Home Authors Posts by Morné

Morné

avatar
4826 POSTS 14279 COMMENTS

Sharks 30, Griquas 32

8

The old lady is back.  Currie Cup 2013 kicks off with the Sharks hosting Griquas.

Recent results:
2012: Sharks won 42-3, Durban
2012: Griquas won 22-15, Kimberley
2011: Sharks won 29-18, Durban
2011:: Griquas won 43-22, Kimberley
2010: Sharks won 48-30, Durban
2010: Griquas won 40-34, Kimberley

Teams:

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Sizo Maseko, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Butch James, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Brynard Stander, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Fred Zeilinga, 22 Jaco van Tonder.

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 JP Nel, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 PJ Vermeulen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 Jaco Nepgen, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Nick Schonert, 18 Jonathan Adendorf, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Du Randt Gerber, 22 Rocco Jansen.

Referee: Jason Jaftha
Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Willie Roos

Lions 18, Kings 23

26

The equation is simple.  The Lions just need a win while the Kings need to win by 8 or more.  The loser, is out of Super Rugby.

Previous results:
2013: Lions won 41-31, Johannesburg
2013: Lions won 26-19, Port Elizabeth

Teams:

Lions: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Deon Helberg, 13 Nicolaas Hanekom, 12 Dylan Des Fountain, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Guy Cronje, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Chrysander Botha.

Southern Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Scott van Breda, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Hadleigh Parkes, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Charl du Plessis, 17 Hannes Franklin, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Wesley Dunlop, 22 Shane Gates.

Date: Saturday, August 3
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Expected weather: Bright sunshine, with virtually no chance of precipitation. Hi of 18°C and a low of 4°C
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Marius Jonker
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

SR Final: Chiefs 27, Brumbies 22

7

Super Rugby 2013 comes to a close with the defending champions favourites to make it a double – but can Jake’s Brumbies deliver a surprise?

Recent results:
2012: Chiefs won 29-22, Hamilton
2011: Brumbies won 28-20, Canberra
2010: Brumbies won 30-23, Canberra
2009: Chiefs won 10-7, Hamilton
2008: Chiefs won 42-28, Canberra
2007: Brumbies won 21-15, Hamilton
2006: Brumbies won 28-26, Canberra

Teams:

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga/Robbie Robinson, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Matt Vant Leven, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (captain), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Bundee Aki, 22 Robbie Robinson/Patrick Osborne.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 George Smith, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Siliva Siliva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Fotu Auelua, 19 Colby Faingaa, 20 Ian Prior, 21 Andrew Smith, 22 Joseph Tomane.

Date: Saturday, August 3
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (07.35 GMT; 17.35 AEST)
Expected weather: Cloudy with occasional rain (50% chance of rain) and a 12km/h easterly wind. High of 16°C and low of 10°C
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro

McCaw off the bench for Saders

0

The 2013 Investec Super Rugby Qualifiers have arrived and six teams are now vying for the coveted championship title. This Saturday 20th July see’s Super Rugby’s seven time champions the Crusaders take on Queensland’s Reds at AMI Stadium, Christchurch.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has named his team to play the Reds making only one change to the starting fifteen that beat the Hurricanes 25-17 last weekend. Lock Luke Romano returns from an ankle injury to reform locking partnership team mate Sam Whitelock.

Meanwhile the bench see’s the much awaited return of Crusader and All Black Richie McCaw. McCaw returns from a six month sabbatical. The game will mark his first Super Rugby match for the 2013 season following an eighty minute club rugby game last weekend.

The Super Rugby Qualifier will also mark a special occasion for fellow flanker Matt Todd. When he pulls on the number 7 jersey and runs out on Saturday night he will be playing his 50th Super Rugby match for the Crusaders.

This is knock out rugby and with both sides vying to secure themselves a place in the semi-finals it will be an intense, physical and passionate battle. The two sides have previously met on nineteen occasions with the Crusaders coming out the victors winning 68% of the battles. The Reds have not won on Crusader turf since 1999.

However in recent years the two sides have developed some fierce rivalry and with player match ups such as first-fives Carter vs Cooper on the cards it is bound to be just that. Add to the dynamic thirteen All Blacks (9 present and 4 former) in the Crusaders side facing a Reds team with fourteen Wallabies (6 present and 8 former) and the game is set to be a test match of Super Rugby proportions.

Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder encourages fans to come out in support of the team on Saturday night. “This season we remain unbeaten at home and this is largely due to the enthusiastic and boisterous red and black support we receive every time we play at AMI Stadium. With this weekend’s game being the last time the Crusaders will play at home during 2013 we encourage fans to don the red & black once more and help us to show the Reds what it is like to play knock out footy at our fortress.”

Crusaders team to play the Reds:

1.       Wyatt Crockett Reserves
2.       Corey Flynn 16. Ben Funnell
3.       Owen Franks 17.    Joe Moody
4.       Luke Romano 18.    Luke Whitelock
5.       Sam Whitelock 19.    Richie McCaw
6.       George Whitelock 20.    Willi Heinz
7.       Matt Todd 21.   Tyler Bleyendaal
8.       Kieran Read (c) 22.   Adam Whitelock
9.       Andy Ellis
10.   Dan Carter
11.   Zac Guildford
12.   Tom Taylor
13.   Ryan Crotty
14.   Tom Marshall
15.   Israel Dagg

Pollard back at 12 for semi

5

There are five changes in the starting line-up of the Junior Springboks to play against Wales in the IRB Junior World Championship rugby semi-final in Vannes, France, on Tuesday evening.

