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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)

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.

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.

Deans to sideline Cooper for Lions series

13

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans appears set to overlook Quade Cooper for the upcoming British and Irish Lions series with James O’Connor favoured to play five-eighth.

Lions cancel US tour

5

Regrettably, the Golden Lions Rugby Union management, following consultation with the senior coaches, have taken the decision to no longer proceed with the MTN Lions’ intended tour to the United States of America.

Olympic gold may lure Kiwis

0

All Black Liam Messam is considering switching to Sevens rugby as the chance to win Olympic gold threatens to lure players from the 15-a-side ranks for the 2016 Rio Games.

Russian team for Lions Challenge

5

The Golden Lions Rugby Union, on behalf of Rugby Union Russia, would like to announce the 23-man Russian Bears outfit that will face the MTN Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday. Kick-off is at 19h00 and the match will be televised live on Supersport 1.

Lions team for Russia

5

MTN Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has announced the following team to take on the Russian Bears in the inaugural Lions Challenge match this Saturday at Ellis Park. Kick-off is at 19h00.

Lions confirm squad for Challenge series

0

The Lions released the names of 35 players that will make up their squad to compete in the Lions Challenge Series starting this weekend against Russia.

All Blacks looking ‘old and weary’

12

New Zealand rugby pundits on Monday blamed tiredness at the end of a long season for the All Blacks’ shock loss to England, also suggesting over-confidence contributed to the defeat.

Lions announce the ‘Lions Challenge’

3

Despite not playing Super Rugby, the Lions will have no shortage of game time next season after their 2013 fixture list was revealed on Tuesday.

SA v Ierland: Afskop 19:30

0

DIE TOETS TEEN IERLAND SKOP OM 19:30 AF. Hier is ‘n lys van die uitsaaitye van die naweek se internasionale rugby.

Kaizer Chiefs registers a rugby team

2

Yes folks, you heard right, football giant Kaizer Chiefs has registered a rugby team to participate in a tournament in George over December.

ARU statement on Quade Cooper

12

Australian Rugby Union has released a statement following Quade Cooper’s comments on the rugby show, The Rugby Club.

Highlanders confirm Woodcock signing

0

World Cup winning All Black, Tony Woodcock, has today signed with the Highlanders for a two-year period and will join the franchise for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby competition.

Grey celebrates founder’s 200th birthday in style

3

On invitation by Grey College the Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be playing against Cardiff Blues on Saturday, the 4th of August on the main field at Grey College.  The game will be played in memory of Sir George Grey, founder of Grey College, who would have been 200 years old this year.

Wales names team for Aussies

21

Wales have named a side to play Australia in Brisbane this weekend showing four changes from that which sealed a 16-9 victory over France last March to be crowned Champions of Europe and achieve their third Grand Slam in seven seasons.

Right time for Pumas to join

3

With the All Blacks still groggy it’s the right time for the Pumas to join the Rugby Championshop, says Jake White.

Lion squad for Stormers game on Friday

3

The Lions have named their team for the DHL pre-season warm up.

Cape Town Tens charity dinner

1

Due to all the interest from folks on Twitter and Facebook, we decided to post the details of the Charity dinner for the Cape Town Tens.

Cape Town Tens is back!

4

The popular Castle Cape Town Tens rugby event, brainchild of Bob Skinstad and Rob Fleck, is just around the corner!

World Club Champs in 2015?

3

A world club championship is on the cards after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Premiership chief executive Mark McCafferty has claimed.

Argies to give BA a miss in 4N

1

The new 4Nations competition begins on August 18 with the Wallabies playing the All Blacks in Sydney and South Africa taking on Argentina in Cape Town.

Blits Bokke come away with buggerall in Dubai

9

The Sevens Bokke managed to let Australia bring in a late try to steal the PLATE cup as France and England fought it out for the main prize of the Cup.

Cecil Afrika of the Sevens Bokke

Saracens game called off

76

The Heineken Cup rugby match between Saracens and Biarritz has apparently been cancelled, according to reports.

CT Stadium to get some rugby

7

The Cape Town Stadium is expected to be announced as the venue for the Heineken Cup clash between Saracens and Biarritz.

Rampant Lions rout Tucumán

7

The Lions added another scalp to their pre-season collection, as the Johannesburg-based franchise ran rampant to beat Tucumán 82-19 on Wednesday.

Having mauled the Sharks last week, John Mitchell’s pride again showed their Super Rugby teeth in a match that looked like no more than a training run.

Three tries and a 19-3 lead after only 13 minutes set the tone for the match in Johannesburg, as the Argentine tourists looked a pale shadow of the team that won their country’s national provincial title.

With a number of their key players currently with the Pampas XV – an Argentinian selection that plays in the Vodacom Cup against the South African provinces – they were simply no match for the eager Lions outfit.

The Lions led 47-9 at half-time with seven tries to their credit, and ended up scoring 12 tries against one.

It was only in the scrums that the visitors were – initially – really competitive, although some poor line-outs by the Lions and also a few unnecessary turnovers helped the visitors to keep it from being an even bigger trashing.

Such sloppiness will undoubtedly be punished when the Super Rugby series starts in just over a week, but against better quality opposition there may well be more focus and better finishing.

There was some incisive running though, and on the few occasions that they had to the Lions defended solidly.

