Romanian captain Mihai Macovei will miss his country’s pivotal final Pool D match with Italy on Sunday after being suspended for a fortnight for a dangerous tackle.
The 28-year-old loose forward was hailed as a hero earlier in the week for his 2 tries in Romania’s superb comeback from 0 / 15 down to beat Canada 17 / 15 and set his team up for Sunday’s match where the winner will seal 3rd place and automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
However, he fell foul of the citing commissioner and has now been found guilty of a dangerous tackle during the Canada match.
“Mihai Macovei has been suspended for 2 weeks for a dangerous tackle contrary to Law 10(4)(e),” read the statement from the disciplinary commission.
Samoa coach Stephen Betham made 7 changes for the Pacific Islanders’ final Pool B game against Scotland in Newcastle on Saturday.
The 26 / 5 defeat against Japan in Samoa’s previous match prompted Betham to field new combinations in the midfield and among his loose forwards.
Rey Lee-Lo and George Pisi will form a new centre pairing, while Maurie Faasavalu, Jack Lam and Alafoti Faosiliva will be together in the loose forwards for the 1st time.
Samoa, who will be captained by scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali’i, cannot advance beyond the pool stages.
Namibia captain Jacques Burger has been ruled out of his country’s final Pool C game against Argentina on Sunday, thereby ending an illustrious international career.
Burger suffered a confirmed concussion, 9 minutes into the match against Georgia on Wednesday evening at Sandy Park in Exeter and will not be able to play against the Argentinian Pumas in Leicester.
Burger’s test career for Namibia spanned over 9 years and 36 caps, which included 3 Rugby World Cup appearances in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Last night he equalled Hugo Horn’s 11 Rugby World Cup appearances for his country.
Before the team’s departure for Leicester on Thursday morning, Burger reflected on his career.
“It was a huge disappointment that I could not complete last night’s match and an even bigger disappointment that I will not be able to play on Saturday. I am very proud of my team and it is not the way that you would want to end an international career. But that’s the game of rugby for you.”
Vodacom Blue Bulls openside flanker Deon Stegmann returns to the starting line-up to take on the Steval Pumas in the Mbombela Stadium on Friday.
Stegmann was a late withdrawal from the team that beat the EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld last weekend. That prompted the call-up of Clyde Davids to the bench and Jacques du Plessis moving to the flank, but with Stegmann fit again, it is back to the regular starting pack for the match in Nelspruit.
Du Plessis and Marvin Orie will start at lock, with RG Snyman dropping back to the bench in place of Davids.
Head Coach Vern Cotter today named the Scotland team to face Samoa in this Saturday’s decisive Rugby World Cup Pool B match at St James’ Park, Newcastle (kick-off 15:30 SA Time, 14:30 UK Time, 13:30 GMT).
A win would guarantee the Scots a place in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup for the 7th time since the competition’s inauguration in 1987.
Standing in their way are the formidable Pacific Islanders who, despite being out of contention for the last 8, will look to end their campaign on a positive note.
Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “Every Test match is a ‘must-win’ when you represent your country.
“We’ve put in a huge amount of work to get us to this point, and our performances and commitment have put us in a position to qualify for the last eight. We’ll need to be up to the challenge, enjoy the opportunity, and maintain the awareness needed to play to our strengths and impose our game.”
Veteran midfielder Ma’a Nonu will play his 100th Test match for the New Zealand All Blacks, when they face Tonga in a Rugby World Cup Pool C match on Friday.
Nonu, who made his All Blacks Test debut in 2003, has had 83 Test starts in his stellar career, scored 29 tries and is the most capped All Blacks inside centre.
He will become the All Blacks 6th Test centurion on Friday and will line up alongside 3 of those centurions – hooker Keven Mealamu, prop Tony Woodcock and flyhalf Dan Carter.
“On behalf of the All Blacks, we would like to congratulate Ma’a on this special milestone,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.
“He has been an incredibly valued member of our group for a very long time.
“He has been fully committed to enhancing the All Blacks jersey and the values that go with it.
The Barbarians received a significant boost ahead of their match against Argentina at Twickenham on 21 November.
5 Australian Wallabies players have been added to the squad, which already includes a host of Springbok legends.
4 Of the Wallabies played a key role in last Saturday’s victory over England, which knocked the hosts out of the Rugby World Cup.
Wallaby captain Stephen Moore tops the list of Wallabies that will team up with their Springbok rivals.
Prop Greg Holmes, losse forward Scott Fardy and fellow loose forward Michael Hooper complete the list.
