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Six Nations 2019 LIVE Rugby Results & Line-Ups

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Six Nations 2019 LIVE Rugby Results & Line-Ups

Six Nations 2019 LIVE rugby results: England vs France news and line-ups, Scotland vs Ireland, Italy vs Wales

The second weekend of the Six Nations is upon us, with Saturday’s action headlined by a clash between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield.

The defending Grand Slam champions arrive in Edinburgh a wounded team after seeing their exceptional run of form and formidable home winning streak ended with a brutal 32-20 defeat to England in which they failed to match the visitors’ physicality and intensity.

They face a Scotland team that began their campaign with a bonus-point win over Italy but will have been alarmed by a lack of concentration that saw them concede three tries in the final 10 minutes.

Saturday’s late afternoon action comes from Rome, where Italy, who have now lost 18 successive matches in the competition, will look to build on that late flurry against Wales at the Stadio Olimpico.

Warren Gatland has made 10 changes to the side that remarkably overturned a 16-point half-time deficit in Paris on Friday night thanks to some inexplicable French errors.

Standard Sport will keep you up to date with all the action as well as looking ahead to the latest edition of ‘Le Crunch’ at Twickenham, which takes place on Sunday afternoon.

Live Updates

Ashton and Lawes recalled 
England have sprung a surprise by selecting Chris Ashton in place of Jack Nowell for Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with France at Twickenham.
Nowell impressed in the 32-20 victory over Ireland in Dublin but has lost his spot on the right wing to Ashton, the Top 14 record try-scorer who makes his first Championship start since 2013.
“We have gone for Chris Ashton on the wing because we think he might sneak us a try early in the game,” head coach Eddie Jones said.
“Jack Nowell was brilliant against Ireland and he’ll play a significant role for us off the bench.”
The second change to the starting XV sees Courtney Lawes partner George Kruis at lock after Maro Itoje was struck down by a knee injury at the Aviva Stadium. Filling the vacancy on the bench created by Lawes’ promotion is Joe Launchbury.
England team to face France
15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 26 caps) 14 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 43 caps) 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps) 12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 28 caps) 11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 41 caps) 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 66 caps) (c) 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 81 caps) 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 52 caps) 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 33 caps) 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 18 caps) 4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 69 caps) 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 28 caps) 6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 9 caps) 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 6 caps) 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 37 caps)
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps) 17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps) 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 82 caps) 19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 54 caps) 20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 19 caps) 21 Dan Robson (Wasps, uncapped) 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps) 23 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 30 caps) (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Toby Davis)
England vs France
Jamie George says England’s pack are “relishing” the prospect of taking on France’s huge forwards in the scrum on Sunday, writes Will Macpherson.
France fielded a pack weighing more than 150 stone against Wales last week and similar bulk is expected at Twickenham.
But hooker George believes size does not matter and says England must focus on technique and look to tire out France.
England’s pack were superb in victory over Ireland in Dublin and George believes that was down to a collective effort in the scrum.
“I’ve played France a few times now and they’re always a big, well-drilled pack,” said the 28-year-old.
“We’re very aware of the threat and we’re going to have to make sure we’re right on it.
“At the same time we’re a decent, heavy pack so we’re very up for the fight.
“Weight is an advantage but Wales will have come out of that game pretty happy about the way they scrummed.
“Clearly there are ways around it and technique is a big part of that. How collective we are is something we really pride ourselves on.
“Everyone is buying into the scrum, which a lot of the time the back rowers don’t like doing.
“We’ve drilled it into them that they’re going to have to. Height is another thing — how low we can take their scrum.
“It’s hard dragging that weight around. But they seem to just bring on other props who go all right as well.
“We’re not afraid of the confrontation that’s going to come at scrum time, we’re relishing that opportunity.
“We were good in Dublin but we know we can take it to a different place in terms of the way we scrum.”

Read More standard.co.uk/sport/rugby

Six Nations 2019: Scotland vs Ireland Rugby score prediction, line-ups, odds, live stream, TV, h2h

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Six Nations 2019: Scotland vs Ireland Rugby score prediction, line-ups, odds, live stream, TV, h2h

Scotland vs Ireland

Six Nations 2019

Venue: Murrayfield 

Kick-off: 14.15 GMT, Saturday February 9

A wounded Ireland team head to Murrayfield on Saturday with their pride hurt and championship credentials badly damaged following a devastating 32-20 defeat to England in Dublin on opening weekend.

The defending Grand Slam champions and tournament favourites, ranked second in the world after a stunning 2018, saw their formidable home winning streak busted in convincing fashion as they wilted in the face of their rivals’ sheer intensity and physicality at the Aviva Stadium.

A late John Cooney try made the scoreline more respectable, but in truth Ireland were worryingly flat and second best in almost every department.

Joe Schmidt’s side travel to Murrayfield next, annoyed not to have successfully shed that reputation as slow starters and will be eager to take their frustration out on a Scotland team whom they will also face at the World Cup in Yokohama in September.

The Scots took a while to get going against tournament whipping boys Italy last time out, but a hat-trick from Edinburgh’s Blair Kinghorn – deputising for injured wing Sean Maitland – plus further efforts from the irrepressible Stuart Hogg and Chris Harris and a superb Finn Russell display secured a winning bonus point.

Of big concern to coach Gregor Townsend will be the match’s final quarter, in which Italy took full advantage of Simon Berghan’s yellow card and ran in three late tries despite rarely threatening before that.

For all the talk of an increased selection pool that comes as a result of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s impressive performances both in Europe and the Pro14, bench depth remains a key worry amid a slew of injuries and Scotland have to maintain better levels of concentration throughout the full 80 minutes.

Team news and line-ups

Sam Skinner tried to play on after rolling his ankle in the very early stages against Italy, but was eventually replaced by Josh Strauss as Scotland’s back-row injuries continue to bite.

Tighthead prop WP Nel was suffering from a calf issue, while the potential return of Maitland – along with Fraser Brown, Jonny Gray and Peter Horne – could leave Townsend with a very tough decision to make following Kinghorn’s treble, which was a first for Scotland in the Five/Six Nations for 30 years.

Ireland, meanwhile, were involved in a brutal contest against England and Schmidt revealed afterwards that Keith Earls had sustained a hip issue after some rough treatment from Maro Itoje and Tom Curry in particular. He was replaced by Jordan Larmour at half-time.

CJ Stander is said to have played for 62 minutes with two fractures to his cheek and eye socket, while lock Devin Toner hurt his ankle and will need to be assessed.

Scotland XV: TBC

Ireland XV: TBC

Score prediction: Scotland 22-35 Ireland

A wounded Ireland team under Schmidt feels like a very dangerous proposition indeed and if Italy can exploit Scotland’s lapses in concentration, then the men in green certainly can.

Two defeats in a row to begin the Six Nations in a World Cup year feels unthinkable for this Ireland setup and memories of their last trip to Murrayfield should provide further fuel for success.

Betting tips via Betfair | UK users only | Subject to change

Match odds

  • Scotland to win: 2/1
  • Draw: 22/1
  • Ireland to win: 4/9

Click here to find the latest match odds and place a bet.

TV channel and live stream, and online coverage

ITV and the BBC are sharing broadcasting rights for the Six Nations for the third successive year, with the BBC hosting Scotland vs Ireland on BBC One and via the iPlayer.

You can also follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.

How To Watch and Live Stream The Six Nations Championship 2019

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How To Watch and Live Stream The Six Nations Championship 2019
TOPSHOT - Ireland's centre Bundee Aki (L) and England's wing Elliot Daly (R) battle over the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and Ireland at the Twickenham, west London, on March 17, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

The Six Nations Championship is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and will be guaranteed to excite and enthuse rugby fans across Europe and the world when it kicks off in February. The tournament will once again see England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales fight it out over five weeks of fabulous rugby union.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 17: Anthony Watson of England fumbles the ball while later leads to Ireland scoring a try during NatWest Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on March 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

When is the Six Nations 2019?

The competition is played over the course of six weeks. Beginning on Friday, 1st February, matches will run until Saturday 16th March – ‘Super Saturday’ – when all three matches of the final round will take place.

Where does the Six Nations take place?

The fixtures for the Six Nations take place across each of the countries. The venues are Twickenham Stadium, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Stade de France in Paris, and Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

When are matches played in UK time?

The fixtures are at varying times over the course of the tournament, but will usually take place in the afternoon, with two matches on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.