Amongst the backs, flyhalf Robert du Preez returns to play in the No 10 jersey while Handré Pollard moves to inside centre in place of Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Stefan Ungerer reclaims the No 9 jersey from his Sharks provincial team mate Hanco Venter.

Andrew Beerwinkel will start at loose head prop in place of Sti Sithole while Luan de Bruin is restored to the side after missing the match against France because of suspension. De Bruin’s suspension of four weeks was set aside following a successful appeal. Marné Coetzee therefore moves to the bench to make way for De Bruin.

Amongst the replacements, flanker Kwagga Smith comes in for the injured Jannes Kirsten while Justin Geduld, who missed the French match because of a slight knee injury, was included amongst the backs after passing a fitness test on Monday.

Junior Springboks coach, Dawie Theron, commented: “This is a very important match for us and we know that Wales is a well-coached side with a good structure and especially a very good kicking game. We have done our homework and believe that we are a well-prepared physical side and we are comfortable with the way we want to play. The team is looking forward to play in this semi-final match.”

Kick-off time is 18:15 and SuperSport will show both semi-finals live, with broadcasting starting from 18:00.

The SA Under-20 team to play Wales on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 in Vannes:

15. Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province)

14. Luther Obi (Platinum Leopard)

13. Dries Swanepoel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

12. Handré Pollard (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

11. Seabelo Senatla (SARU contracted)

10. Robert du Preez (The Sharks)

9.   Stefan Ungerer (The Sharks)

8. Ruan Steenkamp (captain, Vodacom Blue Bulls)

7. Jacques du Plessis (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

6. Roelof Smit (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

5. Dennis Visser (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

4. Irné Herbst (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

3. Luan de Bruin (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)

2. Jacques du Toit (Toyota Free State Cheetahs)

1. Andrew Beerwinkel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

Reserves:

16. Michael Willemse (DHL Western Province)

17. St Sithole (DHL Western Province)

18. Aidon Davis (EP Kings)

19. Kwagga Smith (MTN Golden Lions)

20. Percy Williams (MTN Golden Lions)

21. Justin Geduld (SARU contracted)

22. Jesse Kriel (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

23. Marné Coetzee (The Sharks)

Some interesting JWC facts:

Seven teams have contested an IRB Junior World Championship semi-final in New Zealand, England, South Africa, France, Australia, Wales and Argentina.

Stade de la Rabine in Vannes will become the seventh venue to host a JWC semi-final after Rodney Parade (2008), Cardiff Arms Park (2008), Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium (2009), Estadio El Coloso del Parque (2010), Stadio Comunale di Monigo (2011) and Newlands (2012).

A total of 50 tries have been scored across the 10 JWC semi-finals to date. Thirty-two of these have been turned into seven pointers.

The most tries scored in a semi-final is six, which has happened three times – New Zealand v Australia (2009), England v South Africa (2009) and England v France (2011).

The most penalties kicked in a semi-final is seven in England’s victory over South Africa in 2009, the fewest is two in that year’s other encounter between New Zealand and Australia.

No drop goals have been slotted between the posts in a semi-final to date.

Bad news for Arno

7

Springbok loose forward Arno Botha has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2013 season after rupturing ligaments in his knee during the Castle Lager Incoming Series victory over Scotland in Nelspruit on Saturday.

Botha was forced to leave the field in the fourth minute of only his second Test for South Africa when he injured his left knee.

The former SA Under-20 captain was taken for scans in Pretoria on Sunday, which confirmed the diagnosis of an injury to his medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments. It will require surgical correction and he will be out for the remainder of the season.

“Losing Arno is a big blow as he had a very good Test debut last weekend against Italy,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Luckily he is still very young and I’m sure with the correct medical treatment and rehabilitation we will see him back on the field again in 2014.”

Meyer said that a call on a possible replacement for Botha will be made at a later stage.

“We do have good cover at loose forward – Siya Kolisi, Marcell Coetzee and Pieter Labuschagne are all capable replacements. Furthermore Francois Louw is back tomorrow and Willem Alberts has responded well to treatment and will probably in the frame for selection this week,” said Meyer.

Kirsten blow for Baby Boks

0

Junior Springbok lock Jannes Kirsten will miss the rest of the IRB Junior World Championship (JWC) in France because of a facial injury, the team confirmed on Sunday.

Kirsten sustained a fractured cheek bone in the South Africa Under-20’s training session on Saturday afternoon at the Stade Michelin in Vannes.

The team will name a replacement shortly.

On Saturday evening SA U20 team doctor, Phatho Zondi, took Kirsten for a scan at a local hospital. According to Dr Zondi the CT scan confirmed a right infraorbital fracture with muscle impingement.

“He also has multiple fractures to the maxillary sinus. Jannes was consulted by an ENT specialist who confirmed the diagnosis of a Type B blowout fracture and has recommended conservative treatment with an expected return to play in a minimum of six weeks,” the team doctor explained.

Defending champions South Africa plays Wales in a semi-final clash on Tuesday at 16:45 in Vannes.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the squad continued with its preparations for the vital knockout match with two field sessions at the nearby Stade Michelin.

SA U20 coach, Dawie Theron, will announce the Junior Bok team to play Wales on Monday.

Argentina 26 v England 51

0

England blasted the Argies off the park last weekend which I am sure will motivate them to deliver a better performance this time around.

