Springboks and Wallabies ring in the new faces for June internationals

Alex Broun 30/05/2018
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Tom Banks was impressive against the Bulls.

Both South Africa and Australia have sprung surprises when announcing their squads for the June internationals.

New Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus included 17 uncapped players in his enlarged squad of 43 to take on Wales in Washington DC this weekend and England in three home Tests.

He has also named a new skipper in Stormers flanker Siya Kolisi who becomes South Africa’s first black captain.

While Wallabies boss Michael Cheika has picked five new caps in his squad of 32 to take on Six Nations Champions Ireland, including two Brumbies bolters wing/fullback Tom Banks and hooker Folau Fainga’a, who is currently suspended for a heabdutt.

“Folau’s really done well,” Cheika said of the 23-year-old. “He’s got a good bit of swagger, I like his attitude and I think he’ll take an opportunity with both hands.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting to see two new lads (Fainga’a and the Reds Brandon Paenga-Amosa) and one (Rebels Jordan Uelese) who’s only got a couple of games under his belt going at it.

“They’ve all performed really well in Super Rugby.

Banks, meanwhile, has leapfrogged the likes of Henry Speight, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Cam Clark and Izaia Perese to earn a squad spot.

“Tom showed a little bit last year, but I think he’s been much more consistent this year,” Cheika said of the 23-year-old.

“He’s got some genuine attacking ability, genuine pace and he backs himself and I like that about him.

“That’s what won him the spot in the team.”

Melbourne-born Crusaders loose forward Pete Samu — who has signed with the Brumbies for the 2019 and 2020 seasons — was not included.

Erasmus said it was “good to see how our exciting young players have grabbed their opportunities for their franchises in the last couple of months.”

“But we also know how important experience is at Test level, so we thought long and hard about which players to pull in form abroad, and in the end we only settled on five (Bismarck du Plessis, Frans Steyn, Duane Vermeulen, Faf du Plessis and Willie Le Roux) who we thought consistently performed well for their clubs in the tough English and French competitions.

“I am confident that we have a strong group of players from which we will be able to select a very competitive team for each of the four Test matches in June.”

SPRINGBOKS

Forwards (24): N Carr, B du Plessis, D du Preez, JL du Preez, P-Steph du Toit, T du Toit*, J Jenkins*, S Kitshoff, S Kolisi ©, W Louw, F Malherbe, B Mbonambi, O Mohojé, F Mostert, T Mtawarira, O Nche*, S Notshe*, T Nyakane, M Orie*, C Ralepelle, K Smith*, RG Snyman*, A van der Merwe*, D Vermeulen

Backs (19): L Am, C Bosch, D de Allende, F de Klerk, R du Preez*, A Dyantyi*, A Esterhuizen*, W Gelant, T Ismaiel*, E Jantjies, J Kriel, W le Roux, M Mapimpi*, S Nkosi*, E Papier*, H Pollard, F Steyn, I van Zyl*, C Wright*

WALLABIES

Forwards (17): A Alaalatoa, R Arnold, A Coleman, F Fainga’a*, N Hanigan, M Hooper ©, S Kepu, B Paenga-Amosa*, D Pocock, T Robertson, R Simmons, S Sio, I Rodda, C Timu, L Tui, T Tupou, J Uelese

Backs (15): T Banks*, K Beale, I Folau, B Foley (vc), W Genia (vc), D Haylett-Petty, R Hodge, S Kerevi, M Koroibete, T Kuridrani, J Maddocks*, S Naivalu, N Phipps, J Powell, C Rona.

*denotes uncapped player

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Ireland and Lions centre Jared Payne forced to retire from rugby due to head injury on Lions tour

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Jared Payne playing for the Lions against the Chiefs shortly before his injury

Ireland and British and Irish Lions centre Jared Payne has retired from rugby, Ireland province Ulster have announced.

The 32-year-old won 20 Ireland caps and last played for the Lions on their tour of his native New Zealand last summer.

The versatile back was unable to recover sufficiently from a head injury suffered on that Lions tour to return for his province and will now become the defence coach at Kingspan.