Check out the full fixtures with UK times below:

Round One

France v Wales, Friday 1st February, 8.00pm (Paris) – BBC

Scotland v Italy, Saturday 2nd February, 2.15pm (Edinburgh) – BBC

Ireland v England, Saturday 2nd February, 4.45pm (Dublin) – ITV

Round Two

Scotland v Ireland, Saturday 9th February, 2.15pm (Edinburgh) – BBC

Italy v Wales, Saturday 9th February, 4.45pm (Rome) – ITV

England v France, Sunday 10th February, 3.00pm (Twickenham) – ITV

Round Three

France v Scotland, Saturday 23rd February, 2.15pm (Paris) – BBC

Wales v England, Saturday 23rd February, 4.45pm (Cardiff) – BBC

Italy v Ireland, Sunday 24th February, 3.00pm (Rome) – ITV

Round Four

Scotland v Wales, Saturday 9th March, 2.15pm (Edinburgh) – BBC

England v Italy, Saturday 9th March, 4.45pm (Twickenham) – ITV

Ireland v France, Sunday 10th March, 3.00pm (Dublin) – ITV

Round Five

Italy v France, Saturday 16th March, 12.30pm (Rome) – ITV

Wales v Ireland, Saturday 16th March, 2.45pm (Cardiff) – BBC

England v Scotland, Saturday 16th March, 5.00pm (Twickenham) – ITV

How can I watch and stream the Six Nations live in the UK?

For fans in the UK, all of the matches will be available to watch live on BBC and ITV (see times and channels above).

BBC games will also be available to stream on the BBC Website and BBC iPlayer, with ITV games available to stream through the ITV Hub

CARDIFF, WALES – MARCH 17: George North of Wales is tackled by Mathieu Bastareaud of France and Mathieu Babillot of France during the NatWest Six Nations match between Wales and France at Principality Stadium on March 17, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

How can I watch the Six Nations in the US?

For fans in America, all of the matches in the championship will be broadcast and streamed on NBC and streamed on NBC Sports Gold.

How can I watch the Six Nations elsewhere?

All of the Wales games will be broadcast live, in Welsh, on S4C. For viewers in France, all games will be shown on France Télévisions. In Ireland, they will be shown live on Virgin Media One and Virgin Media Sport, and in Italy all games will be shown live on DMAX.

Who won the Six Nations Championship in 2018?

The current champions are Ireland, who won the championship in 2018. They beat England to win the Grand Slam, having beaten all the other teams during the competition.

What does the Grand Slam mean in the Six Nations?

A team that wins all its games throughout the Six Nations wins the Grand Slam. The Grand Slam has been won by England 13 times, Wales 11 times, France 9 times, and both Ireland and Scotland 3 times. Italy are yet to have won the Grand Slam.

What does the Triple Crown mean in the Six Nations?

The Triple Crown can only be won by England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. This is when one nation wins all three of their games against the others. England currently holds the most Triple Crown wins at 25, followed by Wales at 20, Ireland at 12, and Scotland at 10.

Which team has won the Six Nations the most times?

With 6 wins, England has won the Six Nations the most times. This is followed by France with 5 wins, and Ireland and Wales with 4 wins.

Which team won the most Five Nations titles?

England won the most with 17, followed by Wales (15), France (12), Ireland (6) and Scotland (4).

TOPSHOT – Ireland’s centre Bundee Aki (L) and England’s wing Elliot Daly (R) battle over the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and Ireland at the Twickenham, west London, on March 17, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

When did the tournament change its name from the Five Nations?

When it was established in 1883, the tournament was originally the Home Nations Championship comprised of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This became the Five Nations when France joined in 1910, though it briefly reverted back to the Home Nations between 1932 and 1939. The tournament eventually changed it name from the Five Nations to the Six Nations in 2000, when Italy joined the championship.

Who are the favourites to win the Six Nations in 2019?

Following on from their win in 2018, Ireland are favourites, with England and Wales also looking hopeful.

How can I get tickets to the Six Nations matches?

Tickets can be bought from each rugby union for their respective matches, and those wishing to travel can purchase hospitality packages. If you are lucky enough, you may also be able to win tickets by filling out a form. More information can be found on the Six Nations website.

Six Nations Rugby 2019 Fixtures | Kickoff Time, Live TV Guide

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Six Nations Rugby 2019 Fixtures | Kickoff Time, Live TV Guide

Rugby fans are anxiously waiting for the commencement of the 6 Nations Tournament. We are here to bring you all the information featuring Six Nations Rugby 2019 Fixture TV Guide you need with regards to the competition that’s set to kick off in February, early next year. The journey will end up on 16th of March 2019 through the matchup between England Rugby and Scotland.

What is the Six Nations Rugby 2019 Fixtures TV Guide?

Scroll below to find out all the details regarding the match playing times and dates, where to watch the live action, as well as the procedure of acquiring official match tickets.

Round One

  • Wales Tour France Rugby: France vs Wales Rugby 02/01/19

The Les Bleus France and the Dragons will get us underway when they face off in the opening match of Six Nations Rugby 2019 in Stade de France at 20:00 GMT on the 1st of February. In the previous 89 one-on-one contests, France registered 40 wins while Wales won 46 times. Wales have scored 90 tries against the French who have in turn put 87 tries behind the Welsh enemy lines. Expect a game that will be won by conversions and efficient penalty scoring.

Prediction: France 17-16 Wales

  • Italy Tour Scotland Rugby: Scotland vs Italy Rugby 02/02/19

Scotland will host Italy in a relatively easy penultimate round one match on the second day of Feb. 2019 in BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh at 14:15 GMT. Despite winning 12/19 of the previous head to head meetings, Scotland will be wary of the fact that they had to fight it to the death in their 29-27 win last time out against the Azzurri.

Prediction: Scotland 26-19 Italy

The final match of the opening round will be a clash of titans as defending champions battle it out with immediate former holders, England, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on the 2nd of Feb. 2019 at 16:45 GMT. The two teams have met 122 times with England recording 62 wins compared to Ireland’s 48. Ireland will be looking to mount a title challenge and losing against the Red and Whites won’t do them any good.

Prediction: Ireland 25-17 England.

Round Two

  • Ireland Tour Scotland Rugby: Scotland vs Ireland Rugby 02/09/19

This mouthwatering clash will take place at the BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland on the 9th of Feb. 2019 at 14:15 GMT. Out of 123 outings, Ireland has won 60 times while Scotland has won 51 times.

Predictions: Scotland 16-26 Ireland.

  • Wales Tour Italy rugby: Italy vs Wales Rugby 09/02/19

Italy plays against Wales at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome on the 9th of Feb at 16:45 GMT in the 2nd game of Round 2 of Six Nations Rugby 2019. Wales has a superior head to head record over Italy with 16/19 wins and one draw.

Prediction: Italy 14-36 Wales.

The Red and Whites will host the Ls Bleus France in the final game of round 2 of on the 10th of Feb. 2019 at 15:00 GMT. The game will be played at the Twickenham Stadium, London. The two teams have met 89 times with England winning 48 and France 34.

Prediction: England 23-15 France.

Round Three

  • Scotland Tour France Rugby: France vs Scotland Rugby 23/02/19

France will open Round 3 Fixture by hosting Scotland at the Stade de France on 23rd Feb. 2019 at 14:15 GMT. France has won 50/88 previous meetings with Scotland winning 36.

Prediction: France 33-25 Scotland.

Wales will host the Red and Whites at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on the 23rd of Feb. 2019 for the second round 3 game. The two arch rivals have relatively equal head to records with England winning 54 against Wales’ 52.

Prediction: Wales 17-15 England.

The final game of the third round Fixture will see Italy host Ireland at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome on the 24th of February 2019 at 15:00 GMT. Ireland has won 18 and lost just once to the Italians in their previous meetings.

Prediction: Italy 17-52 Ireland.

Round Four

  • Wales Tour Scotland Rugby: Scotland vs Wales Rugby 09/03/19

Round IV will kick off with a match between Scotland and Wales at the BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Wales are better placed between the two having won 69 as compared to 44 of the past 122 h2h clashes.

Prediction: Wales 35 – 29 Scotland

Match 2 of the fourth round Fixture will witness England lock horns with the Azzurri at the Twickenham Stadium, London. England has won all the past meetings against the Gil Azzurri (19/19).