There was also some good inter-switching in the running, and good straightening of the line – but also a few occasions where a step less and a quicker off-load would have brought dividends. The handling also wasn’t always secure.

It didn’t help matters for the visitors when Lisandro Ahvalli was yellow-carded for repeated negative play, and Lions coach John Mitchell brought on eight replacements just before the start of the last quarter.

The fresh players started off at a speed, but then structure and handling let them down.

However, after 66 minutes the score already stood at 75-19, following a 62nd minute run-away try against the run by Tucumán’s centre Francisca Granata.

Their other points came from four penalties and a conversion by Esequiel Faralle.

Good news for the Lions was the sharpness of flyhalf Elton Jantjies in his first match, which included 18 points from nine (some easy) conversions with only one miss.

Scorers:

For the Lions:
Tries: Van Schalkwyk 2, Kamana, Strauss 2, Killian 2, Murray, Vermaak, Minnie, La Grange, Mapoe
Cons: Jantjies 9, Francis 2

For Tucumán:
Try: Granata
Con: Faralle
Pens: Faralle 4

Stormers v Sharks Neo Africa

39

Just to comment on the game from SS for those missing out.

Lions smash Sharks

17

If this were the real tournament instead of the Neo Africa warm up I’d be over the moon… but it’s not an indicator… nevertheless we must take good news where we can find it…

Neo Africa all SA affair in Cape

9

The Sharks will again travel to Cape Town to take part in the now annual Neo Africa Tri-Series – only this year it will be an all-South African affair at Newlands.

Kirwan sees Pacific-Asia Cup

0

All Black legend John Kirwan says he wants to see a competition involving top club and regional teams from East Asia, New Zealand and Australia set up ahead of the 2019 rugby World Cup in Japan.

1.ORSC Linz 8:69 Rugby Club Innsbruck

17

Crucial win for Innsbruck as they head into winter break

Innsbruck returned to the top of the Austrian Bundesliga table on Saturday having completed their set of pre-Christmas games with a convincing 8:69 away victory over Linz.

Super Saturday, European Tours

3

England 16, New Zealand 26
Wales 15, Australia 26
Both New Zealand and Australia will take on England and Wales at 16:15 today, we decided to give you one thread again with all the teams.

Club rugby keeps its charm

0

If you are of slightly older vintage, it is difficult not to be at least a little cynical or fearful when you contemplate visiting the SAA National Club Champs these days.

New club champion to be crowned

7

South Africa will have new national club champions this year.

End to Hongkong honeymoon

7

Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O’Neill has said the fourth Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand will go ahead in Hong Kong next month despite sluggish ticket sales, reports said on Thursday.

Black Ferns win Women’s WC

6

New Zealand’s fourth straight women’s World Cup win after narrowly beating England 13-10 in the final at London, was built around composure, veteran first five-eighth Anna Richards said.

Frog clubs stick to ping-pong

2

on the evidence of the first weekend of the new French Top 14 season, the style of rugby perfected in particular by the All Blacks in this season’s southern hemisphere Tri-Nations competition has yet to reach the shores of Europe.

Rugby’s ‘IPL’ going ahead

2

Plans for the proposed International Super Rugby (ISR) tournament are set to go ahead, despite SANZAR confirming that they will not support the IPL-styled competition set to be launched in January 2012.

OZmob opposes Rassie’s IPL

4

The Australian Rugby Union is set to take a strong stance against a proposed new IPL-styled competition, set to be launched by Stormers Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus in 2012.

Elsom leads Wallabies

3

Rocky Elsom will captain Australia for the first time on home soil in his 50th test, named to lead the Wallabies in their first test of 2010 against Fiji in Canberra.

Flits Brits Player of the Year

2

The Rugby Players’ Association has voted Saracens hooker Schalk Brits player of the year in his debut season in the Guinness Premiership.

Sarries to appeal Venter’s ban

11

“Perhaps it is time for English rugby to be run like a modern professional sport, and not a rural prep school.”
Saracens will appeal against director of rugby Brendan Venter’s 14-week touchline ban after chief executive Edward Griffiths angrily described disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett’s judgement as “self parody” and a “public attack”.

England first up as traditional tests return

6

The Springboks will play home three-Test series against England (twice), France and Ireland in the six years either side of the 2015 Rugby World Cup as a result of an International Rugby Board decision to return to ‘old-style’ rugby touring.

Review: RC Innsbruck 42 – 3 RC McDonalds OÖ

12

Rugby Club Innsbruck earned a deserved victory over McDonalds OÖ this weekend in near perfect conditions at Hatting.

Big guns in Baby Bok squad

0

Super 14 players Wandile Mjekevu and fullback Patrick Lambie have been drafted in to the SA Under-20 training squad that will participate in a seven-day pre-World Championship camp in Saldanha from next Thursday.

Vienna Celtic 43 – 27 Rugby Club Innsbruck

5

Vienna Celtic 43 – 27 Rugby Club Innsbruck

Two late tries gave Vienna Celtic victory over RCI in the opening Bundesliga fixture of 2010.

OZmob flocking to NZ

2

A number of Australian players can be expected to turn out for New Zealand teams in the NPC this season according to Counties Manukau coach Milton Haig.
UMAGA ALSO DRAWING CARD FOR SAFFAS.