch judge was on the mark in pointing out Cueto’s foot was in touch before he made that pass.

With ten minutes to go, Flood extended the lead to a comfortable 19-8 with a penalty. And then A Samoan forward pass was deftly intercepted by Banahan, cleared out to Danny Care who passed over to Tom Croft to score his test first try. Flood added the extras and England led by 26-8.

The final few minutes were just as exciting as George Stowers looked like he got over the line for another Samoan try but had knocked on; the 5m scrum allowed Samoa to regroup and score that final try from Fautua Otto with two minutes left on the clock. The conversion did not happen but a fantastic afternoon of rugby finished with a respectable scoreline of 26-13.

Man of the Match was awarded to ex-rugby league Kiwi international, Shontayne Hape.

englandT: Banahan, Croft C: Flood 2 P: Flood 4

15 Ben Foden 14 Chris Ashton 13 Matt Banahan 12 Shontayne Hape 11 Mark Cueto 10 Toby Flood 9 Ben Youngs 1 Andrew Sheridan 2 Dylan Hartley 3 David Wilson 4 Courtney Lawes 5 Tom Palmer 6 James Haskell 7 Hendre Fourie 8 Nick Easter (C) BENCH: 16 Steve Thompson 17 Dan Cole 18 David Attwood 19 Tom Croft 20 Danny Care 21 Charlie Hodgson 22 Delon Armitage

SamoaT: PB Williams, Otto P: PB Williams 4

15 Paul Williams 14 David Lemi 13 George Pisi  12 Seilala Mapusua 11 Alesana Tuilagi 10 Tasesa Lavea 9 Kahn Fotualii 1 Sakaria Taulafo 2 Mahonri Schwalger (C) 3 Anthony Perenise 4 Filipo Levi 5 Kane Thompson 6 Ofisa Treviariuns 7 Manaia Salavea 8 George Stowers BENCH: 16 Tii Paulo 17 Census Johnston 18 Iosefa Tekori 19 Afa Aiono 20 Junior Poluleuligaga 21 Gavin Williams 22 Fautua Otto

TopIRB England Samoa Key Facts

 

 

scotland SCOTLAND 21-17 SOUTH AFRICAsa
MURRAYFIELD: Saturday 20th November

scotland

Head coach Andy Robinson has made four changes in personnel to the Scotland starting line-up for Saturday’s EMC Autumn Test against world champions South Africa at Murrayfield.

Rory Lawson, 29, who will be making his first start in an international at Murrayfield as he wins his 21st cap, will captain Scotland for the first time, replacing Mike Blair who has been ruled out of contention after being concussed in last weekend’s game against the All Blacks.

Lawson, grandson of the late and much-respected Voice of Rugby, Bill McLaren, and son of the former Scotland scrum-half Alan Lawson, becomes Scotland’s 111th Test match captain.

Elsewhere in the back division Nikki Walker, who scored Scotland’s winning try in their 21-6 triumph against South Africa at Murrayfield in 2002, will make his first start since the 2008 Autumn Tests as he replaces Rory Lamont on the wing.

In the pack, Scott MacLeod, who has shown outstanding improvement for Edinburgh this season and who played a decisive role in Scotland’s second Test win in Argentina in June when he was introduced as a second-half substitute for Al Kellock, returns to win his 23rd cap.  He will partner Richie Gray in the boilerhouse.

In the back-row Nathan Hines, who scored a try against the Springboks on their last visit to Murrayfield two years ago, will bring his vast experience to bear from blindside flanker with Kelly Brown moving to No 8 to the exclusion of Richie Vernon.

On the bench, Dougie Hall is preferred to Scott Lawson, his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Moray Low comes in for the injured Alasdair Dickinson and Scotland’s cap centurion, Chris Paterson, is involved in a Scotland 22 for the first time since his landmark day in Cardiff ended with a kidney injury. 

Robinson said: “We have to show to Scotland’s supporters this weekend that we are ready to face up to the intensely physical challenge that the South Africans always present.

“The players are pledged to deliver a much-improved performance this weekend and I believe they can restore pride in the Scotland jersey.”