Prediction: England 47- 14 Italy

Round four’s final matchup will see defending champs Ireland take on Le XV de France at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Ireland has won 31 and lost 51 of its h2h meetings with the French outfit.

Predictions: Ireland 15-19 France.

Round Five

  • France Tour Italy Rugby: Italy vs France Rugby 16/03/19

Italy will be hosts to France in the opening matchup of the fifth round Fixture at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome. France Rugby has a dominant head to head record over the Azzurri win 17 0ut of the 19 matches they played.

Prediction: France 35 -16 Italy

  • Ireland Tour Wales Rugby: Wales vs Ireland Rugby 16/03/19

The 2nd match in the final round will see Wales go head to head with Ireland at the Principality Stadium, Westgate Street, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. Ireland boasts a better head to head record over Wales with 62 wins and 11 games ending in dead heat out of the 119 clashes so far.

Prediction: Ireland 38 – 29 Wales

  • Scotland Tour England Rugby: England vs Scotland Rugby 16/03/19

The curtains close at the Twickenham Stadium in London as the Red and Whites take on Scotland. Of the 121 head to head meetings, England has a superior record, winning 67 and drawing 15 against the Thistles.

Prediction: England 24 – 19 Scotland

Where do I Catch the Action Live Stream Online?

All the Six Nations Rugby 2019 games will be televised and fan from the various regions will have a chance to watch the competition live. The list is as follows;

  • ITV and BBC will broadcast the games live in the UK.
  • In addition to that, each & every game involving the Dragons (Wales) will be aired on S4C.
  • In France, FR2 will air all the games.
  • American fans will have the witness how the events unwrap on NBC.
  • Italians followers will catch the action on DMAX.
  • Finally, Ireland fans will watch the games on TV3.

How to Get Tickets for the Games

Genuine Tickets for the Six Nations Rugby 2019 are issued by individual host unions and can be accessed on the following sites;

  • Wales: http://www.wru.co.uk
  • Scotland: http://www.scottishrugby.org
  • France: http://www.ffr.fr
  • Ireland: http://www.irishrugby.ie
  • Italy: http://www.federugby.it
  • England: http://www.rfu.com

Moreover, from a couple of other sites like Viagogo, StubHub, Getmein etc. can buy Six Nations Rugby 2019 Tickets.

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How your club fared in the Super Rugby off-season

by Morshedul 0 Comments
How your club fared in the Super Rugby off-season

Quade Cooper and Ma’a Nonu headline the off-season moves as we count down to the 2019 Super Rugby campaign.

Check out how your club fared as we run through all the transfers and pick each team’s best XV.

NEW PODCAST! Greg Martin calls for sweeping Wallabies changes while Matt Hodgson takes us inside the radical new Rapid Rugby competition


IN: Vunipola Fifita, Tom Ross, James Slipper, Murray Douglas, Pete Samu, Bayley Kuenzle, Len Ikitau, Noah Lolesio, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Toni Pulu

OUT: Ben Alexander, Mees Erasmus, Nic Mayhew, Faalelei Sione, Robbie Abel, Richie Arnold, Michael Oakman-Hunt, Lolo Fakaosilea, Isi Naisarani, Kyle Godwin, Andrew Smith, James Dargaville, James Verity-Amm

SQUAD: Allan Alaalatoa, Vunipola Fifita, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Tom Ross, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Joshua Mann-Rea, Connal McInerney, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Murray Douglas, Blake Enever, Darcy Swain, Tom Cusack, Lachlan McCaffrey, David Pocock, Pete Samu, Rob Valetini, Ben Hyne, Ryan Lonergan, Matt Lucas, Joe Powell, Wharenui Hawera, Bayley Kuenzle, Christian Lealiifano, Len Ikitau, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Tevita Kuridrani, Noah Lolesio, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Andy Muirhead, Chance Peni, Toni Pulu, Henry Speight, Lausii Taliauli, Tom Banks, Mack Hansen

BEST XV: Banks, Pulu, Kuridrani, Lealiifano, Speight, Hawera, Powell, Valetini, Pocock, Samu, Arnold, Carter, Alaalatoa, Fainga’a, Sio

VERDICT: Some handy pick-ups for the Brumbies as they look to rebound from the disappointment of missing this year’s finals.

Pete Samu replaces Isi Naisarani in a talented and versatile loose forward group while former Wallaby James Slipper likewise adds plenty of experience in the front row.

Former Chiefs flyer Toni Pulu is an excellent finisher while Scottish lock Murray Douglas, by way of the Hurricanes and Rebels, is reliable as they come.

Tom Wright, the former Manly NRL player, is an intriguing pick-up and will compete with Christian Lealiifano and Wharenui Hawera for a starting spot at No 10 and 12.



IN: Mees Erasmus, Hugh Roach, Luke Jones, Brad Wilkin, Isi Naisarani, Quade Cooper, Matt Toomua, Campbell Magnay

OUT: Laurie Weeks, Geoff Parling, Colby Fainga’a, Lopeti Timani, Amanaki Mafi, Jack Debreczeni, Jack McGregor, David Horwitz, Henry Hutchison

SQUAD: Jermaine Ainsley, Ben Daley, Mees Erasmus, Pone Fa’amausili, Tetera Faulkner, Fereti Sa’aga, Sam Talakai, Hugh Roach, Jordan Uelese, Adam Coleman, Matt Philip, Angus Cottrell, Richard Hardwick, Ross Haylett-Petty, Luke Jones, Rob Leota, Brad Wilkin, Isi Naisarani, Will Genia, Harrison Goddard, Michael Ruru, Quade Cooper, Matt Toomua, Reece Hodge, Billy Meakes, Sione Tuipulotu, Semisi Tupou, Tom English, Marika Koroibete, Campbell Magnay, Sefa Naivalu, Dane Haylett-Petty, Jack Maddocks

BEST XV: Haylett-Petty, Maddocks, Hodge, Toomua, Koroibete, Cooper, Genia, Naisarani, Cottrell, Jones, Coleman, Philip, Ainsley, Uelese, Faulkner

VERDICT: The Rebels will be able to roll out an all Wallaby backline in 2019 although Matt Toomua won’t join until he completes his commitments with Leicester.

Billy Meakes is a more than capable placeholder at No 12, however, while Sefa Naivalu might have to settle for a bench spot.

Isi Naisarani is a ready-made replacement for disgraced No 8 Amanaki Mafi as he looks to build his Rugby World Cup claims, while blindside/lock Luke Jones is back from Bordeaux to also put his hand up for the Wallabies.

But all the attention will be on Quade Cooper and whether he can recapture his playmaking magic with his old mate Will Genia.


Get every stop on the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series LIVE into your living room. SIGN UP NOW!


IN: Gavin Luka, Efi Ma’afu, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Matt McGahan, Jock Campbell, Will Eadie

OUT: Sef Fa’agase, James Slipper, Markus Vanzati, Andrew Ready, Kane Douglas, Michael Gunn, Reece Hewat, George Smith, Quade Cooper, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Lachlan Maranta, Eto Nabuli, Jayden Ngamanu

SQUAD: Harry Hoopert, Gavin Luka, JP Smith, Ruan Smith, Taniela Tupou, Efi Ma’afu, Alex Mafi, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Angus Blyth, Harry Hockings, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Adam Korczyk, Fraser McReight, Angus Scott-Young, Caleb Timu, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright, Scott Higginbotham, Tate McDermott, Moses Sorovi, James Tuttle, Matt McGahan, Hamish Stewart, Teti Tela, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia’aua, Jock Campbell, Filipo Daugunu, Will Eadie, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Karmichael Hunt, Aidan Toua

BEST XV: Petaia, Daugunu, Kerevi, Paia’aua, Perese, Stewart, McDermott, Higginbotham, Wright, Timu, Rodda, Salakaia-Loto, Tupou, Paenga-Amosa, JP Smith

VERDICT: Coach Brad Thorn has doubled down on his staunch policy of developing young, local talent, with George Smith, Quade Cooper, James Slipper, Kane Douglas, Jono Lance and Ben Lucas all moving on and taking vast experience and ability with them.

It places huge pressure on captain Scott Higginbotham and the side’s young Test players Samu Kerevi, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou and the recently renamed Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.

And then there is Jordan Petaia, the teenage sensation who could play at fullback, on either wing or at outside centre.