The team will be coached by Australian mentor Michael Cheika.
The list of South Africans already included is headed by lock legends Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha.
The international invitational side will also feature other Springboks like Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira and Patrick Lambie.
Samoa wing Alesana Tuilagi has been suspended for 5 weeks for striking a player with his knee in their game against Japan.
It means he will not be available for Samoa’s final pool fixture against Scotland on Saturday and will not be available to turn out for his Newcastle Falcons club side before 10 November.
Tuilagi was cited for kneeing Harumichi Tatekawa in the 2nd minute of the match, won last weekend by Japan by 26 / 5.
He denied foul play. But after reviewing all camera angles the citing was upheld by judicial officer Antony Davies.
Australian Wallabies star Israel Folau is battling to be fit for their final Pool A clash – the table-topping decider with Wales.
Assistant coach Stephen Larkham delivered the bad news to the media.
Folau, lynchpin of the Wallabies formidable backline, did not train on Monday, but got a run out on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old is still feeling the effects of the knock to the ankle that forced him to quit the action in the devastating 33 / 13 defeat they inflicted on hosts England last Saturday.
While he is still in the game to play the Welsh, little hope is given to wing Rob Horne, who left the England match in the 10th minute because of a shoulder injury.
Beleaguered England coach Stuart Lancaster dropped controversial rugby league convert Sam Burgess amid mass changes for the side’s last Rugby World Cup pool game against Uruguay.
Burgess, who was Lancaster’s most argued over squad selection when he got the nod ahead of the more battle-hardened Luther Burrell, does not even make the replacements bench in the dead-rubber game.
4 Players – Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Danny Care and Alex Goode – will make their 1st Rugby World Cup starts in Saturday’s game in Manchester.
Chris Robshaw remains captain despite calls for him to be dropped after the calamitous defeat to Australia last Saturday.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs utility back Rayno Benjamin has escaped all sanction after he appeared before a SARU Judicial Hearing late on Monday afternoon.
According to the SARU Regulations, a player must appear before a judicial hearing after receiving 2 Yellow Cards in 1 match or 3 overall in a competition.
Benjamin was shown 2 Yellow Cards in their match against the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit in Round 9 of the Currie Cup – 1 for a dangerous tackle and another for a team offence, resulting in a Red Card.
He also received a Yellow Card against DHL Western Province earlier in the competition, to take his total tally to 3 in the competition.
His hearing was held late via teleconference before Duty Judicial Officer advocate Rob Stelzner, who decided not to impose any further sanction on the player.
Benjamin was therefore deemed available for selection for the Toyota Free State Cheetahs’ home fixture against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
3 DHL Western Province players have found themselves on the injury list following their massive defeat to the Xerox Golden Lions in Johannesburg.
Kobus van Wyk (hamstring contusion), Chris Cloete (calf muscle) and Cheslin Kolbe (bone bruising and a knock to shoulder) are all unavailable for selection for their final round-robin match against the Eastern Province Kings at Newlands on Friday.
The trio joins Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) and Rynhardt Elstadt (quadricep), who remains on the injured list and are also unavailable.
There is a silver lining for the Cape side though, as both Jano Vermaak and Dillyn Leyds have recovered from their groin strains and are available for selection.
New Zealand All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo, on the comeback trail from a broken leg, is again under an injury cloud and in doubt for their final Pool C match against Tonga on Friday.
The try-scoring specialist is in need of game time after being sidelined for 3 months and the All Blacks will wait until the last minute before naming their team on Wednesday to decide if he will be fit enough to play.
Naholo missed the All Blacks 1st 2 games as he completed his recovery from a leg fracture.
He then exploded onto the Rugby World Cup stage with a sensational try, with his 1st touch of the ball in the 3rd game against Georgia which the All Blacks won 43 / 10 to confirm their quarterfinal berth.
Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni has had to drop out of his last Rugby World Cup after doctors discovered a tumor in his back, the Italian team manager revealed on Monday.
The 33-year-old Argentina-born star – fondly known as ‘Castro’ – will see a specialist about whether he requires surgery.
“Martin has pain on a sciatic nerve and after a check doctors found a tumor pressing on his 5th vertebra that is causing inflammation and pain,” team manager Luigi Troiani said.
“We are sure it is benign and tomorrow he will fly to Milan to see a specialist. The likelihood is he will require surgery.”
Castrogiovanni has been 1 of the leading props in the world over the past decade, playing for Toulon in France and Leicester in England.
Samoa’s hopes of rescuing something from a wretched Rugby World Cup campaign suffered a new blow after Faifili Levave and Alesana Tuilagi were cited over incidents during Saturday’s defeat by Japan.