SCOTLAND: 15 Hugo Southwell 14 Nikki Walker 13 Max Evans 12 Graeme Morrison 11 Sean Lamont 10 Dan Parks 9 Rory Lawson (C) 1 Allan Jacobsen 2 Ross Ford 3 Euan Murray 4 Scott MacLeod 5 Richie Gray 6 Nathan Hines 8 Kelly Brown 7 John Barclay BENCH: 16 Dougie Hall 17 Moray Low 18 Richie Vernon 19 Ross Rennie 20 Greig Laidlaw 21 Ruaridh Jackson 22 Chris Paterson

saCoach Peter de Villiers on Tuesday made three changes to the Springbok starting XV and one positional switch for Saturday’s Test against Scotland at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

Zane Kirchner, Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski were all promoted to the starting line up while Gio Aplon moves from fullback to wing from the team that defeated Wales 29-25 in Cardiff on Saturday.

In addition hooker Adriaan Strauss and wing Lwazi Mvovo are involved in a match-day 22 for the first time on tour as they were drafted onto the bench.

Bjorn Basson’s injury and subsequent suspension made him unavailable for the right wing position and his place is taken by Gio Aplon, who moves from fullback. Aplon’s No 15 jersey is taken by Zane Kirchner who moves up from the bench.

Francois Hougaard is given the starting position at scrumhalf after his cameo performance from the bench on Saturday, while Ryan Kankowski comes straight into the starting XV at eighthman.

Habana fractured a bone in his left hand earlier this week and will return to South Africa shortly. His place in Saturday’s team is taken by Lwazi Mvovo – who is promoted from the bench – while the experienced Adi Jacobs joins the replacements.

SOUTH AFRICA: 15 Zane Kirchner 14 Gio Aplon 13 Frans Steyn 12 Jean de Villiers 11 Lwazi Mvovo 10 Morne Steyn 9 Francois Hougaard 8 Ryan Kankowski 7 Juan Smith 6 Deon Stegmann 5 Victor Matfield (C) 4 Bakkies Botha 3 Jannie du Plessis 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Tendai Mtawarira BENCH: 16 Adriaan Strauss 17 CJ van der Linde 18 Flip van der Merwe 19 Willem Alberts 20 Ruan Pienaar 21 Patrick Lambie 22 Adi Jacobs

TopIRB Scotland South Africa Key Facts

 

 

italy ITALY 14-32 AUSTRALIAaustralia
STADIO A FRANKS, FLORENCE: Saturday 20th November

italyNick Mallett, coach of the Italian National Rugby, has announced the team to play at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence in the second of three autumn Test Match Cariparma.

The main change is to the centre pairing; with Craig Gower absent through injury, Luciano Orquera earning his 15th cap partners the 20 year old scrum half, Edoardo Gori on his Azzurri debut.

The match on Saturday at Stadio “Artemio Franchi” is the 15th match between the two sides. The last meeting dates back to June 20th 2009 when the Azzurri faced the Wallabies in Melbourne and were beaten 34-12.

ITALY: 15 Luke Mclean 14 Tommaso Benvenuti 13 Gonzalo Canale 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Mirco Bergamasco 10 Luciano Orquera 9 Edoardo Gori*8 Sergio Parisse 7 Alessandro Zanni 6 Paul Derbyshire 5 Quintin Geldenhuys 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava 3 Martin Castrogiovanni 2 Fabio Ongaro 1 Andrea Lo Cicero BENCH: 16 Carlo Festuccia 17 Lorenzo Cittadini 18 Santiago Dellape 19 Robert Barbieri 20 Pablo Canavosio 21 Riccardo Bocchino 22 Andrea Masi

australia

Outside centre Adam Ashley-Cooper will make his 50th Test appearance when he takes to Florence’s Stadio Artemio Franchi for the Qantas Wallabies’ Test match against Italy on Saturday.

Ashley-Cooper will become the 35th Australian player to reach 50 Tests and the fifth to do so in 2010. He will start in a Qantas Wallabies side featuring five changes to their starting XV following last weekend’s 35-18 loss to England at Twickenham.