Former Blues five-eighth Matt McGahan — the son of Kiwis league great Hugh — is an interesting addition and will view with Hamish Stewart and Duncan Paia’aua for the playmaking positions.



IN: Rory O’Connor, Le Roux Roets

OUT: Paddy Ryan, Kalivati Tawake, Hugh Roach, Kelly Meafua, Brad Wilkin, Michael Snowden, Irae Simone, Andrew Kellaway, Taqele Naiyaravoro

SQUAD: Harry Johnson-Holmes, Sekope Kepu, Rory O’Connor, Tom Robertson, Matt Sandell, Shambeckler Vui, Cody Walker, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tolu Latu, Ryan McCauley, Le Roux Roets, Rob Simmons, Nick Palmer, Tom Staniforth, Ned Hanigan, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Will Miller, Lachlan Swinton, Michael Wells, Jed Holloway, Jake Gordon

Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale, Bryce Hegarty, Mack Mason, Lalakai Foketi, Alex Newsome, Cam Clark, Curtis Rona, Israel Folau

BEST XV: Folau, Clark, Rona, Beale, Newsome, Foley, Gordon, Wells, Hooper, Dempsey, Simmons, Holloway, Kepu, Latu, Johnson-Holmes

VERDICT: NSW still have a bit of box ticking to do on their 2019 squad, with Wallabies veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper yet to officially sign on and big winger John Folau — Israel’s younger brother — creating a positive impression at training.

The Tahs have recruited man mountain South African lock Le Roux Roets — 2m and 135kg — to bolster their pack which relied on mobility not size last season.

Coach Daryl Gibson has admitted he burnt out stars Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale with too many minutes in 2018 so expect Mack Mason and Lalakai Foketi to see plenty of gametime as NSW look to improve on their semifinal exit away to the Lions.




IN: Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Jed Brown, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu, Harry Plummer, Levi Aumua, Ma’a Nonu, Tanielu Tele’a

OUT: Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Ross Wright, Lyndon Dunshea, Matiaha Martin, Ben Nee-Nee, Sione Havili, Jerome Kaino, Antonio Kiri Kiri, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai, Bryn Gatland, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Terrence Hepetema, Matthew Johnson, Orbyn Leger, Tumua Manu, George Moala, Tamati Tua, Jordan Hyland

SQUAD: Alex Hodgman, Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Sione Mafileo, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Leni Apisai, Matt Moulds, James Parsons, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Josh Goodhue, Jacob Pierce, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jed Brown, Blake Gibson, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu, Jimmy Tupou, Akira Ioane, Sam Nock, Augustine Pulu, Jonathan Ruru, Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta, Harry Plummer, Levi Aumua, TJ Faiane, Ma’a Nonu, Tanielu Tele’a, Sonny Bill Williams, Caleb Clarke, Matt Duffie, Rieko Ioane, Melani Nanai, Michael Collins, Jordan Trainor

BEST XV: Duffie, Clarke, Nonu, Williams, R Ioane, Perofeta, Pulu, A Ioane, Gibson, Papalii, Cowley-Tuioti, Tuipolotu, Tuungafasi, Parsons, Tu’inukuafe

VERDICT: The return from France of Ma’a Nonu and the luring of Karl Tu’inukuafe from the Chiefs headline the Blues’ 2019 recruitment drive.

Veteran Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams will form a power packed midfield but might have to toss a coin to decide who wears the preferred No 12 jersey.

More important, though, is the eternal Blues question of who wears No 10.

Stephen Perofeta, Otere Black and Harry Plummer are the options for new coach Leon MacDonald, who has surpringly taken the reins from former All Blacks teammate Tana Umaga.



IN: Reuben O’Neill, Laghlan McWhannell, Jack Debreczeni, Tumua Manu, Ataata Moeakiola, Etene Nanai-Seturo

OUT: Mitchell Graham, Sam Prattley, Jeff Thwaites, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Dominic Bird, Matt Matich, Liam Messam, Jesse Parete, Luteru Laulala, Johnny Fa’auli, Charlie Ngatai, Regan Verney, Levi Aumua, Tim Nanai-Williams, Declan O’Donnell, Toni Pulu, Sam McNicol

SQUAD: Kane Hames, Sefo Kautai, Nepo Laulala, Atu Moli, Reuben O’Neill, Aidan Ross, Angus Ta’avao, Nathan Harris, Liam Polwart, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Michael Allardice, Tyler Ardron, Fin Hoeata, Laghlan McWhannell, Brodie Retallick, Lachlan Boshier, Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Mitchell Karpik, Taleni Seu, Pita Gus Sowakula, Mitchell Brown, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Jonathan Taumateine, Brad Weber, Jack Debreczeni, Tiaan Falcon, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown, Tumua Manu, Alex Nankivell, Bailyn Sullivan, Solomon Alaimalo, Ataata Moeakiola, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Shaun Stevenson, Sean Wainui, Marty McKenzie

BEST XV: Stevenson, Nanai-Seturo, Lienert-Brown, Nankivell, Alaimalo, D McKenzie, Tahuriorangi, Jacobson, Cane, Boshier, Ardron, Retallick, Laulala, Harris, Hames

VERDICT: Chiefs coach Colin Cooper has made three interesting additions to his backline in Jack Debreczeni, Ataata Moeakiola and Etene Nanai-Seturo.

The Auckland-born Debreczeni is looking to reignite his career after playing 53 games for the Rebels without ever truly delivering on his potential.

Moeakiola is a Tongan-born Japanese international blessed with real power and pace, as is Nanai-Seturo, the sought after schoolboys star who won Commonwealth Games gold with New Zealand’s sevens team last year.

All Blacks star Sam Cane is targeting a return in May after fracturing a bone in his neck against the Springboks in October.



IN: Harry Allan, Whetu Douglas, Ere Enari, Leicester Faingaanuku, Ngane Punivai

OUT: Donald Brighouse, Wyatt Crockett, Chris King, Sam Anderson-Heather, Sebastian Siataga, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Pete Samu, Jack Stratton, Mike Delany, Seta Tamanivalu, Tima Faingaanuku, Jone Macilai-Tori

SQUAD: Mike Alaalatoa, Harry Allan, Owen Franks, Oliver Jager, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Ben Funnell, Andrew Makalio, Codie Taylor, Scott Barrett, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Sam Whitelock, Ethan Blackadder, Mitchell Dunshea, Billy Harmon, Tom Sanders, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Whetu Douglas, Kieran Read, Mitchell Drummond, Ere Enari, Bryn Hall, Brett Cameron, Mitch Hunt, Richie Mo’unga, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Braydon Ennor, Leicester Faingaanuku, Will Jordan, Manasa Mataele, Ngane Punivai, Israel Dagg, David Havili

BEST XV: Havili, Dagg, Goodhue, Crotty, Bridge, Mo’unga, Hall, Read, Todd, Taufua, Barrett, Whitelock, Franks, Taylor, Moody

VERDICT: Scott Robertson’s Crusaders look as strong as ever as they gun for a three-peat of titles next season.

Seta Tamanivalu, Wyatt Crockett, and Pete Samu are losses but nothing that they shouldn’t be able to deal with as they sprinkle in a handful of promising youngsters from their own system.

Keep an eye out for talented outside back Will Jordan, a New Zealand under-20 and Tasman star who was kept on the Super Rugby sidelines this year with vertigo issues.



IN: Sef Fa’agase, Josh Iosefa-Scott, Ayden Johnstone, Ray Niuia, Jack Whetton, Folau Fakatava, Marty Banks, Bryn Gatland

OUT: Guy Millar, Aki Seiuli, Kalolo Tuiloma, Greg Pleasants-Tate, Alex Ainley, Dan Pryor, Josh Renton, Fletcher Smith, Lima Sopoaga

SQUAD: Sef Fa’agase, Josh Iosefa-Scott, Ayden Johnstone, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Tyrel Lomax, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Ray Niuia, Josh Dickson, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Pari Pari Parkinson, Jack Whetton, Shannon Frizell, Dillon Hunt, James Lentjes, Luke Whitelock, Elliot Dixon, Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, Liam Squire, Folau Fakatava, Kayne Hammington, Aaron Smith, Marty Banks, Bryn Gatland, Josh Ioane, Richard Buckman, Matt Faddes, Rob Thompson, Sio Tomkinson, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Teihorangi Walden, Tevita Li, Josh McKay, Tevita Nabura, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith

BEST XV: B Smith, Naholo, Buckman, Thompson, Li, Gatland, A Smith, Squire, Hunt, Frizell, Franklin, Hemopo, Lomax, Coltman, Lienert-Brown

VERDICT: Auckland-born former Reds prop Sef Fa’agase has crossed the Tasman and landed a gig with the Highlanders after playing the Mitre 10 Cup season with Canterbury.