It was also announced that Payne will join up with Ireland for their summer tour of Australia to work with the national team coaches.

Speaking to Ulster Rugby TV last February, he said: “I had to come off [for the Lions v Chiefs] but I didn’t think anything of it, a little bit headachey and sore that week, but nothing too bad.

“Come the captain’s run day for the next game, I think it was the following Tuesday, I got home and got back on the bus and felt a bit travel sick, pretty yuck.

“Ever since then I haven’t been quite right.

“It’s been a bit stop-start. There’s been times when it hasn’t been too bad and other times when it’s been pretty bad.

“We’ve tried different things to get it right and been trying to get back but unfortunately nothing has cleared everything up just yet.”

Payne, who played 78 times for Ulster, said of his retirement: “While I will undoubtedly miss the buzz of running out with mates every weekend, I have to listen to the medical advice and unfortunately give up the dream.

“However, I’ve surprised myself how much I have enjoyed coaching and I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into this role on a permanent basis.”

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Chris Ashton scores a hat-trick as England blown apart by Barbarians at Twickenham in fourth straight loss

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Chris Ashton has not played for England since 2014.

Eddie Jones admitted his England team were “shocked” by the Barbarians‘ ferocity as they fell to a fourth successive defeat in a 63-45 collapse at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Barbarians had completed only three training sessions as preparation for the non-cap international, head coach Pat Lam filming one of them for the benefit of those who had enthusiastically honoured the club’s social traditions.

Among the festivities organised to bond the players as quickly as possible was a 1970s fancy dress dinner that saw hat-trick hero Chris Ashton attend as a hippy, Finn Russell as Austin Powers and Justin Tipuric as the Cookie Monster.

“I said, ‘Fellas, that was a really good training session but I know that some of you probably don’t even remember it. But you can look at the pictures!'” Lam said.

“My analysis guy was key because I knew even though the players might be half cut in the morning they could still see the pictures.”

In contrast, England had been in camp for two weeks yet were still taken apart 9-6 on the try-count as they collapsed to their heaviest ever defeat at Twickenham.

“It felt like we were playing one-day cricket – score for score. In the first 20 minutes we struggled to adjust to the speed of the game. We got a bit shocked by it,” Jones said.

“We adjusted well, got ourselves back into the game and played some good Rugby.

“But then when we got fatigued in the last 20 minutes we made some crucial errors in execution and it ended up costing us the game.

“We played against a very good, fast, powerful Barbarians team and at times we struggled to cope with that.

“We are obviously disappointed with the result. Every time we play we want to win. I’m not happy about them scoring nine tries and we need to go back and look at that.”

Ashton plundered three tries in 25 minutes against the nation he has served across 39 caps – the second fastest hat-trick witnessed at Twickenham – but wanted more to remind England of his ruthless streak.

On two occasions he was chased down by George Ford, who showed a surprising turn of speed to deny the Toulon wing as the line beckoned.

“I don’t think there was a point to prove. I knew there were great players here and Pat has done a great job with us all week in such a short space of time,” Ashton said.

“It was great opportunity for me and I wanted to carry on doing what I’ve been doing all year. I’d like to have scored a couple more but I’ll take three.”

On being caught by Ford, Ashton said: “That was probably the first three days of being with the Baabaas! George is quick, he did well.”

RESULT

Barbarians 63 (Chris Ashton 3, Victor Vito 2, Finn Russell, Semi Radradra, Sitaleki Timani, Greig Laidlaw tries; Russell 7, Laidlaw, Lobbe conversions) defeated England 45 (Elliot Daly, Piers Francis 2, Zach Mercer, Joe Launchbury and Jonny May tries; George Ford 6 conversions, penalty) at Twickenham.

TEAMS

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford (cc), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw (cc), 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Nick Schonert, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Denny Solomona

Barbarians: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Niyi Adeolokun, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 John Afoa, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Loni Uhila, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Nili Latu, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Luke McAlister, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Referee: Andy Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Television match offcial: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

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