Recent results:
2013: England won 32-3, Salta
2011: England won 13-9, Dunedin (World Cup pool match)
2009: England won 16-9, London
2009: Argentina won 24-22, Salta
2009: England won 37-15, Manchester
2006: Argentina won 25-18, London
2002: England won 18-26, Buenos Aires
2000: England won 19-0, London
1997: Argentina won 33-13, Buenos Aires
1997: England won 46-20, Buenos Aires

Teams:

Argentina: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Gabriel Ascarate, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Benjamin Macome, 6 Rodrigo Baez, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Julio Farias Cabello, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Martin Garcia Veiga, 1 Guillermo Roan.
Replacements: 16 Mauricio Guidone, 17 Pablo Henn, 18 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Tomás De la Vega, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Benjamín Madero, 23 Matías Orlando.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Wood (captain), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Ben Foden.

Date: Saturday, 15 June
Venue: Velez Sarsfield Stadium, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 16.10 (19.10 GMT; 20.10 UK time)
Expected weather: Sunshine and some clouds, with no rain expected. High of 17°C, low of 11°C
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Boks 30 v Scotland 17

39

The score between these two teams in recent years have been very close, but the Boks should be way too good at home and at altitude for a Scottish side missing their best players to the B&I Lions.

Recent results:
2012: South Africa won 21-10, Edinburgh
2010: Scotland won 21-17, Edinburgh
2008: South Africa won 14-10, Edinburgh
2007: South Africa won 27-3, Edinburgh
2006: South Africa won 29-15, Port Elizabeth
2006: South Africa won 36-16, Durban
2004: South Africa won 45-10, Edinburgh
2003: South Africa won 28-19, Johannesburg
2003: South Africa won 29-25, Durban
2002: Scotland won 21-6, Edinburgh

Teams

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Scotland: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Ryan Wilson, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Moray Low, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 16.15 UK time)
Expected weather: Sunny with a high of 23°C , dropping to 10°C
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Nigel Hennessy (Wales)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

Samoa 39 v Italy 10

2

After their impressive win over Scotland last week, Samoa will aim to take two Northern Hemisphere scalps as they face off against Italy.

Waratahs 17 v B&I Lions 47

0

The Lions have two more warm-up games to get through – and these might prove to be the toughest.

Recent results:
2001: British & Irish Lions won 41-24, Sydney
1989: British & Irish Lions won 23-21, Sydney
1971: British & Irish Lions won 14-12, Sydney
1966: British & Irish Lions and Waratahs drew 6-all, Sydney
1959: Waratahs won 18-14, Sydney
1950: British & Irish Lions won 22-6, Sydney
1950: Waratahs won 17-12, Sydney
1930: British & Irish Lions won 29-10, Sydney
1930: Waratahs won 28-3, Sydney
1908: British & Irish Lions won 3-0, Sydney
1908: British & Irish Lions won 8-0, Sydney

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Ollie Atkins, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Jeremy Tilse.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Richard Aho, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 AJ Gilbert, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Tom Kingston.

British & Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Tom Croft, 5 Paul O’Connell, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Rob Kearney.

Date: Saturday, 15 June
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.30 (08.30 UK & Ireland time; 09.30 GMT)
Expected weather: Morning clouds, mild and breezy, but only a very slim chance of any precipitation. High of 19°C and a low of 9°C
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
TMO: Keith Brown (New Zealand)

All Blacks 30 v France 0

5

France have selected a much stronger side, but the All Blacks are still the bookies favourite to take the series.

Recent Results:
2013: New Zealand won 23-13, Auckland
2011: New Zealand won 8-7, Auckland
2011: New Zealand won 37-17, Auckland
2009: New Zealand won 39-12, Marseille
2009: New Zealand won 14-10, Wellington
2009: France won 27-22, Dunedin
2007: France won 20-18, Cardiff
2007: New Zealand won 61-10, Wellington
2007: New Zealand won 42-11, Auckland
2006: New Zealand won 2311, Paris

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg. 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain) 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Rene Ranger.

France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Bernard Le Roux, 7 Louis Picamoles, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Brice Dulin, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 French time; 07.35 GMT)
Expected weather: Often cloudy. Scattered rain from evening. Northeast breezes. A low of 4°C and a high of 10°C
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), TBC (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Japan 23 v Wales 8

3

Japan got desperately close a week ago – can they finally get one over a tier 1 country?

Recent results:
2013: Wales won 22-18, Osaka
2007: Wales won 72-18, Cardiff (World Cup pool match)
2004: Wales won 98-0, Cardiff
2001: Wales won 53-30, Tokyo
2001: Wales won 64-10, Osaka
1999: Wales won 64-15, Cardiff (World Cup pool match)
1995: Wales won 57-10, Bloemfontein (World Cup pool match)
1993: Wales won 55-5, Cardiff

Prediction: Last week Japan got a lot closer than we thought and maybe that’s an indication of Wales’ lack of depth. Japan will have gained some confidence from that, but we still believe that – given the weather conditions – the Welsh are just too strong. Wales by about 10 points.

Teams:

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Toshiaki Hirose (captain), 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani, 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Yusuke Nagae, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Justin Ives, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Yoshikazu Fujita.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Tom Prydie, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 James King 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies (Captain), 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Andrew Coombs, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23  Dafydd Howells.