Levave was sin-binned for the offence he has been cited for by independent Citing Commissioner Yves Thieffine, which is for “playing the opponent without the ball”.
Tuilagi, who enjoyed a successful spell with Leicester Tigers finishing leading try scorer in 2012, has been cited for an offence which was not seen at the time by South African referee Craig Joubert.
Tuilagi was accused of an alleged foul “striking with the knee” in the 2nd minute of the Pool B match in Milton Keynes, said a World Rugby statement. Japan won the game 26 / 5.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer decided to keep continuity for South Africa’s final Rugby World Cup Pool B match.
The Springboks face the United States at London’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.
The starting line-up shows only 2 changes from the team that recorded a 34 / 16 victory over Scotland in Newcastle last Saturday.
As a result Frans Malherbe will start his 1st match of the season for South Africa, while Rudy Paige could make his Test debut off the bench against the United States.
Malherbe comes in at tighthead prop for Jannie du Plessis, in the only change to the pack.
The backline shows only 1 personnel change as well – at wing, where Lwazi Mvovo takes over from JP Pietersen, with Bryan Habana moving over to the right wing.
Pietersen was not considered this week due to injury, while a decision was taken to give Du Plessis and Victor Matfield time to get over some niggles due to the short turn-around after the Scotland match.
Joining Paige on the bench is Morné Steyn, who both could get their 1st taste of Rugby World Cup action this year.
Schalk Brits and Coenie Oosthuizen are also back amongst the replacements this week.
South Africa’s Springboks have restored a semblance of order and normality again, after the shock loss in Round 1 against Japan, which was followed up by good wins over Samoa and Scotland on the weekend.
The Springboks now top their Rugby World Cup Pool (Pool B), leading Scotland by 1 Log Point (11 points to 10), after the same amount of games and with only 1 Round of Pool stage games left.
Japan is not out of the running in the Pool yet, a further 2 points adrift, but with their only remaining game the one against the USA Eagles and one they could well win as well.
The focus for the Springboks now shift to the game against the USA Eagles on Wednesday evening.
While there has been praise and some redemption for the Springboks and Heyneke Meyer, the job is not yet done.
The only injury concern is that of JP Pietersen, who suffered a knee injury on the weekend against Scotland.
There has been a lot of praise heaped on Handré Pollard for his performance against Scotland, playing next to the captain and general of the day, Fourie du Preez.
Lood de Jager, who was named Man Of The Match against Scotland deserves all the plaudits he is currently getting but he remains focussed and humble in the process, declaring that he’ll defend his country with everything he’s got.
In the meantime, speculation has been rife and a lot of opinion has been bandied about regarding the team selection for the game against USA on Wednesday and one of the 1st questions asked is if Rudy Paige will be drafted into the match-day 23 for the USA clash. Only 2 players have not had any game time yet, Paige and Morné Steyn.
Australian wing Rob Horne remains a doubt to play against Wales but his tournament is not over yet, Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey said Monday.
The 26-year-old had to go off in the 10th minute of Australia’s crushing 33 / 13 win over England on Saturday which consigned their opponents to becoming the 1st World Cup hosts to fail to get out of the pool stage.
“Rob Horne’s scans and tests came back a bit better than expected,” said Grey at the Australian’s morning press conference.
Australian Wallabies flank Michael Hooper could miss the Pool A decider with Wales after being cited over an incident during their crushing 33 / 13 defeat of England.
The incident concerning the 23-year-old – who along with fellow back row forward David Pocock were outstanding against England – took place in the 39th minute when he flung himself into a ruck leading with his shoulder which resulted in just a ticking off by French referee Romain Poite and a penalty being awarded to England when it was deep inside their own 22.
However, the independent citing commissioner Steve Hinds decided further action should be taken.
“Michael Hooper has been cited for an alleged act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4(h) – Charging into a ruck or maul without use of the arms or grasping the player – during the 39th minute of the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match between England and Australia at Twickenham on Saturday, 3 October,” read the statement form the organisers.
Hooper’s hearing will take place on Tuesday morning in London and be heard by independent Judicial Officer Alan Hudson.
The Eastern Province Kings’ injury list just keeps on growing as a further 6 players have been added to the ‘already injured’ list.
Knee injuries seems to be common among the EP Kings players – 5 players have already undergone surgery and will be out for a number of weeks – and lock Steven Sykes has now added his name to that list.