The Australian backline has received the bulk of the modifications, featuring three of the side’s changes. After starting from the bench in the past three Tests, Lachie Turner, who scored his maiden Test try against the Azzurri in the corresponding match two years ago, has been promoted to the run-on side following winger James O’Connor’s return to Australia on compassionate grounds.

O’Connor will re-join the side in Paris on Sunday.

Berrick Barnes, who captained the Qantas Wallabies in both midweek tour matches against Leicester and Munster, will start a Test for the first time since the Qantas Wallabies’ 49-28 loss to the All Blacks in Melbourne in July. The Australian inside centre plays his ninth Test of the year but just his third start, and the third of his career partnering flyhalf Quade Cooper.

Luke Burgess has been selected at scrumhalf replacing Will Genia, who will take up his place on the reserves list after recovering from rib damage sustained against England last weekend.

Changes to the Qantas Wallabies’ forward pack will see the Queensland Reds pairing of loosehead prop James Slipper and lock Rob Simmons make their run-on debuts for the Australian side. Slipper receives his call-up to the starting front row after 12 caps off the bench. Simmons, who made his Test debut in the Qantas Wallabies’ win over South Africa in Brisbane this year, earns a start in his fifth Test and will pack down alongside Nathan Sharpe.

Elsom, who will continue his back row partnership with David Pocock and Ben McCalman for a sixth consecutive Test, will lead the Qantas Wallabies for the 19th time.

AUSTRALIA: 15 Kurtley Beale 14 Lachie Turner 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper 12 Berrick Barnes 11 Drew Mitchell 10 Quade Cooper 9 Luke Burgess 8 Ben McCalman 7 David Pocock 6 Rocky Elsom (C) 5 Nathan Sharpe 4 Rob Simmons 3 Ben Alexander 2 Stephen Moore 1 James Slipper BENCH: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau 17 Benn Robinson 18 Mark Chisholm 19 Matt Hodgson 20 Will Genia 21 Matt Giteau 22 Pat McCabe

TopIRB Italy Australia Key Facts

 

 

Ireland IRELAND 18-38 NEW ZEALANDnz
AVIVA STADIUM: Saturday 20th November

IrelandThe Ireland team to play New Zealand in the third game of the Guinness Series 2010 shows eleven changes from the side that defeated Samoa last weekend.Rob Kearney has recovered from the injury he picked up against South Africa and comes back into the side at full-back with Luke Fitzgerald moving to the left wing.

Gordon D'Arcy resumes his provincial partnership alongside Ireland Captain Brian O'Driscoll with Jonathan Sexton and Eoin Reddan also recalled to the starting XV.

Up front Tom Court switches to tight head with Cian Healy and Rory Best completing the front row. Donncha O'Callaghan will be partnered by Mick O'Driscoll in the second row while Stephen Ferris and David Wallace join Jamie Heaslip to complete the line up.

IRELAND: 15 Robert Kearney 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll (C) 12 Gordon D'Arcy 11 Luke Fitzgerald 10 Jonathan Sexton 9 Eoin Reddan 1 Cian Healy 2 Rory Best 3 Tom Court 4 Donncha O'Callaghan 5 Mick O'Driscoll 6 Stephen Ferris 7 David Wallace 8 Jamie Heaslip BENCH: 16 Sean Cronin 17 John Hayes 18 Devin Toner 19 Denis Leamy 20 Peter Stringer 21 Ronan O'Gara 22 Keith Earls

nzAll Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named their team for the Test against Ireland at Aviva Stadium on Saturday 20 November, the fourth Test in the All Blacks Telecom BackingBlack Tour.

The match will see All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and fullback Mils Muliaina play their 93rd Tests becoming the most capped All Blacks of all time, after equalling former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick’s record last weekend against Scotland.

