Wallabies drop Matt Toomua with Bernard Foley to start at fly-half against Argentina in Salta

Alex Broun 4/10/2018
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Bernard Foley is back at No10 for the Wallabies against Argentina

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made one personnel change and one positional switch to his starting fifteen ahead of Australia’s Test against Argentina in Salta early Sunday morning (UAE time).

Bernard Foley will return to flyhalf for his first Test start since the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland back in August with Kurtley Beale shifting to inside centre.

Matt Toomua has been named on an extended bench for his last game before returning to club duties in England at the conclusion of the international window.

The Leicester playmaker is ineligible for the third Bledisloe Cup Test in Japan but may be selected for the upcoming Spring Tour of Wales, Italy and England.

Hooker Tolu Latu has also earned a re-call for a spot amongst the reserves, in what could be his first Test since the opening Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney.

The extended bench will be trimmed to eight on Friday after the team travels to Salta, in Argentina’s north-west, from their current base in Buenos Aires.

Argentina won the last meeting between the two sides 23-19 on the Gold Coast last month, to break a five-match win streak for Australia.

Saturday’s clash in Salta will also be the first Test between the Wallabies and Pumas at Padre Ernesto Maltearena Stadium which sits 1,152 metres above sea level.

Qantas Wallabies team to play Argentina at Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium, Salta on Saturday October 6, 7.45pm local time (Sunday 02.45am UAE Time)

  1. Scott Sio (50 Tests)
  2. Folau Faingaa (4 Tests)
  3. Taniela Tupou (7 Tests)
  4. Izack Rodda (12 Tests)
  5. Adam Coleman (27 Tests)
  6. Ned Hanigan (16 Tests)
  7. Michael Hooper (c) (86 Tests)
  8. David Pocock (73 Tests)
  9. Will Genia (95 Tests)
  10. Bernard Foley (63 Tests)
  11. Marika Koroibete (16 Tests)
  12. Kurtley Beale (79 Tests)
  13. Reece Hodge (32 Tests)
  14. Israel Folau (68 Tests)
  15. Dane Haylett-Petty (26 Tests)

Reserves*

  1. Tolu Latu (8 Tests)
  2. Sekope Kepu (98 Tests)
  3. Allan Alaalatoa (28 Tests)
  4. Rob Simmons (89 Tests)
  5. Rory Arnold (18 Tests)
  6. Caleb Timu (2 Tests)
  7. Nick Phipps (68 Tests)
  8. Matt Toomua (38 Tests)
  9. Tom Banks (2 Tests)

*one to be omitted

Rugby Championship – Wallabies matches

Wallabies 13 v New Zealand 38 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Saturday 18 August

New Zealand 40 v Wallabies 12 at Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 25 August

Wallabies 23 v South Africa 18 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday 8 September

Wallabies 19 v 23 Argentina at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast, Saturday 15 September

South Africa 23 v 12 Wallabies at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, Sunday 30 September

Argentina v Wallabies at Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium, Salta, Sunday 7 October 02.40 UAE Time

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All Blacks recall big guns for acid test against Springboks in Rugby Championship finale

Alex Broun 4/10/2018
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Kieran Read returns to lead the All Blacks against the Springboks

The All Blacks team has been named to play the Springboks in the Rugby Championship finale at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, on Saturday October 6, (Kick off 19:05 UAE time)

The matchday 23 sees just two changes to the forward pack, with 102-Test prop Owen Franks back at tighthead prop and All Blacks Captain Kieran Read returning at number eight. Ofa Tuungafasi moves to the run on reserves.

In the backs, Aaron Smith returns to the starting halfback spot with TJ Perenara on the bench, while Jack Goodhue has been named at centre for his sixth Test, with Ryan Crotty to provide impact off the bench in the 23 jersey.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Test matches between the All Blacks and Springboks are always intense and dramatic contests, and we expect this weekend will be no different.”

He added that the fact that the All Blacks had won the Rugby Championship last weekend had no bearing on this weekend.

“Nothing changes for us.  It’s a Test match that everyone in New Zealand expects us to win.  The fact that it’s an All Blacks-Springboks Test match makes it even more exciting and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.

“South Africa are playing with a lot of confidence and after their two recent wins, their confidence levels will be even higher. So we’ll need to respond with real purpose, composure, belief and intensity.

“While our preparation this week has had to be slightly modified because of our travel, it has still been thorough, which should put us in good stead for Saturday.”

All Blacks team named for Pretoria Test against South Africa

The matchday 23 is as follows (with Test caps in brackets):

  1. Karl Tu’inukuafe (8)
  2. Codie Taylor (37)
  3. Owen Franks (102)
  4. Samuel Whitelock (104)
  5. Scott Barrett (24)
  6. Shannon Frizell (4)
  7. Sam Cane (59)
  8. Kieran Read (113) – captain
  9. Aaron Smith (78)
  10. Beauden Barrett (68)
  11. Rieko Ioane (19)
  12. Sonny Bill Williams (48)
  13. Jack Goodhue (5)
  14. Waisake Naholo (23)
  15. Ben Smith (73)
  16. Nathan Harris (17)
  17. Tim Perry (4)
  18. Ofa Tuungafasi (21)
  19. Patrick Tuipulotu (18)
  20. Ardie Savea (30)
  21. TJ Perenara (50)
  22. Richie Mo’unga (3)
  23. Ryan Crotty (40)