Date: Saturday, 15 June
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 14.00 (05.00 GMT; 06.00 UK time)
Expected weather: Heavy rain showers predicted. High of 27°C and low of 21°C
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), TBC (Japan)

Baby Boks into semi’s

10

The South African Under-20 team overcame a committed France team in front of their home crowd to record a third successive victory and clinch a place in the Junior World Championship semi-finals with a 26-19 victory (halftime 8-7) in La Roche-sur-Yon on Thursday.

Boks make 5 changes

15

The Springbok team to face Scotland in Nelspruit on Saturday shows five changes, three of them on the bench, from the match-23 which beat Italy in the opening round of the Castle Lager Incoming Series last weekend.

Coaching: The poisoned chalice

5

Reds coach, Ewen McKenzie, shares some great insights into rugby coaching and just how tough it is.

Plumtree gone after Super Rugby

14

The Sharks confirmed through a media statement that Brendan Venter will start in his new role as DOR in August also assuming the role as coach for their Currie Cup campaign in 2013.

Schreuder replaces Hougie

22

DHL Western Province scrumhalf Louis Schreuder has been called up to the Springbok squad in the place of the injured Francois Hougaard.

Plumtree’s time is up

0

Sharks coach John Plumtree will leave his position at the end of the season after his contract was not renewed, new chief executive officer John Smit confirmed on Tuesday.

Sharks appoint Brendan Venter

14

Former Springbok centre Brendan Venter has been appointed as Director of Rugby at the Sharks.

The time has come to say goodbye

40

I never thought that I would have to write something like this one day – but the time has come for me to say goodbye to all my friends on RuggaWorld.

It is with some sadness that I have to bid you all farewell in an official capacity here at RuggaWorld, but I do it with very good reason.

The thing is, I have been offered an amazing opportunity. An opportunity guys like me (and I am sure every rugby lover) can usually only dream of – to make a career out of the game.

Don’t worry, Heyneke has not selected me for this weekend’s game…  But rugby will now become my life in more ways than just being some random dude that gives opinions on the game, it will become my career as I accepted an offer to go work at SA Rugby in their High Performance division.

With such a great opportunity does come some sacrifice however, and the biggest one is that I can no longer be directly involved in RuggaWorld or comment on the game as I did for the last 8 years.  Conflict of interest stuff – you know… So this week is my last week I am officially part of the team.

It has been such an awesome journey though – from the day myself, Dawie, Deon, Org  and Nelius decided it would be a good idea to start our own blog since Keo closed over that one December, I made the most wonderful friends, had the most intense debates (fights with Dawie), but got the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas of what is a huge passion of mine in rugby, with likeminded folks.

I have no doubt the majority of friends I made on the blog and on twitter over the years are going to end up being friends for life – that is just how we roll on RuggaWorld, and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for the endless enjoyment it all gave me for so many years – or probably more importantly, thank you to your partners/wives etc for letting you talk kak for hours on end on a bloody website!

After all, if it wasn’t for RuggaWorld and you lot who stuck with us, I would never have ended up with the opportunity I have now…

I won’t disappear completely of course, you just won’t see me post articles like you used to. And if you want to stay in touch off-line, my email will still be up and running. RuggaWorld is also not going anywhere – there will be a couple of obvious changes of course but those will be communicated through to you folks I am sure.

So finally – thank you to each and every one, not just for your loyalty to this website, but for your friendships over the years which I truly value.

Beale included, Cooper booted

8

Kurtley Beale was added to Robbie Deans’ final Wallabie squad for the B&I Lions series but there was no place for Quade Cooper.

The perfect Father’s Day gift!

0

Wondering what to get for that sporting-mad man in the house?

Piet van Zyl called up to Boks

16

Piet van Zyl, scrumhalf of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs, has been called up to the Springbok squad in Mpumalanga in the place of the injured Jano Vermaak.

Force 13 v Waratahs 28

13

For some reason there is still Super Rugby on – well, Oz Super Rugby.

USA 12 v Ireland 15

1

The USA juniors might have received a spanking at the U/20 World Cup from the Baby Boks, but their senior team will look for an historic first win over the Irish.

Recent results:
2011: Ireland won 22-10, New Plymouth
2009: Ireland won 27-10, Santa Clara
2004: Ireland won 55-6, Dublin
2000: Ireland won 83-3, Manchester
1999: Ireland won 53-8, Dublin
1996: Ireland won 25-18, Atlanta
1994: Ireland won 26-15, Dublin

Prediction: The USA will put up some strong resistance at the beginning of the game but as it opens up a bit the Irish should cruise home. Ireland to win by more than 20.

The teams:

USA Eagles: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Luke Hume, 13 Seamus Kelly, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 10 Toby L’Estrange, 9 Mike Petri, 8 Todd Clever (Captain), 7 Scott LaValla, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Louis Stanfill, 4 Brian Doyle, 3 Eric Fry, 2 Chris Biller, 1 Shawn Pittman.
Replacements: 16 Zach Fenoglio, 17 Nick Wallace, 18 Phil Thiel, 19 Peter Dahl, 20 John Quill, 21 Robbie Shaw, 22 James Paterson, 23 Adam Siddall.