NEW ZEALAND: 1 Tony Woodcock 2 Hikawera Elliot 3 Owen Franks 4 Anthony Boric 5 Tom Donnelly 6 Jerome Kaino 7 Richie McCaw (C) 8 Kieran Read 9 Andy Ellis 10 Daniel Carter 11 Hosea Gear 12 Ma’a Nonu 13 Conrad Smith 14 Cory Jane 15 Mils Muliaina BENCH: 16 Andrew Hore 17 John Afoa 18 Samuel Whitelock 19 Liam Messam 20 Alby Mathewson 21 Stephen Donald 22 Sonny Bill Williams

TopIRB Ireland NZ Key Facts

 

 

france FRANCE 15-9 ARGENTINAArgentina
STADE A MOSSON, MONTPELLIER: Saturday 20th November

france15 Alexis Palisson 14 Yoann Huget 13 Aurelien Rougerie 12 Yannick Jauzion 11 Marc Andreu 10 Damien Traille 9 Morgan Parra 8 Sebastien Chabal 7 Julien Bonnaire 6 Thierry Dusautoir (C) 5 Lionel Nallet 4 Julien Pierre 3 Nicolas Mas 2 William Servat 1 Thomas Domingo BENCH: 16 Guilhem Guirado 17 Luc Ducalcon 18 Jerome Thion 19 Imanol Harinordoquy 20 Dimitri Yachvili 21 Fabrice Estebanez 22 Jerome Porical

Argentina1 Rodrigo Roncero 2 Mario Ledesma 3 Martin Scelzo 4 Mariano Galarza 5 Patricio Albacete 6 Fessio Genaro 7 Miguel De Achaval 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe 9 Nicolas Vergallo 10 Felipe Contepomi (C) 11 Lucas Gonzales Amorosino 12 Santiago Fernandez 13 Gonzalo Tiesi 14 Gonzalo Camacho 15 Martín Rodríguez BENCH: 16 Agustín Creevy 17 Marcos Ayerza 18 Santiago Guzman 19 July Cabello Farias 20 Alvaro Galindo 21 Alfredo Lalanne 22 Marcelo Bosch

TopIRB France Argentina Key Facts

 


WEEK 4

england ENGLAND 11-21 SOUTH AFRICAsa
TWICKENHAM: Saturday 27th November

england

England will field the side that defeated Australia for the last of this season’s Investec Internationals against South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.

Captain Lewis Moody, Mike Tindall, Dan Cole and Tom Croft are back in the starting line-up as team manager Martin Johnson makes four changes to the team that beat Samoa 26-13.

Moody and Croft take over from Hendre Fourie and James Haskell in the back row, Cole replaces David Wilson at tight head and Tindall is in for Matt Banahan at outside centre.

Fourie, Wilson and Banahan are on the bench, where Simon Shaw returns in place of David Attwood.

Moody will draw level with Neil Back as England’s most-capped flanker when he makes his 66th international appearance. Although Joe Worsley is the most experienced back-row forward in the England squad, 15 of his 77 caps have come at No.8.

England are out to end a run of six international defeats against South Africa and were beaten 42-6 at Twickenham in 2008. There are only two survivors from that game in England’s starting line-up two years on: Harlequins No.8 Nick Easter and Stade Francais lock Tom Palmer.

ENGLAND: 15 Ben Foden 14 Chris Ashton 13 Mike Tindall 12 Shontayne Hape 11 Mark Cueto 10 Toby Flood 9 Ben Youngs 1 Andrew Sheridan 2 Dylan Hartley 3 Dan Cole 4 Courtney Lawes 5 Tom Palmer 6 Tom Croft 7 Lewis Moody (C) 8 Nick Easter BENCH: 16 Steve Thompson 17 David Wilson 18 Simon Shaw 19 Hendrie Fourie 20 Danny Care 21 Charlie Hodgson 22 Matt Banahan

saThe Springboks restored scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar and eighthman Pierre Spies to the starting line-up when coach Peter de Villiers named the team to take on England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The pair replaces Francois Hougaard and Ryan Kankowski in a team that was otherwise unchanged from the one which lost 21-17 to Scotland in Edinburgh. Hougaard drops to the bench in a straight swap with Pienaar while Kankowski drops out of the squad altogether.