It will be interesting to observe his progress but the bigger battle is at No 10, where the departure of Lima Sopoaga to Wasps has left a big hole.

Bryn Gatland, Marty Banks and Josh Ioane are in a three-way tussle for the job, while Aaron Mauger’s side is packed with loose forward options including Shannon Frizell, Dillon Hunt, Luke Whitelock, Elliot Dixon and Liam Squire.



IN: Geoff Cridge, Liam Mitchell, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Fletcher Smith, Billy Proctor, James Marshall, Salesi Rayasi

OUT: Marcel Renata, James O’Reilly, Nathan Vella, Murray Douglas, Michael Fatialofa, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson, Jamie Booth, TJ Va’a, Ihaia West, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Julian Savea

SQUAD: Fraser Armstrong, Chris Eves, Alex Fidow, Ben May, Toby Smith, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Ricky Riccitelli, James Blackwell, Geoff Cridge, Sam Lousi, Liam Mitchell, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Vaea Fifita, Sam Henwood, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea, Gareth Evans, Finlay Christie, Richard Judd, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Fletcher Smith, Vince Aso, Wes Goosen, Ngani Laumape, Billy Proctor, Matt Proctor, Ben Lam, Jonah Lowe, James Marshall, Salesi Rayasi, Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder

BEST XV: J Barrett, Milner-Skudder, M Proctor, Laumape, Lam, B Barrett, Perenara, Evans, Savea, Fifita, Lousi, Walker-Leawere, Toomaga-Allen, Coles, Smith

VERDICT: There have been some big changes in Canes country, with assistant coach John Plumtree stepping up to replace Chris Boyd (now Northampton) in the hot seat and senior pro Brad Shields now playing for Wasps and England.

James Marshall, a member of the 2016 title-winning team, is back from England to provide a cool head and utility value while there are big raps on Billy Proctor, the younger brother of tough tackling centre Matt.

They look a little light on at lock, however, after the departures of Michael Fatialofa and Murray Douglas.

It’s a different story at hooker where captain Dane Coles is fit again to join Ricky Riccitelli and Asafo Aumua.




IN: Madot Mabokela, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Schalk Brits, Carel du Preez, Paul Schoeman, Muller Uys, Jano Venter, Duane Vermeulen, Theo Maree, Stedman Gans, Franco Naude, Dylan Sage, Cornal Hendricks, Rosko Specman

OUT: Pierre Schoeman, Mornay Smith, Adriaan Strauss, Aston Fortuin, Ruan Nortje, Ruben van Heerden, Shaun Adendorff, Boeta Hamman, Francois Brummer, Dries Swanepoel, Jamba Ulengo

SQUAD: Matthys Basson, Lizo Gqoboka, Madot Mabokela, Simphiwe Matanzima, Nqoba Mxoli, Trevor Nyakane, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Conraad van Vuuren, Frans van Wyk, Schalk Brits, Johan Grobbelaar, Edgar Marutlulle, Jaco Visagie, Lood de Jager, Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman, Hendre Stassen, Tim Agaba, Thembelani Bholi, Nick de Jager, Carel du Preez, Jannes Kirsten, Paul Schoeman, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Muller Uys, Marco van Staden

Hanro Liebenberg, Jano Venter, Duane Vermeulen, Theo Maree, Embrose Papier, Ivan van Zyl, Andre Warner, Marnitz Boshoff, Manie Libbok, Handre Pollard, Stedman Gans, JT Jackson, Johnny Kotze, Jesse Kriel, Franco Naude, Burger Odendaal, Dylan Sage, Cornal Hendricks, Travis Ismaiel, Duncan Matthews, Rosko Specman, Jade Stighling, Warrick Gelant, Divan Rossouw

BEST XV: Gelant, Ismaiel, Kriel, Odendaal, Specman, Pollard, Papier, Vermeulen, van Staden, N de Jager, L de Jager, Snyman, van Vuuren, Brits, Nyakane

VERDICT: There are big changes afoot in Pretoria, with Springboks and Bulls legend Victor Matfield expected to soon be unveiled as the coaching replacement for John Mitchell, who is now Eddie Jones’ minister of defence with England.

The Bulls have also made some impressive signings, with blockbusting No 8 Duane Vermeulen and hooker Schalk Brits bolstering the pack and sevens stars Rosko Specman, Dylan Sage and Stedman Gans adding some intriguing backline options.

Retired hooker Adriaan Strauss is the most notable loss.



IN: Danie Mienie

OUT: Ruan Dreyer, Jacques van Rooyen, Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Rohan Janse van Rensburg

SQUAD: Jacobie Adriaanse, Johannes Jonker, Danie Mienie, Sti Sithole, Dylan Smith, Malcolm Marx, Lourens Erasmus, Rhyno Herbst, Robert Kruger, Marvin Orie, Cyle Brink, Hacjivah Dayimani, Len Massyn, Marnus Schoeman, Kwagga Smith, Warren Whiteley, Ross Cronje, Nic Groom, Dillon Smit, Elton Jantjies, Shaun Reynolds, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Ruan Combrinck, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Courtnall Skosan, Madosh Tambwe, Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza

BEST XV: Coetzee, Combrinck, Mapoe, Vorster, Dyantyi, Jantjies, Cronje, Whiteley, K Smith, Brink, Erasmus, Orie, Adriaanse, Marx, D Smith

VERDICT: Three years, three runners-up medals for Super Rugby’s bridesmaids, who look weaker on paper next season.

They should still be very competitive but depth is a concern following the departures of class acts like Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Ruan Dreyer and Rohan Janse van Rensburg.

And with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, the Lions will have to carefully manage the workloads of Springboks trump cards Malcolm Marx, Aphiwe Dyantyi and Warren Whiteley.



IN: Ruben van Heerden

OUT: Ross Geldenhuys, Franco Marais, Keegan Daniel, Michael Claassens, Garth April, Tristan Blewett, Johan Deysel

SQUAD: Thomas du Toit, Mzamo Majola, John-Hubert Meyer, Coenie Oosthuizen, Akker van der Merwe, Hyron Andrews, Ruan Botha, Jean Droste, Gideon Koegelenberg, Ruben van Heerden, Tyler Paul, Jacques Vermeulen, Wian Vosloo, Louis Schreuder, Cameron Wright, Lukhanyo Am, Marius Louw, S’busiso Nkosi, Kobus van Wyk, Rhyno Smith, Courtney Winnaar


VERDICT: The Sharks are yet to announce their full squad, so we’ll hold off on having a crack at their best run-on side.

Coach Robert du Preez has lost some experienced campaigners, including hooker Franco Marais, flanker Keegan Daniel, halfback Michael Claasens, utility Garth April and centre Johan Deysel.

The Sharks made the quarterfinals this year but were soundly beaten, 40-10, by the dominant Crusaders in Christchurch.



IN: Kwenzo Blose, Michael Kumbirai, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Chad Solomon, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris Massyn, Nama Xaba, Ruhan Nel, Duncan Saal, Edwill van der Merwe

OUT: JC Janse van Rensburg, Caylib Oosthuizen, Carlu Sadie, Dean Muir, Ramone Samuels, Jan de Klerk, Eduard Zandberg, Stephan de Wit, Nizaam Carr, Dewaldt Duvenage, George Whitehead, Raymond Rhule

SQUAD: Kwenzo Blose, Neethling Fouche, Steven Kitshoff, Michael Kumbirai, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Alistair Vermaak, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Chad Solomon, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, JD Schickerling, Ernst van Rhyn, Chris van Zyl, Johan du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Chris Massyn, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Cobus Wiese, Nama Xaba, Juarno Augustus, Jaco Coetzee, Kobus van Dyk, Paul de Wet, Herschel Jantjies, Justin Phillips, Jano Vermaak, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Joshua Stander, Damian Willemse, Damian de Allende, Daniel du Plessis, JJ Engelbrecht, Dan Kriel, Ruhan Nel, EW Viljoen, Dillyn Leyds, Sergeal Petersen, Duncan Saal, Seabelo Senatla, Edwill van der Merwe, Craig Barry, SP Marais

BEST XV: Marais, Leyds, Engelbrecht, de Allende, Senatla, Willemse, de Wet, Notshe, van Dyk, Kolisi, du Toit, Etzebeth, Louw, Mbonambi, Kitshoff

VERDICT: The Stormers have lost several handy players, including prop JC Janse van Rensburg, hooker Ramone Samuels, No 8 Nizaam Carr, halfback Dewaldt Duvenage and winger Raymond Rhule.