Aidon Davis (6 months), Gary van Aswegen (2 weeks), George Whitehead (2 months), Cameron Lindsay (9 months) and Luke Watson (pre-season) have all already had knee surgery and a call on Sykes’ availability for the final Round clash with DHL Western Province will be decided later in the week.
Other than Sykes, there are a further 5 players who emerged with injuries following their 27 / 48 defeat at the hands of the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Martin Ferreira (dead leg), Tom Botha (elbow), Dwayne Kelly (hamstring strain), Tim Whitehead (AC joint) and Luther Obi (ankle sprain) will all be treated and monitored during the week.
The Steval Pumas dramatic comeback to secure a 37 / 37 draw against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs came at a cost, as no less than 6 players picked up a few niggles.
According to the team physiotherapist, Luzahn Louw, 5 forwards and 1 backline player will be re-assessed during the week to determine their availability for the Pumas’ final Currie Cup match against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Nelspruit on Friday.
Fullback JW Bell will undergo a sonar scan on the same hamstring he injured 2 weeks ago while loose forward Jaco Bower will have to wait for x-rays to determine whether or not he has broken his cheek bone.
Fellow loose forwards Uzair Cassiem (neck spasm strain) and Jason-Colin Fraser (quad contusion) are also on the injury list. Joining them are lock Marius Coetzer, who damaged knee cartilage and picked up a hamstring strain, as well as Springbok prop Vincent Koch, who a picked up a knee contusion.
The Scotland squad issued the following medical bulletin on Sunday after Saturday’s (3 October) 34 / 16 loss to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup at St James’ Park.
Hooker Ross Ford failed an in-game HIA (head injury assessment) meaning he will now follow the graduated return-to-play protocol, as will centre Matt Scott, who reported delayed onset concussion symptoms post match.
Fullback Stuart Hogg left the field of play in the 63rd minute of the Test match having suffered cramp to his legs and lower back, however he is not considered an immediate concern.
Further knocks include a dead leg for lock Jonny Gray and a mild knee strain for centre Richie Vernon. Both players will continue to be monitored and rehabilitated by the Scotland medical team.
World Cup chiefs have banned Fiji prop Manasa Saulo for 10 weeks for stamping on the head of Wales’ player Luke Charteris.
The ban is the toughest handed out yet for an offence at the Rugby World Cup. Saulo jumped on Wales replacement Charteris during Fiji’s 23 / 13 defeat in Cardiff on Thursday.
Rugby World Cup said the offence was considered at the “top end” of the danger scale and that judicial officer Adam Casselden of Australia had considered a 4 month ban.
“However, taking into account mitigating factors including his early admission, disciplinary record, good character and remorse and the absence of any off-field aggravating factors, the player was suspended for a period of 10 weeks,” said a statement.
The Eastern Province Kings, for the 3rd time this year, have taken to public protest over unpaid salaries.
The EP Kings matchday 22 wore white armbands in their 27 / 48 Currie Cup loss to the Vodacom Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
This move was in support of non-playing squad members who have to date not received their salaries for the month September.
On 2 occasions this year the players went on strike over unpaid wages – 1st over their June and July wages, which was eventually paid when the South African Rugby Union bailed out the EP Rugby Union, and then against in August.
It is unclear who bailed the EP Rugby Union out the 2nd time.
Jannie du Plessis is telling the story of the day the Springboks decided to change their entire lineout book in the build-up to Saturday’s World Cup match with Scotland.
The tighthead prop, with 66 caps packed into his near-33 years, bows his head and laughs.
“It was Monday. Black Monday,” he explains.
“Our forwards coach came in and said, ‘OK, on the weekend Scotland will have Josh Strauss and WP Nel in their team. We respect them as rugby players and we respect their ability to understand lineout calls in Afrikaans. So we’re changing our calls.’
“We said, ‘What? All of them?’ Our coach said, ‘Yes, every one. We start today.’ There was more than 1 sigh of frustration in that room, I can tell you. We were saying, ‘No! How am I going to learn all of this in a week!’ Maybe it’s a blessing. We made so many mistakes with the old ones. Maybe we needed to change anyway.”
Fourie du Preez will become the Springboks’ 56th Test captain when he leads South Africa against Scotland on Saturday at the Rugby World Cup.
South Africa face Scotland in a must-win Pool B encounter at the Rugby World Cup St James’ Park in Newcastle on Saturday.
Du Preez made a massive impact upon his return in the match against Samoa last weekend and has been entrusted with the captaincy in the absence of the injured Jean de Villiers (fracture jaw, retired from the international stage) and Victor Matfield, who has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
Schalk Burger is the vice-captain.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer made only 3 changes to the starting line-up for Saturday’s match – 2 of them injury-enforced.