De Villiers said he had dismissed the idea of making wholesale changes. “There is no panic,” he said. “This team has all the ability we need – but what we all know is that we have to execute more accurately than we did against Scotland.

“That game is behind us now but we’ve looked hard at the lessons of it and know that we can’t allow let ourselves to make as many mistakes in our basic execution.”

The Springboks upset many predictions to beat Ireland in the opening match of the tour and followed up with victory over Wales before the four-point defeat to Scotland, who leapfrogged both of their Celtic rivals in the IRB rankings as a result.

The Springboks go into Saturday’s Test having beaten England on six successive occasions but with the home side installed as favourites.

“England have made good progress since they started their tour to Australia this year and will be full of confidence,” said De Villiers. “A full Twickenham will ensure that this is the toughest Test of the tour for us.

“But Saturday’s performance wasn’t a true reflection of the talent in this squad and the players want to put that right and end the Test season on a high.”

SOUTH AFRICA: 15 Zane Kirchner 14 Gio Aplon 13 Frans Steyn 12 Jean de Villiers 11 Lwazi Mvovo 10 Morne Steyn 9 Ruan Pienaar 8 Pierre Spies 7 Juan Smith 6 Deon Stegmann 5 Victor Matfield (C) 4 Bakkies Botha 3 Jannie du Plessis 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Tendai Mtawarira BENCH: 16 Adriaan Strauss 17 CJ van der Linde 18 Flip van der Merwe 19 Willem Alberts 20 Francois Hougaard 21 Patrick Lambie 22 Adi Jacobs

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scotland SCOTLAND 19-6 SAMOA Samoa
PITTODRIE, ABERDEEN: Sunday 27th November

scotlandScotland head coach Andy Robinson has challenged his team to step up their performance in Saturday’s final EMC Autumn Test against Samoa at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen.

Robinson has made one change in personnel from the team that started last week’s victory over world champions South Africa at Murrayfield.  Richie Vernon, the 23-year-old Glasgow Warrior, who enjoyed a considerable impact off the bench, will make his second start for Scotland at No 8, with Nathan Hines switching to his optimum berth of lock and Kelly Brown reverting to blindside flanker.

On the bench, scrum-half Mike Blair has recovered from the head knock he sustained against New Zealand and is preferred to Greig Laidlaw and Max Evans returns after his shoulder injury from the same game instead of Chris Paterson.

Robinson said today: “Our supporters were understandably delighted by our win against South Africa but that game is now history and we have to start afresh against quality international opposition in Samoa.

“They will bring their own very physical, hard-running dimension to Saturday’s game and we need to be absolutely focused on upping our performance this weekend.”

Robinson went on: “I thought Richie Vernon showed his mettle as an international rugby player when he came on for Scott MacLeod last Saturday and he has a chance to demonstrate those traits from the start on Saturday.

“I also want to congratulate Chunk (Allan Jacobsen) and Sean Lamont as this weekend will mark their 50th caps.  Both have had periods of injury adversity in their careers but they have shown the sort of determination we will need on Saturday to return from such experiences to be better players for it.”

Jacobsen becomes the 29th Scot, Lamont the 30th, to reach the milestone, while Dan Parks equalled John Rutherford’s drop-goal record for Scotland when he landed his 12th such score last Saturday. 

SCOTLAND: 15 Hugo Southwell 14 Nikki Walker 13 Joe Ansbro 12 Graeme Morrison 11 Sean Lamont 10 Dan Parks 9 Rory Lawson (C) 1 Allan Jacobsen 2 Ross Ford 3 Euan Murray 4 Nathan Hines 5 Richie Gray 6 Kelly Brown 7 John Barclay 8 Richie Vernon BENCH: 16 Dougie Hall 17 Moray Low 18 Jim Hamilton 19 Ross Rennie 20 Mike Blair 21 Ruaridh Jackson 22 Max Evans