Ireland: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Peter O’Mahony, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Mike Ross (captain), 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements:16 Mike Sherry, 17 Jamie Hagan, 18 Tom Court, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Felix Jones.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
Kick-off: 19.30 (00.30 GMT Sunday, June 9)
Expected weather: Blazing day in Houston with a high of 32°C, cooling into the evening with the temperature for the game at a pleasant 23°C. No rain predicted.
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Bryan Arciero (Canada), Chris Assmus (Canada)

Argentina 3 v England 32

4

The last match in this Super Saturday of test rugby sees the Argies taking on England looking for their first win over the colonial bastards since 2009

Previous results:
2011: England won 13-9 in Dunedin
2009: England won 16-9 in London
2009: Argentina won 24-22 in Salta
2009: England won 37-15 in Manchester
2006: Argentina won 25-18 in London
2002: England won 26-18 in Beunos Aires
2000: England won 19-0 in London
1997: Argentina won 33-13 in Beunos Aires
1997: England won 46-20 in Beunos Aires
1996: England won 20-18 in London

Argentina: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Matias Orlando, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Felipe Contepomi (captain), 11 Manual Montero, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Benjamin Macome, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Maximilano Bustos, 2 Martin Garcia Veiga, 1 Pablo Henn.
Replacements: 16 Mauricio Guidone, 17 Guillermo Roan, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Tomas De la Vega, 21 Nicolas Vergallo, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Belisario Agulla.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 David Strettle, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Wood (captain), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Henry Thomas, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 Ben Foden.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: El Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta
Kick-off: 16.10 (19.10 GMT)
Expected weather: Overcast with 40% chance of rain. 19 °C with a 15 k/ph breeze
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

Springboks 44 v Italy 10

49

A new-look Bok side will host Italy in the second game in Durban this weekend in what promises to be a great spectacle.

Previous results
2010: South Africa won 55-11, East_London
2010:  South Africa won 29-13, Witbank
2009: South Africa won 32-10 , Udine
2008: South Africa won 26-0 , Cape Town
2001: South Africa won 54-26, Genoa
2001: South Africa won 60-14, Port Elizabeth
1999: South Africa won 101-0, Durban
1999: South Africa won 74-3, Port Elizabeth
1997: South Africa won 62-31, Bologna:
1995: South Africa won 40-21 , Rome

Teams

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke McLean, 10 Alberto di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto de Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Martín Castrogiovanni, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Tommaso Iannone.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT; 17.15 Italian time)
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Expected weather: Sunny with a high of 28°C, dropping to 15°C,
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Nigel Hennessy (Wales), Blake Beattie (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Timekeeper: Paul Ackermann (South Africa)

Scotland 17 v Samoa 27

1

It is a first time we have a double-header test match rugby day in South Africa at the same venue – this series kicks off with Scotland versus Samoa.

Recent results:
2012: Scotland won 17-16, Apia
2010: Scotland won 19-16, Aberdeen
2005: Scotland won 18-11, Edinburgh
2004: Scotland won 38-3, Wellington
2000: Scotland won 31-8, Edinburgh
1999: Scotland won 35-20, Edinburgh
1995: Draw 15-15, Edinburgh
1991: Scotland won 28-6, Edinburgh

Prediction: The Samoans have changed up a lot of their personnel from the hiding they got from the Golden Lions last week which will mean they will be a lot more competitive than people think they will be. With this in mind, I still do not feel that they will have enough power and experience to match the Scottish side. Scotland to win by at least 10 points.

The teams:

Scotland:15 Greig Tonks, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown (captain), 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alastair Kellock, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23Duncan Taylor.

Samoa: 15 James Sooialo, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Paul Williams (captain), 12 Jonny Leota, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Tusiata Pisi, 9 Jeremy Sua, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Daniel Leo, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Wayne Ole Avei, 1 Logovii Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Maatulimanu Leiataua, 17 Sakaria Taulafo, 18 James Johnston, 19 Faatiga Lemalu, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 Brando Vaaulu, 22 Seilala Mapusua, 23 Alafoti Faosiliva.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Kick-off: 14.00 (12.00 GMT; 01.00, Sunday, June 9 Samoa time)
Expected weather: Absolute scorcher predicted for Durban with a high of 29°C which will be uncomfortable to play in at 14.00. No rain predicted with a low of 15°C.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Sindile Mayende (South Africa)

Reds 12 v B&I Lions 22

2

The British and Irish Lions continue their tour down-under with a warm-up match against the Reds and no doubt all eyes will be on Quade Cooper.

Previous results:
2001: B&I Lions won 42-8, Brisbane
1989: B&I Lions won 19-15, Brisbane
1971: Reds won 15-11, Brisbane
1966: B&I Lions won 26-3, Brisbane
1959: B&I Lions won 39-11, Brisbane
1930: B&I Lions won 26-16, Brisbane
1908: B&I Lions won 20-3, Brisbane
1908: B&I Lions won 11-8, Brisbane
1904: B&I Lions won 24-5, Brisbane
1904: B&I Lions won 17-3, Brisbane

Prediction: The Reds will no doubt put up far more resistance than the diluted Western Force did in midweek, but we still expect a comfortable win for the tourists – the B&I Lions to win by 15 to 20 points.

Teams:

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Ed O’Donoghue, 4 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Sam Denny, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Jono Lance, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Dom Shipperley.

British and Irish Lions: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Dan Cole, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Paul O’Connell, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Jonathan Sexton, 23 George North.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.30 (10.30 UK & Ireland time, 09.30 GMT)
Expected weather: A cool day, with showers expected and afternoon clouds. High of 21°C and a low of 15°C
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: TBC (New Zealand)

All Blacks 23 v France 13

5

Test rugby is back and we kick off the weekend with the All Blacks hosting the French.