But the spine of a good side remains, including world class locking duo Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth, Springboks captain Siya Kolisi, centre Damian de Allende and exciting young playmaker Damian Willemse.

There are also high hopes for sevens convert Ruhan Nel.





OUT: Juan Martin Hernandez, Nicolas Sanchez

SQUAD: Santiago Garcia Botta, Enrique Pieretto, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Matias Alemanno, Marcos Kremer, Guido Petti, Pablo Matera, Javier Ortega Desio, Tomas Cubelli, Bautista Ezcurra, Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy


VERDICT: The full Jaguares squad is yet to filter out of Argentina so we’ll hold fire on a best XV.

But losses don’t come much bigger than Nicolas Sanchez’s departure to Stade Francais.

The Pumas pivot was simply outstanding during the Rugby Championship although the presumable replacement, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, is not the worst.

The Jaguares made the finals for the first time in 2018, under Mario Ledesma, who has signed stepped up to be Argentina’s new coach.

Ledesma’s former Test teammate, Gonzalo Quesada, has taken the Jaguares job after 20 years playing and coaching in France.




IN: Tom Rowe, Dan Pryor, Hendrik Tui, Phil Burleigh, Rene Ranger

OUT: Nika Khatiashvili

SQUAD: Asaeli Ai Valu, Keita Inagaki, Koo Ji-won, Craig Millar, Hencus van Wyk, Jaba Bregvadze, Shota Horie, Atsushi Sakate, Grant Hattingh, Kazuki Himeno, James Moore, Tom Rowe, Lappies Labuschagne, Dan Pryor, Ed Quirk, Hendrik Tui, Michael Leitch, Yutaka Nagare, Kaito Shigeno, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Phil Burleigh, Jason Emery, Michael Little, Rikiya Matsuda, Ryoto Nakamura, Lomano Lemeki, Rene Ranger, Gerhard van den Heever

BEST XV: Emery, Lemeki, Nakamura, Little, Ranger, Parker, Tanaka, Leitch, Labuschagne, Tui, Hattingh, Himeno, van Wyk, Horie, Inagaki

VERDICT: New Sunwolves coach Tony Brown said his side is capable of pushing for the playoffs in 2019 after naming a settled and cosmopolitan 29-man initial squad.

Among the new faces are former Reds loose forward Hendrik Tui and former All Blacks outside back Rene Ranger, who has been plagued by injury in recent seasons.

“We want to play Japanese rugby, which is an expansive style with a lot of skill and speed, and which is based around unstructured rugby,” Brown said.

“The players we have added are the right players to play our style of rugby and will add to our game, experience and leadership group.”


Source: foxsports.com.au/

All Blacks vs Japan Rugby in Tokyo 2018 on Saturday.

by Morshedul 0 Comments
All Blacks vs Japan Rugby in Tokyo 2018 on Saturday.

Japan’s “Brave Blossoms” meet the world champion New Zealand All Blacks in a one off game at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu. The Test Match in Japan will be a great opportunity for the All Blacks to prepare for the 2018 end of year tour and it will also gives the team first-hand experience of playing in Japan less than a year out from 2019!

Japan vs All Blacks – Autumn Internationals 2018

Tokyo, Ajinomoto Stadium (Tokyo Stadium), Japan
Saturday, November 03 2018 14:45
Japan offers global rugby fans and intrepid travellers endless opportunities to experience its history, culture, gastronomy and beauty. You will be welcomed into the heart of the most metropolitan city in Japan with 3 nights at The Westin Tokyo including daily breakfast.

How to Watch All Blacks vs Japan Rugby ?

6:45pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks vs Japan rugby test in Tokyo . All the Rugby Fans living in NZ , USA, can enjoy the live action on getrugbystream.com or on their TV network.

In Australia, Seven Network will telecast Rugby Matches live and in New Zealand, you can Enjoy game son Sky TV. Remember these sports networks will not only telecast matches on TV, but also, they will provide live stream via their website.


Rugby: Bledisloe Cup 2018 – kick-off time for All Blacks and Wallabies first test

Rugby: Bledisloe Cup 2018 – kick-off time for All Blacks and Wallabies first test

Rugby: Bledisloe Cup 2018 – Late change in kick-off time for All Blacks and Wallabies first test

The kick-off for the first Bledisloe Cup test between the All Blacks and Wallabies has been brought forward.

The first match of the Rugby Championship, and the first of three Bledisloe Cup tests, will get underway at 9.45pm (NZT), 20 minutes earlier than initially publicised.

It is understood that the change was requested six weeks ago, but Sanzaar made the decision midweek. Rugby Australia were still reporting the game as getting underway at 10.05pm NZT earlier this week, while New Zealand Rugby were promoting the game as a 10.05pm kick-off on social media this week as well.

So, rugby fans be aware – make sure you don’t miss the first 20 minutes of the game when you tune in to watch on TV follow the New Zealand Herald’s stellar live coverage online.

The Black Ferns, who play beforehand, will still get underway at 7.15pm.


Wallabies vs All Blacks live stream: How to watch Bledisloe 1 online and on TV


The Wallabies have yet another chance to break their Bledisloe Cup drought when they host the All Blacks tonight in the first Test. This is The Roar’s guide to watching the game online and on TV.

The match is scheduled to begin at 7:45pm (AEST) tonight, August 18 at ANZ Stadium.

The Wallabies trimmed down their squad to 28 on Sunday, with captain Michael Hooper and senior players Scott Sio and Dane Haylett-Petty set to overcome fitness concerns for tonight’s clash.

And, if history is anything to go by, they will need the trio if they are to stand any chance of taking down the All Blacks.

While the Australians won the last meeting between the two sides, it was only their second victory in their last 19 matches against New Zealand.

The All Blacks travel to Sydney confident of overcoming the Wallabies having won seven of their last ten games at ANZ Stadium.

In preparation for the Bledisloe Cup opener, they played two 40-minute trial games, beating Otago 32-0 and Canterbury 40-5.

How to watch the match on TV

The match is being broadcast on TV in Australia through two networks.

The first option is Foxtel, who will be broadcasting every Wallabies international game this season.

Channel 501 will be covering Saturday night’s game, with a pre-game show beginning at 7pm (AEST), after the Wallaroos game finishes.

Coverage will wrap up at 10pm after a 30-minute post-game show.

For free-to-air viewers, Channel 10 will be broadcasting Saturday night’s match.

Their coverage also begins at 7pm and is scheduled to finish at 9:45pm.

The match can be viewed in high definition on Channels 13 and 210 for both free-to-air viewers and Foxtel customers.

Alternatively, you can catch the game in standard definition on Channels 10 and 110 respectively.

How to live stream the match online

If you wish to watch the clash online, there are two ways to do it.

The first is available to Foxtel subscribers. They can stream the coverage of the match through the Foxtel App. This app is free to download and can be used if you have a valid login.

Alternatively, if you are not an existing Foxtel customer, you can still watch the game online. You will need to use Foxtel Now instead. Foxtel Now is a streaming-only option, with subscription packages available for purchase.

You can also tune into the game on the Tenplay website, where you can stream the game for free.

Otherwise, you can always count on us. Here at The Roar we will have live scores and a blog of the match.

Wallabies vs All Blacks Bledisloe Cup Game 1 preview and prediction

It is roughly 9:45pm on the 3rd of August 2002.

(Most of) ANZ Stadium is standing, with bated breath, as Matt Burke stands over an 81st minute penalty. The siren has sounded, and his Wallabies are down by a point, 14-13.

If he kicks true, the Bledisloe Cup will be retained. True to script, the original Ice man steadies himself, before slotting the Bundaberg branded rugby ball straight through the middle of the posts.

Away from the ground, Prime Minister John Howard is elated, and quickly sets the alarm on his spanking new Sanyo SCP-5300 (the first ever flip phone with an in-built camera) for 7am, at which point he will wake up and go for a leisurely stroll, dressed head-to-toe in a Wallabies tracksuit.