Samoa15 Paul Williams 14 David Lemi 13 George Pisi  12 Seilala Mapusua 11 Alesana Tuilagi 10 Tasesa Lavea 9 Kahn Fotualii 1 Zak Taulafo 2 Mahonri Schwalger (C) 3 Census Johnston 4 Kane Thompson 5 Filipo Levi 6 Ofisa Treviariuns 7 Manaia Salavea 8 George Stowers BENCH: 16 Tii Paulo 17 Anthony Perenise 18 Iosefa Tekori 19 Daniel Leo 20 Afa Aiono 21 Junior Poluleuligaga 22 Fautua Otto

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italyITALY 24-16 FIJIfiji
STADIO BRAGLIA, MODENA: Saturday 27th November

italy15 Luke Mclean 14 Andrea Masi 13 Gonzalo Canale 12 Alberto Sgarbi 11 Mirco Bergamasco 10 Luciano Orquera 9 Edoardo Gori 8 Sergio Parisse 7 Robert Barbieri 6 Alessandro Zanni 5 Quintin Geldenhuys 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava 3 Martin Castrogiovanni 2 Fabio Ongaro 1 Salvatore Perugini BENCH: 16 Carlo Festuccia 17 Andrea Lo Cicero 18 Santiago Dellape 19 Paul Derbyshire 20 Pablo Canavosio 21 Riccardo Bocchino 22 Tommaso Benvenuti

fiji15 Norman Ligairi 14 Vereniki Goneva 13 Albert Vulivuli 12 Gabriele Lovobalavu 11 Napolioni Nalaga 10 Seremaia Baï 9 Nemia Kenatale 8 Sisa Koyamaibole 7 Akapusi Qera 6 Semisi Saukawa 5 Jone Qovu 4 Wame Lewaravu 3 Deacon Manu (C) 2 Talemaitoga Taupati 1 Campese Ma'afu BENCH: 16 Vili Veikoso 17 Vesi Rarawa 18 Sekonaia Kalou 19 Jim Naikadawa 20 Seveci Taka 21 Seru Rabeni 22 Taniela Rawaqa Maravunawasawasa

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wales WALES 25-37 NEW ZEALANDnz
MILLENNIUM STADIUM: Saturday 27th October

walesWales have brought Blues wing Tom James straight into their starting line-up as they make wholesale changes for the final Invesco Perpetual Series '10 clash with New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday - leaving just three players in place from the 16-16 draw with Fiji last time out.

Scarlets wing George North and Ospreys duo Lee Byrne and Adam Jones are the only players retained in their starting positions, although both Ryan Jones and Dan Lydiate keep their places in a back row re-shuffled to accommodate Blues flanker Sam Warburton on the openside and Jones at No 8.

Warburton's return from injury is a boost to head coach Warren Gatland's squad, as is his regional colleague Gethin Jenkins' return to fitness - both from calf injuries - in time to face the All Blacks.

Jenkins slots into the front row alongside Scarlets and Wales captain Matthew Rees, who returns at hooker.

It's all change in the second row with the pairing of Bradley Davies and Alun Wyn Jones  reunited.

Half backs Stephen Jones and Mike Phillips are recalled after also starting Wales' first two matches of the campaign.

Elsewhere in the backs the centre pairing of Tom Shanklin and James Hook is another that is re-united from the Springboks outing, although both players also faced the Wallabies, with Hook at full back on that occasion.

On the bench Wales have opted for a five forwards and two backs split with Andy Powell, returning from a groin problem to join Martyn Williams and Jonathan Thomas providing cover across the back row, with Thomas as well as the starting Jones both able to fill in at lock.

The front row is supported by prop Paul James and hooker Huw Bennett, both Ospreys, and their regional colleague Andrew Bishop provides cover for the backs alongside scrum half Richie Rees.

WALES: 15 Lee Byrne 14 George North 13 Tom Shanklin 12 James Hook 11 Tom James 10 Stephen Jones 9 Mike Phillips 1 Gethin Jenkins 2 Matthew Rees (C) 3 Adam Jones 4 Bradley Davies 5 Alun Wyn Jones 6 Dan Lydiate 7 Sam Warburton 8 Ryan Jones BENCH: 16 Huw Bennett 17 Paul James 18 Jonathan Thomas 19 Andy Powell 20 Martyn Williams 21 Richie Rees 22 Andrew Bishop

nzA minute’s silence is to be held before the All Blacks Test against Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday 27 November, with the All Blacks to also wear white armbands on their black match jerseys as a mark of respect to the 29 miners who lost their lives in the Pike River mining tragedy on the West Coast of New Zealand.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said:  “We share in the mourning of the whole country and in our own small way wanted to also pay our respects to the miners.”