Recent results:
2011: New Zealand won 8-7, Auckland
2011: New Zealand won 37-17, Auckland
2009: New Zealand won 39-12, Marseille
2009: New Zealand won 14-10, Wellington
2009: France won 27-22, Dunedin
2007: France won 20-18, Cardiff
2007: New Zealand won 61-10, Wellington
2007: New Zealand won 42-11, Auckland
2006: New Zealand won 2311, Paris
2006: New Zealand won 47-3, Lyon

Prediction: New Zealand should win this match easily, they have quality throughout their team and should beat France by at least 15 points.

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg. 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain) 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Ben Afeaki, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Rene Ranger.

France: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Adrien Plante, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Akexandre Flanquart, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Maxime Mermoz.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Eden Park, Aukland
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 French time; 07.35 GMT)
Expected weather: A 20 percent chance of rain, 13 degrees and a breeze of 25 k/ph
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), tba (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

Japan v Wales

4

It’s an historic event as the hosts of the Rugby World Cup in 2019 will look for their first victory over a major rugby country as Japan hosts a depleted Welsh side.

Teams:

Japan: 15 Ayumu Goromaru, 14 Yoshikazu Fujita, 13 Male Sau, 12 Craig Wing, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Harumichi Tatekawa, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Takashi Kikutani (captain), 7 Michael Broadhurst, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Shoji Ito, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Masataka Mikami.
Replacements: 16 Takeshi Kizu, 17 Yusuke Nagae, 18 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 19 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 20 Ryuta Yasui, 21 Atsushi Hiwasa, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Hirotoki Onozawa

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Dafydd Howells, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Ryan Bevington, 7 Emyr Phillips, 6 Scott Andrews, 5 Bradley Davies (captain), 4 Lou Reed, 3 Andrew Coombs, 2 James King, 1 Rob McCusker.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Andries Pretorius, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Tom Prydie.

Date: Saturday, June 8
Venue: Kintetsu Hanazono Stadium, Osaka
Kick-off: 14.00 (06.00 UK time; 05.00 GMT)
Expected weather: There will be plenty of cloud around, but no chance of rain. Hot an humid with a high of 28°C and a low of 15°C
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Greg Garner (England), TBC (Japan)

Alberts crocked, Arno starts

9

Uncapped loose forward Arno Botha has been called into the Springbok starting team in the place of the injured Willem Alberts for Saturday’s Castle Lager Incoming Series opener against Italy at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban.

Brumbies v Rebels

0

A weekend of useless Super Rugby kicks off with one of two Aussie derby’s (next one on Sunday) where an understrength Brumbies hosts an understrength Rebels.

Chiliboy off to France

14

The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd announced on Thursday that Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle did not accept an offer to extend his contract past October 31st, 2013. The hooker indicated that he will instead take up an offer with the French club Toulouse.

Reds announce team for B&I match

0

The St.George Queensland Reds have announced a strong 23-man line-up for their historic tour match against The British & Irish Lions at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Despite being without seven current Wallaby squad members, the Reds team still boasts plenty of international strikepower with nine capped Wallabies chosen in the starting line-up and a further three on the bench.

Their experience combines for a total of 127 Australian caps while each member of the starting team for Saturday’s blockbuster clash has also commenced a Super Rugby match for the Queensland Reds in 2013.

Of those, five players have featured in all 15 regular season Super Rugby matches to this point, including hooker James Hanson, prop Greg Holmes, backrowers Eddie Quirk and Jake Schatz, and flyhalf Quade Cooper.

Two players are in line to make their Queensland debuts on Saturday with Super Rugby capped prop Jono Owen and Reds College member Sam Denny chosen on the bench.

“Playing against The British & Irish Lions is a once in a career type opportunity, so to be running out in front of a sold-out Suncorp Stadium crowd on Saturday night will be an experience these 23 players will never forget,” Reds Director of Coaching Ewen McKenzie said.

“Our approach was always going to be to field as strong a line-up as possible and I’ve got every confidence in the group we’ve chosen to go out and compete against a very talented Lions squad.”

The Reds will on Saturday be aiming to become the first Australian provincial team to beat The British & Irish Lions in a tour-game since Queensland famously defeated their rivals 15-11 in their opening tour game of 1971.

The loss was only one of two experienced by The British & Irish Lions during their 26-game 1971 tour with the All Blacks also successful in their second Test match as part of a four-game series.

The British & Irish Lions rebounded against Queensland twice in 1989 (19-15 v Queensland and 30-6 v Queensland before also recording two victories in 2001 (42-8 v Queensland and 83-6 v Queensland President’s XV).

“We’ve spoken as a group about the significance of these opportunities and there isn’t a player out there who wouldn’t want to replicate the heroics of the 1971 Queensland side,” McKenzie said.

“History suggests that’s a mammoth challenge, but we’ll go out there on Saturday with plenty of good intentions and with a commitment to giving a strong account of ourselves across the entire 80 minutes.”

Saturday’s match represents a rare opportunity for the Reds to take on the Northern Hemisphere giants, who boast a combination of the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, during just their third visit to Australia in 24 years, and first since 2001.

The match forms the basis of what will be a nine-game tour for The British & Irish Lions, which also includes three headline Test matches against the Wallabies, beginning with the highly anticipated opening match at the Reds fortress, Suncorp Stadium, on June 22.

Never playing at home, and only assembling for overseas visits, the The British & Irish Lions travel to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa on a rotational basis every four years.

They are one of sport’s most celebrated international teams and are expected to have the support of up to 40,000 travelling fans during their time on Australia shores.