Key facts

  • The All Blacks have scored 320 points and 48 tries in their eight matches this year – which works out at 40 points and six tries per Test. The All Blacks have also shared the try-scoring honours around: 21 players have scored those 48 tries.
  • Rieko Ioane is the leading try scorer in the world with nine so far in 2018. Ioane scored his 20th try last weekend which made him the 34th All Black to score 100 points in Test matches. He is also the 21st All Black to score 20 tries in Test matches.
  • The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other 96 times since 1921, with 57 wins to the All Blacks, 36 to South Africa and three draws.
  • This weekend’s Pretoria Test will be the All Blacks 1300th game and 575th Test. The All Blacks and South Africa have played each other five times at Loftus Versfeld, with the last Test there in 2006, a 45-26 victory to the All Blacks.
  • The All Blacks Rugby Championship win this year means they have now won six times since 2012. (2012 – 2014 and 2016-2018, as well as a Rugby Championship “Grand Slam” in 2012 – 2013 and 2016-2017).

The Rugby Championship – All Blacks games

  1. Australia 13 All Blacks 38. Saturday 18 August, ANZ Stadium, SYDNEY
  2. All Blacks 40 Australia 12. Saturday 25 August, Eden Park, AUCKLAND
  3. All Blacks 46 Argentina 24. Saturday 8 September, Trafalgar Park, NELSON
  4. All Blacks 34 South Africa 36. Saturday 15 Sept, Westpac Stadium, WELLINGTON
  5. Argentina 17 All Blacks 35. Sat 29 Sept, Jose Amalfitani Stadium, BUENOS AIRES
  6. vs. SOUTH AFRICA. Saturday 6 October, 19.05 UAE Time, Loftus Versfeld, PRETORIA

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Rugby Championship Team of the Round headlined by Handre Pollard and Ardie Savea

Alex Broun 1/10/2018
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Handre Pollard is our Player of the Round from week five of the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks claimed their sixth Rugby Championship from seven attempts with a comfortable 35-17 victory over the Pumas in Buenos Aires, while in Port Elizabeth the Springboks withstood an at-times-spirited comeback from the Wallabies 23-12 to claim back-to-back victories after their historic triumph over New Zealand in Wellington last time out.

Here is our Team of the Round, which is not surprisingly dominated by the All Blacks (six selections) with five Springboks, three Wallabies and one Puma, full-back Emiliano Boffelli.

1. Karl Tuinukuafe (NZ)

Another impressive performance from the loose-head prop in his first season of Test rugby. Decimated the Pumas front row at scrum time and made 14 tackles without a single miss.

2. Codie Taylor (NZ)

Usually known for his play in the loose the Crusaders rake displayed an impressive array to his set-piece play with 12 tackles and just one miss. Seven accurate lineout throws and four runs for 21 metres.

3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (NZ)

Rock solid at scrum time the Blues tight-head continues to push for a regular starting spot. A busy all-round game with two runs for 8m, as well as eight tackles with two missed.

4. Eben Etzebeth (SA)

A dominant performance from one of the top second rowers in world rugby. Seven runs for 24m, nine tackles with none missed and a tower of strength at the lineout with 10 clean takes.

5. Adam Coleman (AUS)

One of the Rebels’ captain’s better Tests recently. Used sparingly at the lineout with just two takes but a big game in the loose – nine runs for 38m, one offload and two tackle busts. Also made seven tackles.

6. Siya Kolisi (SA)

Another standout performance from the Bok captain. Made a game high 74m from six runs, including two clean breaks. Also put in a huge shift in defence with 12 tackles and only one miss.

7. Michael Hooper (AUS)

The Wallabies captain was outstanding in a beaten team. Lethal with ball in hand making a game high 110m from 13 runs, with one offload and two tackle busts. Five lineout wins and nine tackles.

8. Ardie Savea (NZ)

A late inclusion for the ill Luke Whitelock, the Hurricanes No8 had one of his best matches in a black jersey. 13 tackles with just two misses and 88m from nine runs, with six tackle busts and four lineout wins.

9. Will Genia (AUS)

The Wallabies best again in a losing cause. Spotted the attacking opportunities superbly to set up both of his team’s tries – 84 passes, 10 runs for 55m, one clean break, two defenders beaten and two offloads.

10. Handre Pollard (SA) – PLAYER OF THE ROUND

A close call with Nicolas Sanchez, but was the difference between the two teams in Port Elizabeth. A great run to set up Faf de Klerk’s try, five from five with the boot, five runs for 44m and four tackle busts.

11. Rieko Ioane (NZ)

Currently the best finisher in world rugby. A round high 146 attacking metres from nine runs, including two first-half tries, one offload, five tackle busts, two line breaks and one line break assist.

12. Andre Esterhuizen (SA)

A big game in defence from the giant Sharks inside centre, with an equal second high 13 tackles and just two misses, also a handful for the defence with six runs for 28m and three tackle busts

13. Ryan Crotty (NZ)

Moved a spot further out to accommodate Sonny Bill Williams and put in a good all-round game, making 49 run metres from four runs with one line break and one line break assist, also five tackles.

14. Aphiwe Dyantyi (SA)

His sharp intercept in the opening 30 seconds set the tone for the rest of the game. Always dangerous with ball in hand making six runs for 41 metres with two line breaks. Also made seven tackles with just the one miss.

15. Emiliano Boffelli (ARG)

Tried hard in a losing side with very limited opportunities. Made 14 runs for 61 metres with one clean break, two defenders beaten and one offload. Took his try well which briefly put the Pumas back in the game.

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