All is well in the world.

Fast forward to the 18th of August 2018.

It has been more than 16 years since the Wallabies last held the Bledisloe aloft. In that time, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have all been invented. Australia has seen four Prime ministers come and go, and John Howard’s Sanyo hasn’t seen the light of day for more than a decade.

Every year, rugby fans around Australia entertain the thought of the Bledisloe returning to our shores.

It begs the question…

Could the 2018 Bledisloe be different?

Starting fast: Not an if, but a must
First and foremost, it is worth noting that Australia has won Game One of the Bledisloe only once in the last 10 years. It doesn’t take the most astute of observers to realise that it makes wrestling the cup back from the All Blacks awfully difficult if they fall behind 1-0 this evening.

It would appear that Michael Cheika has tipped his hat to this point. His internal trial at Leichardt Oval in the build-up was a more than useful hit out for his non-Waratahs squad members.

Whether it translates into a fast start come tonight remains to be seen. However, you’d be hard pressed to find any fan that didn’t like the concept.

The battle of the forwards
Cheika has gone all-in on the set piece with his selections 1 through 8. Izack Rodda and Adam Coleman start in the second row, and both are the lineout generals for their respective Super Rugby sides.

Rob Simmons, the caller for the Waratahs, has also won a spot on the bench.

The back row of Lukhan Tui, Michael Hooper and David Pocock is an interesting prospect. Pocock’s on-ball ability is undeniable, and it is a mobile trio.

With Pete Samu providing back-up from the bench, the battle at the breakdown will be extremely intriguing.

The questions arise in the front row.

Scott Sio’s shoulder niggle sees Tom Robertson start, alongside the returning Tatafu Polota-Nau and veteran Sekope Kepu.

Robertson was outstanding for the Waratahs in 2018, particularly in their finals run, and he thoroughly deserves his start.

However, his battle against Owen Franks is as tough as they come. It could be telling.

Taniela Tupou and Tolu Latu will be electric off the bench, expect decent minutes for both.

For the All Blacks, Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are one of the best lock pairings in the world, whilst the evergreen Kieran Read returns from injury to skipper his side.

Desperation and suffocation in defence – the recipe for success
The Wallabies primary issue is not scoring points, it’s in not conceding them. Their attack is at its best, electric, and in Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale, they have two of the form attacking weapons in world rugby. The return of Will Genia should also be a timely boost.

However, if the Wallabies are to win, they need to approach Game One in Sydney with the defensive intensity and line speed they displayed in Game One against Ireland at Suncorp Stadium a couple of months ago.

On that occasion, David Pocock was immense at breakdown time, and the Irish had literally no answer to the ferocity of the wall that was the Wallabies defence that night.

For 80 minutes, Cheika’s men out-enthused, out-tackled, and out-thought a very impressive rugby outfit.

Anything short of that performance will spell defeat for the men in gold.

Why the Wallabies can win
Form. The last time the Wallabies clashed with the All Blacks, they came away victors.

While that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) translate to them starting as favourites in Game One as Steve Hansen facetiously suggested mid-week, it certainly should instil the belief in the Wallabies playing group that they have the ability to win, and win well.

Why the Wallabies can’t win
Form! The All Blacks are still the absolute gold standard in world rugby, and they have a scarcely believable record in recent years.

Since Steve Hansen took over from Graham Henry in 2012, they have won 76 games from 85 starts at a respectable 89.5 per cent win rate. Ridiculous.

They have a clinical, accurate forward pack, which so often lays a winning platform for an enigmatic and highly damaging backline.

I think the All Blacks starting XV isa better-rounded and more complete side. However, Cheika’s bench has a few weapons, particularly in the front row. If used properly, it could make for a frenetic last 20 minutes when bodies start getting tired.

I think it will be an extremely close fixture, however the experience and X-Factor of the All Blacks should just be enough to get the job done at a bumper ANZ Stadium.

All Blacks by 8


Australia vs New Zealand rugby: TV channel, live stream, kick-off time and team news for Bledisloe Cup

Australia vs New Zealand rugby: TV channel, live stream, kick-off time and team news for Bledisloe Cup
AUS vs NZ rugby online

FIERCE enemies Australia and New Zealand have both endorsed the All Blacks’ use of the haka after the tradition Maori war dance came under fierce criticism.

Ahead of the first Bledisloe Cup – the Rugby Championship opener – reported comments in a rugby book questioned the value of the haka in the modern era.

AUS vs NZ rugby

The All Blacks will perform the haka as usual

But support from the All Blacks was matched by the Wallabies, who are also looking for a more extensive indigenous recognition for their jersey in future.

Said New Zealand flanker Sam Cane: “From an All Blacks point of view we love doing the haka.

“We’re well aware of the strong history that it has and it’s part of who we are as All Blacks – it’s as strong and powerful as ever, in my opinion.”

Wallaby halfback Will Genia jumped to the All Blacks defence saying he didn’t believe the haka was over-commercialised.
All Blacks flanker Sam Cane says the haka is ‘part of who we are’
AUS vs NZ rugby
Wallaby halfback Will Genia jumped to New Zealand’s defence

He said: “They don’t do it for commercial purpose. They do it because it is something that is important to them in terms of their culture.

“From our perspective, we have an incredible amount of respect for it.”

What TV channel is Australia vs New Zealand on and can I live stream the game?

You can see the match live on Sky Sports Action with coverage starting at 10.30am.
To stream the game live without a Sky subscription, you can buy a Sky Sports Day Pass from Now TV for £7.98.
Alternatively, you can follow the action in SunSport’s LIVE blog
Michael Hooper has been declared fit for the Wallabies

What time is the kick-off?

The match gets underway on Saturday, August 18 at 11.05am
It will be played at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

Team news

Australia captain Michael Hooper has been cleared to play after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Prop Scott Sio and winger Dane Haylett-Petty have also been given the green light.


Aussie giant Scott Sio has also been given the green light


But All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams is still ruled out

The squad, trimmed down from 36, includes only two uncapped players in outside backs Tom Banks and Jack Maddocks.

That’s after Rory Arnold, Curtis Rona and Sefa Naivalu were cut from the preliminary training squad.

All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams has been ruled out for both Tests against Australia to continue a horror injury run that also saw him miss the entire France series on home soil.

Williams missed the first two Test against France with a knee injury and hasn’t played since damaging a shoulder joint in the third Test.


2018 Bledisloe Cup Live Stream and Wallabies Free to Air TV Replay

2018 Bledisloe Cup Live Stream and Wallabies Free to Air TV Replay

The Bledisloe Cup is one of the most iconic pieces of silverware in world sport, played between the New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies across three tests.

The All Blacks have held the trophy since 2003, with home ground advantage being vital, with home ground advantage being vital, but the 2018 edition will see each side getting one game with a third potential decider to be staged on neutral soil in Japan, and you need not miss a key moment of the series when watching at home on your TV or streaming the matches live to a mobile device.

2018 Bledisloe Cup Preview

The Bledisloe Cup is a test series between Australia and New Zealand, that has become one of the most fiercely contested annual traditions in the sport of Rugby. The All Blacks have held the iconic trophy since 2003, and will look to raise the Cup once again. Last year’s three test Bledisloe Cup series was regarded by some as the one that got away from the Wallabies. They were terrible in game one, then arguably should have won game two before pinching the third game at Suncorp Stadium by 23-18. There is renewed hope for Australia leading into the Bledisloe Cup given some key Australian players doing some good things recently during the Super Rugby season.

The Wallabies will look to take advantage of home ground advantage, which is especially important because Australia haven’t posted two consecutive victories over the All Blacks since 2001. A quick start is essential for a variety of reasons, none more so than the fact that the All Blacks are near unbeatable at home, with the last win in New Zealand for the Wallabies coming in 2001 at Dunedin, so safe to say it’s been a while between drinks. Game one will be at ANZ Stadium before the dreaded trip to Eden Park. Then should there be a decider, the teams will play on October 27 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.

2018 Bledisloe Cup Live

2018 Bledisloe Cup Live TV (AEST)

Saturday 18 August LIVE: Wallabies v All Blacks at 8.05pm (Foxtel/Ten)
Saturday 25 August LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at 5.35pm (Foxtel/Ten)
Saturday 27 Oct LIVE: All Blacks v Wallabies at TBD (Foxtel/Ten)

Shown as Sydney time, adjust for regional differences. Full Bledisloe Cup replays available on Fox Sports 501 shortly after each match concludes.