St.George Queensland Reds team to play The British & Irish Lions

1. Ben Daley (58 Reds – 3 Wallabies)

2. James Hanson (50 Reds – 1 Wallabies)

3. Greg Holmes (103 Reds – 13 Wallabies)

4. Adam Wallace-Harrison (32 Reds)

5. Ed O’Donoghue (40 Reds)

6. Eddie Quirk (27 Reds)

7. Beau Robinson (35 Reds – 1 Wallabies)

8. Jake Schatz (47 Reds)

9. Nick Frisby (16 Reds)

10. Quade Cooper (87 Reds – 38 Wallabies)

11. Luke Morahan (44 Reds – 1 Wallabies)

12. Anthony Faingaa (58 Reds – 23 Wallabies)

13. Ben Tapuai (38 Reds – 7 Wallabies)

14. Rod Davies (43 Reds – 1 Wallabies)

15. Ben Lucas (60 Reds)

16. Albert Anae (15 Reds)

17. Sam Denny (Queensland debut)

18. Jono Owen (Queensland debut)

19. Radike Samo (32 Reds – 23 Wallabies)

20. Jarrad Butler (12 Reds)

21. Jono Lance (18 Reds)

22. Mike Harris (30 Reds – 8 Wallabies)

23. Dom Shipperley (33 Reds – 8 Wallabies)

Unavailable for selection: Chris Feauai-Sautia (hamstring), Saia Faingaa (Wallabies), Will Genia (Wallabies), Liam Gill (Wallabies), James Horwill (Wallabies), Digby Ioane (Wallabies), Rob Simmons (Wallabies), James Slipper (Wallabies)

Willie makes Bok debut

37

Five uncapped players, two of them in the starting line-up, have been selected in the Springbok team to face Italy in the opening round of the Castle Lager Incoming Series at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

Willie le Roux (fullback) and Jano Vermaak (scrumhalf) will earn their Springbok debuts in the starting team, while the trio of uncapped players on the bench are Trevor Nyakane (prop), Arno Botha (loose forward) and Jan Serfontein (centre), who was part of the SA Under-20 team that won the Junior World Championships last year.

Stalwarts Bryan Habana (wing), Pierre Spies (No and Tendai Mtawarira (prop), who missed the tour last November because of injury and health issues, are back in the starting team.

JJ Engelbrecht (centre) will start his first Test for South Africa at outside centre and Bjorn Basson (wing) will earn his seventh cap after last playing for the Springboks during the away leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championships in 2011.

On the bench, Chiliboy Ralepelle (hooker), who also struggled with injuries last year, is back in the Test match day squad. He will feature in his 22nd Test if he gets game time on Saturday.

Ten players who played in the Springboks’ last Test of 2012, a 16-15 win over England at Twickenham, have been included in the match-23 for Saturday. They are Jean de Villiers, who is also the captain, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Juandré Kruger, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Flip van der Merwe, Ruan Pienaar and Pat Lambie.

“This was not an easy team to select as I’ve been very impressed with the attitude shown by the players in training this week,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer on Wednesday.

“I’m very happy that we’ve managed to retain the core of the team from last year for the sake of continuity, but it’s also great to see a bunch of new players emerge from Vodacom Super Rugby.

“Upfront we’ve managed to keep six of the eight who started against England and at the back there are a number of very exciting players who have earned their places in the team. I’m very excited to see what this new-look backline can do.

“A number of players just missed out on selection in the match-23, but there is no reason why they can’t force their way into the reckoning next week.”

Commenting on Saturday’s Test, the first against Italy in almost three years, Meyer said: “We respect the Italians but the focus will be on what we want to achieve this weekend.

“In the past they have been regarded as one of the lesser Test nations, but that is no longer the case. Just look at their performances in the Six Nations this year – they beat Ireland and France in Rome and just lost to England in London.

“They have always been exceptionally strong upfront and will test us, especially at scrum time. But they also have some superb backs and are very well led by Sergio Parisse, so we know this will not be a walk in the park.”

The Springbok Test against Italy kicks off at 17h15, after the match between Scotland and Samoa, which starts at 14h15.

The Springbok team to face Italy in Durban is:

Position Name Province Test Caps
15 Willie le Roux GWK Griquas 0
14 Bryan Habana DHL Western Province 83
13 JJ Engelbrecht Vodacom Blue Bulls 1
12 Jean de Villiers (captain) DHL Western Province 84
11 Bjorn Basson Vodacom Blue Bulls 6
10 Morné Steyn Vodacom Blue Bulls 42
9 Jano Vermaak Vodacom Blue Bulls 0
8 Pierre Spies Vodacom Blue Bulls 50
7 Willem Alberts The Sharks 20
6 Francois Louw Bath, England 17
5 Juandré Kruger Vodacom Blue Bulls 8
4 Eben Etzebeth DHL Western Province 11
3 Jannie du Plessis The Sharks 42
2 Adriaan Strauss (vice-captain) Toyota FS Cheetahs 21
1 Tendai Mtawarira The Sharks 41
Replacements
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle Vodacom Blue Bulls 21
17 Trevor Nyakane Toyota FS Cheetahs 0
18 Coenie Oosthuizen Toyota FS Cheetahs 2
19 Flip van der Merwe Vodacom Blue Bulls 23
20 Arno Botha Vodacom Blue Bulls 0
21 Ruan Pienaar Ulster, N-Ireland 63
22 Pat Lambie The Sharks 20
23 Jan Serfontein Vodacom Blue Bulls 0

Stats and facts:

  • South Africa and Italy have played each other 10 times since 1995, with the Springboks winning all 10 Tests. The Springboks have scored 533 points and 74 tries and conceded 129 points and 11 tries for an average score of 53-13.
  • South Africa and Italy last met on 26 June 2010 in East London. The Springboks won 55-11.
  • Jean de Villiers will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok centre, with 69 Tests in this position.
  • Bryan Habana will extend his record as the most- capped Springbok wing, with 82 Tests in this position.
  • Morné Steyn will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok flyhalf, with 41 Tests in this position.
  • Pierre Spies will extend his record as the most-capped Springbok No. 8, with 45 Tests in this position.
  • Ruan Pienaar and Bryan Habana will both be playing against Italy for the fifth time, equalling the record of Victor Matfield and Andre Venter.
  • Willie le Roux, Jano Vermaak and, if they take the field, Trevor Nyakane, Arno Botha and Jan Serfontein will make their Tests debuts for South Africa.
  • If he scores a try, Bryan Habana will extend his record of 47 Test tries for South Africa.
  • If he scores a try, Morné Steyn will extend his record of seven Test tries as a flyhalf for South Africa.
  • If he scores a try, Pierre Spies will extend his record of seven Test tries as a No. 8 for South Africa.
  • Jean de Villiers, Jannie du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar, Flip van der Merwe and Adriaan Strauss played in all 12 Tests for the Springboks in 2012.
  • The referee is John Lacey of Ireland. It will be his first Test involving South Africa.
  • Springbok Test match records at Durban:

o   Most points – 31 by Morné Steyn (1t, 1c, 8p) against New Zealand on 1 August, 2009.

o   Most tries – five by Stefan Terblanche against Italy on 19 June, 1999.

o   Most conversions – eight by Gaffie du Toit against Italy on 19 June, 1999.

o   Most penalty goals – eight by Morné Steyn against New Zealand on 1 August, 2009.

o   Most drop goals – three by Naas Botha against South America on 3 May, 1980 and against Ireland on 6 June 1981.

Steph du Toit out injured

9

MTN Golden Lions lock Franco van der Merwe, currently on loan to The Sharks, has been called up to the Springbok squad in the place of the injured Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Van der Merwe will join the squad in Durban as soon as possible.

Du Toit has been struggling with a sternum injury for some time. Following further investigation in the Springbok camp, and several specialist opinions, it was decided to withdraw him from the squad.

“Pieter-Steph is only 20 and the decision was taken, in consultation with his union and in the interest of his long term playing career, to withdraw him from the squad” said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.

“This injury should be optimally managed and the specialists we consulted are of the opinion he requires surgery, which will put him out of action for approximately three months.”

Higginbotham out for rest of 2013

3

Qantas Wallabies loose forward Scott Higginbotham is out of rugby for the rest of the year, while RaboDirect Rebels lock Hugh Pyle still remains a chance for a return this season.

Rebels make 10 changes for Brumbies

0

The RaboDirect Rebels have made ten changes for this Friday night’s clash against the Australian Conference leaders, the ACT Brumbies.

New look Tahs named to take on Force

0

Pat McCutcheon will lead the HSBC Waratahs for the first time when they take on the Force in Perth this Sunday.

Force team to tackle B&I Lions

5

The Emirates Western Force has included six Test players for their historic tour match against the British & Irish Lions at Patersons Stadium on Wednesday night.

Ebersohn called up to Bok squad

14

Toyota Free State Cheetahs centre Robert Ebersohn has been called up to the Springbok squad currently preparing for the Castle Lager Incoming Series in Durban.

Kanko drafted into Sevens squad

4

The Springbok Sevens team started their preparations for the Rugby World Cup Sevens at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport on Monday.

Chean Roux joins Bok management

1

Former Varsity Cup-winning Maties head coach and a current member of SARU’s High Performance Mobi-unit, Chean Roux, has been added to the Springbok Team Management in the role of Performance Analyst.

Bulls cement their place at the top

0

The Vodacom Bulls firmed their grip on the top position of the South African conference on Saturday by beating closet rivals, the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday, while the DHL Stormers kept their outside change of a play-off spot alive with a bruising win over the Southern Kings on a drenched DHL Newlands pitch in Cape Town.

Meyer names 9 uncapped players in Bok squad

74

Nine uncapped players, six of whom have not been part of the national set-up before, have been included in a 34-man Springbok squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series involving Italy, Samoa and Scotland later this month.

Cheetahs 25 v Bulls 30

29

Game of the weekend if you are South African. It is going to be one hell of a physical battle as the Cheetahs search for their first win over the Bulls in Super Rugby.

Teams:

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rynhardt Landman, 19 Johannes Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Riaan Smit, 22 Rayno Benjamin.

Bulls: 15 Jürgen Visser, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Dewald Potgieter, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 Zane Kirchner.

Referee: Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Francois de Bruin (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)

Stormers 19 v Kings 11

5

Cape Town represents a swimming pool today, which will make this match very interesting.

Teams:

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Deon Fourie, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.

Southern Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Rynier Bernado, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Shane Gates, 22 George Whitehead.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

Reds v Rebels

0

The Rebels have the knack to cause an upset against more fancied teams – the Reds who has now fallen some way behind the Brumbies on the log, can’t afford this.

Teams:

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Ed O’Donoghue, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Mike Harris.

Melbourne Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Lachlan Mitchell, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Bryce Hegarty, 22 Kimami Sitauti.

Referee: James Leckie (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)