Meanwhile, All Blacks Coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have named their team for the fifth and final Test in the All Blacks Telecom BackingBlack Tour.

NEW ZEALAND: 1 Tony Woodcock 2 Hikawera Elliot 3 Owen Franks 4 Anthony Boric 5 Tom Donnelly 6 Jerome Kaino 7 Richie McCaw (C) 8 Kieran Read 9 Andy Ellis 10 Daniel Carter 11 Hosea Gear 12 Ma’a Nonu 13 Conrad Smith 14 Cory Jane 15 Mils Muliaina BENCH: 16 Andrew Hore 17 John Afoa 18 Samuel Whitelock 19 Liam Messam 20 Alby Mathewson 21 Stephen Donald 22 Sonny Bill Williams            

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france FRANCE 16-59 AUSTRALIAaustralia
STADE DE FRANCE: Saturday 27th November

france15 Jerome Porical 14 Yohan Huget 13 Aurélien Rougerie 12 Yannick Jauzion 11 Alexis Palisson 10 Damien Traille 9 Morgan Parra 1 Thomas Domingo 2 William Servat 3 Nicolas Mas 4 Julien Pierre 5 Lionel Nallet 6 Thierry Dusautoir 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo 8 Sebastien Chabal BENCH: 16 Guilhem Guirado  17 Jerome Schuster 18 Jerome Thion 19 Julien Bonnaire 20 Dimitri Yachvili 21 Fabrice Estebanez 22 Marc Andreu

australiaScrumhalf Will Genia and winger James O’Connor will return to the Qantas Wallabies as the only changes to the starting XV for the final Test of side’s Spring Tour against France at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).

Genia has been included in his customary ‘9’ jersey after recovering from rib cartilage damage sustained against England a fortnight ago. The 22-year-old, who was named on the bench but not required against Italy last weekend, will take on Les Bleus for the first time in his career after missing the 2009 domestic Test season with a finger tendon injury before going on to make his Test debut against New Zealand during the Tri-Nations Series that year.

Genia will re-establish his Queensland Reds halves pairing with Quade Cooper, who was named man of the match against Italy, and replaces Luke Burgess in the run-on side, with Burgess falling back to the bench.

O’Connor has been reinstated on the right wing after re-joining the side in Paris on Sunday. O’Connor, who missed Saturday’s Test against the Azzurri after returning to Australia on compassionate grounds, resumes his place on the end of the backline in favour of Waratahs speedster Lachie Turner, who will start from the reserves list. O’Connor will join winger Drew Mitchell and fullback Kurtley Beale in the back three, with the trio accounting for six of the Qantas Wallabies’ 11 tries in their four completed matches on this tour.

Saturday’s match may mark the Test debut of Queensland back-rower Scott Higginbotham, who has been named amongst the run-on reserves. It will be the second time Higginbotham, who scored the side’s final try in their tour match win over Leicester, has been selected in the Qantas Wallabies’ Test 22, with his first selection ending in a pre-match withdrawal due to a back strain sustained in the warm-up of the side’s 44-31 loss to South Africa at Loftus Versfeld in August this year.

Berrick Barnes, who booted six penalties and two conversions from nine attempts in Florence, will continue his centre partnership alongside last weekend’s half-centurion, Adam Ashley-Cooper, who returns for his 51st Test.

After making impressive starting debuts against Italy last weekend, lock Rob Simmons and loosehead prop James Slipper – who received the side’s internal man-of-the-match award – have been retained in an unchanged forward pack.

Deans says it is essential that his side combines for a strong performance in their final Test of 2011.

“Being our last outing for the year definitely adds some importance to it,” he said. “Not only will it be our last impression from a team perspective, but it’s the players’ last opportunity to make an impression too leading into what is an important year next year with a World Cup approaching.”