Watch or Stream the Bledisloe Cup Live

While you can find the Bledisloe Cup on Free to Air TV in Australia (ch. 10), Fox Sports 501 (Foxtel) is the only channel that will also televise the entire 2018 Rugby Championship series live, in HD, and with no ad-breaks during play, along with replays of the games for those who want to catch up.

So if you’re a resident of Australia you may wish to consider the Foxtel Sports Combo TV Pack which will offer this exciting Rugby action in full, and if you have to be out and about you can stream the Bledisloe Cup free through the Foxtel app within minutes of getting started.


Wallabies Preview

The Wallabies will have to break a hoodoo and make history in order to win back the Bledisloe Cup. They were brave earlier in the year against Six Nations champs Ireland but just felt short in a three-test series. They beat the All Blacks last year at Suncorp Stadium proving the task can be achieved if their mind is put to it. Given the potential for history, you don’t want to miss any portion of the action as the Bledisloe Cup free to air broadcasts (ch. Ten) include ad-breaks during play.

All Blacks Preview

The reigning champs came to the end of a golden era after the World Cup (2015), but there still appears to be real class and dominance about their play, as we saw earlier in the year against the French. The side is filled with experience and class right across the board, despite some injuries which occurred during the latter part of the Super Rugby Season. This is one of the great sporting sides in the world, not just in Rugby Union, and despite us Aussies naturally wanting to hate the All Blacks, you do have to give them enormous respect for what they have done.

Bledisloe Cup Players To Watch

Israel Folau is the best player in the Wallabies side, by a mile, and that was clearly evident during the recent Super Rugby Finals Series. But for some Australians, he’s a polarizing figure because of his recent strong stance on a certain social issue. Just the same, if Australia are to win the goods, Folau needs the ball in his hands as often as possible, and you can enjoy watching the Bledisloe Cup live online.

Kieran Read has been an unbelievable captain since the retirement of Richie McCaw but you’d have to question how match fit he is given a knee injury saw him miss quite a large chunk of the Super Rugby Season for the Crusaders along with the three-test series against France. His leadership on the field in the forward pack is absolutely vital to the All Blacks. They proved too good for France, but Australia with a young, vibrant forward pack, will prove different gravy.

Another Australian player that should be watched quite closely is Bernard Foley, who has really stood up in recent weeks, leading the NSW Waratahs superbly as skipper and he was one of the real stars in their Quarter Final win, showing unbelievable poise with the ball in hand. That will be needed for the Wallabies if they are any chance of winning this series, especially game one. If he folds under the pressure, then the All Blacks will open them right up.

The 2018 State of Origin Series

The 2018 State of Origin Series

Welcome to The Roar‘s coverage of the 2018 State of Origin series, including news, previews, video, highlights and team announcements. We’ll be updating this page daily as the latest news breaks.

Click here Watch Now Live Coverage


In 2018, one game will be played in Melbourne, followed by games in Sydney and Brisbane.

New South Wales will head into the series with a new coach as Brad Fittler takes the reigns from Laurie Daley. Kevin Walters will again coach the Maroons after a successful 2017 series.

The Maroons have won 11 of the last 12 series, but will head into 2018 without stalwarts of that success Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.

The fixtures for the 2018 State of Origin series were announced in November.

Date Time (AEDT) Home Away Venue
Game 1 Wed Jun 6 8:00 PM Queensland Maroons New South Wales Blues Melbourne Cricket Ground
Game 2 Sun Jun 24 8:00 PM New South Wales Blues Queensland Maroons ANZ Stadium, Homebush
Game 3 Wed Jul 11 8:00 PM Queensland Maroons New South Wales Blues Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

*Important note – most Origin games commence later than this time. The exact kick-off, after the Australian national anthem is performed, and TV specials are completed, is closer to 8:15pm.

2017 State of Origin series

In 2017, Queensland won the series making it 11 series wins in the last 12 years after taking a dominant 22-6 victory over NSW at Suncorp Stadium, with Valentine Holmes scoring three tries.

Holmes scored two tries in the first half of Game 3 to give Queensland a 12-0 advantage at half time. A Josh Dugan try brought it back to 12-6, but a third from Holmes and one from Jarrod Wallace saw Queensland run away with a 22-6 series-deciding victory.

Queensland’s Dane Gagai was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series, becoming just the first winger in the history of Origin to take home the award.

Earlier in the series, the Blues cruised to a 28-4 Game 1 win in Brisbane before the Maroons hit back with a nailbiting 18-16 win in Game 2 in Sydney to set up the decider, courtesy of a last-gasp Johnathan Thurston conversion after Dane Gagai scored two tries in the second half.

History and format

Considered by many as the pinnacle of rugby league, State Of Origin is one of Australia’s premier sporting events, played in front of sold-out stadiums. The series itself is contested between New South Wales and Queensland, who have formed an epic rivalry that has resulted in some of the toughest and most skilful games ever.

Since its inception in 1980, the results between NSW and QLD had been extraordinarily even, contributing further to the competition’s success, until a 12-year streak in which Queensland have won 11 series. Overall the Maroons have won 24 series compared to the Blues’ 13.

In recent years, State of Origin has been played on Wednesday nights, spaced three weeks apart. In 2018 though, the second game of the series will be played as a stand alone game on Sunday night in Sydney. The first and third games will remain on Wednesday nights.

Year-by-year Origin history

2017 series

2017 Game 1: New South Wales made a positive start to the series, clinching a 28-4 victory away from home.

2017 Game 2: The Maroons returned the favour during Game 2 though, coming from behind in the second half to win 18-16.

2017 Game 3: The Blues never recovered as they travelled north for Game 3, looking like a shell of the team they were in the first game of the series, eventually going down 22-6 to lose another series.

2016 series

2016 Game 1: The first game of the series saw Queensland take a low-scoring 6-4 victory away from home.

2016 Game 2: Queensland wrapped up the series in straight sets. It was another tight affair, but more open with more points as the Maroons clinnched a 26-16 victory.

2016 Game 3: New South Wales picked up a consolation victory in Game 3, taking an 18-14 victory with a miracle try on the buzzer.

2015 series – how it happened

2015 Game 1: Queensland won the first match of the State of Origin series 11-10, at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

2015 Game 2: A record 91,514 fans packed the MCG in Melbourne. NSW won the match 26-18 thanks to a heroic performance from Michael Jennings, forcing a decider which was played in Brisbane.

2015 Game 3: 52,500 people were in Suncorp Stadium to witness a complete domination from the Maroons, who won 52-6. The 46-point win was the biggest winning margin in Queensland Origin history.

2014 series – how it happened

Game 1 of the 2014 series on May 28 saw the two teams take to Suncorp Stadium. The build-up was as tense, and when the teams took the park the action was ferocious.

Despite an early Darius Boyd try, New South Wales enjoyed the ascendency in the first half, with tries to Brett Morris and Jarryd Hayne seeing them take a 10-4 lead.

As the second half began, a penalty goal took the Blues to a 12-4 lead, but Darius Boyd’s second try brought the game back to life. The Blues however didn’t relent, and managed to hold off at fast-finishing Queensland to win 12-8.

Game 2 was competitive, controversial, and full of niggle, which made for a low-scoring contest. But NSW’s 6-4 win resulted in their first series victory over Queensland since 2005.

Queensland took two penalty goals either side of halftime through Johnathan Thurston. But Trent Hodkinson managed to convert pressure into points for the Blues, when after five consecutive sets attacking the Queensland line he slipped through the Maroons’ defence for the only try of the match.

There was a controversial moment at the end of the match, with the ball brushing Aaron Woods before going dead on the full, but the Blues were awarded a penalty, and held on for the win and the series victory.

Game 3 was a ‘dead rubber’ by name, but was still played with passion, pride and intensity. It showed the Queensland team of old, as the Maroons piled on five tries to thrash the Blues 32-8.

Although they only took a 6-2 lead into halftime, the win was built on the back of an opening half where NSW were forced to get through a mountain of defensive work. As a result, the Maroons managed four tries in a clinic of attacking play in the second half.

Tries to Aiden Guerra, Billy Slater, Darius Boyd and Cooper Cronk saw the Maroons home in a thrashing, but it didn’t stop Blues skipper Paul Gallen from holding aloft the shield after the match in front of 50,000 Queenslanders.