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South Africa have made three changes, including a full debut for Leicester No.8 Jasper Wiese, for the crucial second Test against the British and Irish Lions.
British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has turned to tour veterans Conor Murray and Mako Vunipola for Saturday's second Test against South Africa, also handing tough-tackling Chris Harris a first start, in three changes to last weekend's winning team.Irish scrum half Murray and English prop Vunipola both came off the bench to help the Lions to a 22-17 victory at the Cape Town Stadium and now start the second match of the series at the same venue.
Former Queensland Reds playmaker Duncan Paia'aua says the help of former All Blacks star Ma'a Nonu has played a key role in helping him earn a shock Wallabies recall.Paia'aua was a surprise when Australia's squad was announced on Sunday for upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship matches.
The New Zealand government has granted the Wallabies a border exemption for the Bledisloe Cup.Dave Rennie's Wallabies will leave their Queensland training camp in Queensland on Friday, arriving across the Tasman in time to beat the reinstatement of mandatory quarantine.
Australia's men will miss the medals in Tokyo after their attempts to crack Fiji's defence proved futile in a frustrating 19-0 rugby sevens quarter-final loss.After sneaking into the final eight, the inconsistent Australian side had every chance of pulling off an upset against the defending Olympic champions on Tuesday when they trailed 7-0 with three minutes to play.
Rassie Erasmus has resumed taking pot shots at the British and Irish Lions on Twitter after posting footage to highlight what he describes as "reckless and dangerous" play.The clip comes from South Africa's 22-17 defeat in Cape Town on Saturday and sees Ali Price tackle Cheslin Kolbe close to the touchline before Mako Vunipola picks the Springboks wing up off the floor.
New Zealand Rugby has all but confirmed the Bledisloe Cup will begin with two Tests in New Zealand following the popping of the trans-Tasman bubble.Last Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced quarantine-free travel from Australia would cease for eight weeks, throwing the Rugby Championship schedule into chaos.
Veteran playmaker Quade Cooper concedes he fell short in certain areas in the past and he's determined to use his surprise Wallabies recall to ensure Australia's brightest young rugby stars avoid the same fate.Cooper had a coffee with Wallabies coach Dave Rennie last week in which he agreed to link up with the squad as a training partner before they flew out to New Zealand.
Australia will meet New Zealand in a crucial men's sevens clash on Tuesday, likely needing an upset win to remain in the medal hunt after a horror half of rugby threatened to derail their Olympic campaign just as it began.Tim Walsh's side allowed four first-half tries in what finished as a 29-19 loss to Argentina on Monday morning, returning later in the day to notch a 42-5 win over minnows South Korea.
The Wallabies face playing two consecutive Bledisloe Cup Tests in New Zealand before taking on the All Blacks in Perth in a condensed Test schedule to accommodate COVID-19 travel restrictions.Australia were set to take on the All Blacks in Auckland on August 7, then Perth on August 21 and then Wellington for the third Cup clash on August 28.
The Wallabies have made a shock move, turning to veteran playmaker Quade Cooper with coach Dave Rennie's squad selection hit by border closures.Cooper joined the Australian training camp in Queensland on Sunday, as did another former Reds playmaker Duncan Paia'aua, who played for Queensland for five seasons before moving to French club Toulon in 2019.
Dan Biggar's boot proved the difference as the British & Irish Lions came from behind to beat world champions South Africa 22-17 in an attritional first Test match in Cape Town on Saturday.Biggar kicked four penalties and a conversion for a 14-point personal tally to take the Lions to victory after they were 12-3 down at halftime on Saturday but came back strongly in the second half.
South Africa say they won't fall into the trap of getting involved with the "mind games" of British & Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland before the eagerly-awaited opening Test clash.Head coach Gatland, looking forward to Saturday's heavyweight battle up front, claimed the Lions had already dented the Springboks' ego at the set-piece despite South Africa A having toppled the tourists 17-13 last week.
Eddie Jones has lost another key aide in his England coaching team after his right-hand man John Mitchell agreed to join Premiership club side Wasps for next season.Only in February, New Zealander Mitchell had signed a new contract taking him through to the 2023 World Cup as defence coach, but the former All Blacks coach has become the latest departure after agreeing to become an assistant at the Ricoh Arena.
The Wallabies will be forced to make a mad dash to New Zealand in the coming days after the closure of the trans-Tasman bubble threw the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship fixtures into a spin.The spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Australia has spooked NZ, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing the quarantine-free bubble closure with Australia on Friday for a period of at least eight weeks.
Marika Koroibete is officially leaving Australian rugby and the Melbourne Rebels, with the star winger confirming his move to Japan on Friday.Amid much ado in Japan, Robbie Deans' 2021 championship-winning Panasonic Wild Knights welcomed Koroibete for the country's first fully professional season next year.
The NSW Waratahs have further bolstered their playing roster with the re-signing of Wallabies loose forward Ned Hanigan for the 2022 Super Rugby season.Currently contracted to Kurita Water Gush in the Japanese Top League, Hanigan will return to Sydney after he completes his commitments in Japan, most likely in April.
British & Irish Lions prop Wyn Jones is bracing for a tough challenge against world champions South Africa who are known for their physicality.Jones will pack down at the front of the scrum when the Lions take on the Springboks in the first of three Tests in front of empty stands at the 55,000-seater Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa will have to dust off the cobwebs and put aside disrupted preparations if they are to underline their status as world champions in Saturday's first Test against the British & Irish Lions.At the same time, the Lions' own potential faces a far tougher examination than that of the first five games of their tour, as the test at the Cape Town Stadium promises to be a major step up in physicality and intensity.
The NSW Waratahs have continued their recruitment drive, luring versatile forward Jed Holloway back to Sydney on a two-year Super Rugby deal.Holloway, with 58 NSW caps, left the Waratahs at the end of the 2020 season and spent the past year in Japan playing alongside former teammate and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper at Toyota Verblitz.
Alun Wyn Jones' remarkable return from injury is complete after he was named captain of the British & Irish Lions side to face South Africa at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.Lock Jones had initially been ruled out of the tour after he dislocated his shoulder in the warm-up victory over Japan on June 26, but with the injury less severe than first feared he was able to re-join the squad in Cape Town last week and played 30 minutes against the Stormers on Saturday.
All Blacks lock and Blues captain Patrick Tuipulotu will spend next season playing in Japan after signing a contract with New Zealand Rugby through to 2025.Tuipulotu led the Blues to the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman title in June and has been linked with Top League side Toyota Verblitz after the new deal permitted the lock to take a one-year sabbatical.
All three Tests between world champions South Africa and the British & Irish Lions will be played in Cape Town, officials confirmed on Tuesday, wary that the risks associated of a return to the altitude of the Highveld are too great.The second and third Tests in the series were due to be staged in Johannesburg, but with South Africa experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections driven by high numbers in the Gauteng province, the decision has been made to remain in Cape Town beyond Saturday's
Rugby World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi has recovered from COVID-19 and will lead South Africa in the first Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday at Cape Town Stadium.Kolisi was a huge doubt for the series opener having not played any part in the buildup after contracting the virus at the start of the month.
England will warm up for their clash against the Wallabies with a match against Tonga at Twickenham.The Pacific Islanders will launch the schedule on November 6 before Australia and South Africa face Eddie Jones' men on successive weekends.