AUSTRALIA: 15 Kurtley Beale 14 James O’Connor 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper 12 Berrick Barnes 11 Drew Mitchell 10 Quade Cooper 9 Will Genia 8 Ben McCalman 7 David Pocock 6 Rocky Elsom (C) 5 Nathan Sharpe 4 Rob Simmons 3 Ben Alexander 2 Stephen Moore 1 James Slipper BENCH: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau 17 Benn Robinson 18 Mark Chisholm 19 Scott Higginbotham 20 Luke Burgess 21 Matt Giteau 22 Lachie Turner

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Ireland IRELAND 29-9 ARGENTINAArgentina
AVIVA STADIUM: Sunday 28th November

The Ireland team to play Argentina in the final game of the Guinness Series shows five changes to the starting team that took the field against New Zealand last Saturday.

Geordan Murphy comes into the full back position in place of the injured Rob Kearney and Andrew Trimble has been selected on the left wing, which was occupied by Luke Fitzgerald in the last game. Peter Stringer is selected at scrumhalf to win his 95th cap.

There are two changes to the front row with Sean Cronin taking over form Rory Best and Tony Buckley, who missed the last two games in the Guinness Series due to a hip injury, coming into the team at tight head in place of Tom Court, who reverts to the replacements. Hooker Damien Varley makes his first home match 22 as he is also named in the replacements having won his first cap as a replacement against Australia on the Summer tour.

Ireland15 Geordan Murphy 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll (C) 12 Gordon D'Arcy 11 Andrew Trimble 10 Jonathan Sexton 9 Peter Stringer 1 Cian Healy 2 Sean Cronin 3 Tony Buckley 4 Donncha O'Callaghan 5 Mick O'Driscoll 6 Stephen Ferris 7 David Wallace 8 Jamie Heaslip BENCH: 16 Damien Varley 17 Tom Court 18 Devin Toner 19 Denis Leamy 20 Eoin Reddan 21 Ronan O'Gara 22 Keith Earls

Argentina15 Martin Rodriguez Gurruchage 14 Horacio Agulla 13 Gonzalo Tiesi 12 Marcelo Bosch 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino 10 Felipe Contepomi (C) 9 Nicolas Vergallo 1 Rodrigo Roncero 2 Mario Ledesma Arocena 3 Martin Scelzo 4 Mariano Galarza 5  Patricio Albacete 6 Genaro Fessia 7 Julio Cabello 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe BENCH: 16 Agustin Creevy 17 Marcos Ayerza 18 Juan Figallo 19 Santiago Guzman 20 Alvaro Galindo 21 Alfredo Lalanne 22 Lucas Borges

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WEEK 5

BARBARIANS 26-20 SOUTH AFRICAsa
TWICKENHAM: Saturday 4th December

15 James O'Connor 14 Joe Rokocoko 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper 12 Ma'a Nonu 11 Drew Mitchell 10 Matt Giteau (C) 9 Will Genia 1 Salvatore Perugini 2 Stephen Moore 3 Neemia Tialata 4 Anton van Zyl 5 Chris Jack 6 Rodney So'oialo 7 Martyn Williams 8 Colin Bourke BENCH: 16 Keven Mealamu 17 John Yapp 18 Quintin Geldenhuys 19 Daniel Braid 20 Andy Ellis 21 Stephen Donald 22 Seru Rabeni

sa15 Patrick Lambie 14 Odwa Ndungane 13 Adrian Jacobs 12 Andries Strauss 11 Lwazi Mvovo 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Francois Hougaard 1 Coenraad Oosthuizen 2 Adriaan Strauss 3 CJ van der Linde 4 Bakkies Botha 5 Alistair Hargreaves 6 Willem Alberts 7 Juan Smith (C) 8 Ryan Kankowski BENCH: 16 Bandise Maku 17 Tendai Mtawarira 18 Werner Kruger 19 Flip van der Merwe 20 Keegan Daniel 21 Charl McLeod 22 Gio Aplon

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