Jesse Kriel will link up again with Damian De Allende in the midfield, in the place of Jean de Villiers, while Lodewyk de Jager takes over from Victor Matfield at lock.
The 3rd change is a rotational switch at hooker – where Bismarck du Plessis returns in the place of Adriaan Strauss, who will move to the bench.
Also amongst the replacements are Pieter-Steph du Toit, Willem Alberts and Jan Serfontein, who provides cover as both centres picked up injuries last week.
Springbok midfielder Jan Serfontein was sitting at home watching the England vs Wales Rugby World Cup clash this past weekend when his phone rang, changing his life altogether.
Serfontein got a call from Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer telling him to ready himself for a trip to join the national team in the wake of Jean de Villiers’ injury.
Arriving late on Monday Serfontein joined the Springbok camp and depending on the injury report may well have to play this coming weekend against Scotland at St James’ Park in the Pool B showdown.
“I was surprised to get the call,” Serfontein admitted, “I was watching the Wales-England game and I got a call from coach Heyneke saying that Jean is injured and that he was considering picking me and he would only confirm it on Sunday.
“I couldn’t sleep the night and got the news on Sunday, but I’m happy to be here now and will do everything I can to contribute.”
Jean de Villiers successfully completed the 1irst step on his return to playing.
He underwent surgery on his broken jaw in Cape Town on Wednesday.
The Springbok captain was forced out of the Rugby World Cup, following an impact to his jaw in the match against Samoa last Saturday.
The 109-Test centre plans to continue playing, although he announced his international retirement following his exit.
“Jean had surgery in Cape Town this morning and the operation went well,” said Springbok team doctor, Craig Roberts.
“The fractured jaw was plated and his wisdom teeth were removed.”
De Villiers is currently recuperating at home and a decision on returning to England to support the Springbok team will be made in due course.
Fit-again Springbok centre Juan de Jongh returns to captain DHL Western Province in their crunch match against the Xerox Golden Lions.
De Jongh has been out of action since suffering an MCL injury against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in mid-August and his return to fitness is a massive boost for the defending champions ahead of the 2015 play-offs.
De Jongh will start at inside centre ahead of Huw Jones, as the WP coaching staff intends to control his game time upon his return to action.
In other changes to the line-up from the side that beat the Steval Pumas, Cheslin Kolbe, Nic Groom, Chris Cloete, Jean Kleyn and Steven Kitshoff all return to the starting 15.
Vodacom Blue Bulls hooker Bandise Maku will play in his 50th ABSA Currie Cup match for his team when they face EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
The former Springbok hooker made his Blue Bulls debut way back in 2006 and after stints with the Xerox Golden Lions and Eastern Province, now reaches this milestone in his 73th career Currie Cup appearance.
Maku started in last weekend’s win over the Cell C Sharks, with coach Nollis Marais changing 1 in the pack that fronted up in Durban. RG Snyman starts at lock in his 1st run-on for the senior side, swopping places with Marvin Orie, who will play off the bench. In another change, Corniel Els is on the bench for Jaco Visagie, with the latter out with an ankle sprain.
At the back, Dries Swanepoel is back at centre, replacing Jan Serfontein who received a Rugby World Cup call-up for the Springboks.
His place on the bench will be filled by William Small-Smith.
Following injury Italian captain Sergio Parisse has returned to the Azzurri squad, ahead of their Rugby World Cup encounter with Ireland.
Parisse had a very welcome arrival at Italy’s hotel on Tuesday, when – after a wait of over 2 weeks – the team’s illustrious long-time captain finally joined up with Jacques Brunel’s squad.
While Italy played France and Canada, the 32-year-old No 8 was back home in Paris recuperating and then training under the auspices of his club side, Stade Francais, following surgery earlier in September.
On Monday he was finally given the all clear to join up with the Azzurri, and less than 24 hours later he jumped on Eurostar to whizz to London.
However, there was less good news for Leonardo Ghiraldini, the man who has led the team in Parisse’s absence, but who limped off midway through the 2nd half of Italy’s 23 / 18 win over Canada at Elland Road in Leeds last Saturday.
All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo will make his eagerly-awaited World Cup debut against Georgia in Cardiff on Friday.
Naholo, who made his 1st Test appearance for the All Blacks against Argentina in the Rugby Championship in July, cracked his fibula in that match and team bosses feared he would have to miss the World Cup.
However, thanks to a traditional herbal remedy, the 24-year-old Fiji-born flyer has made a recovery that has astounded the specialists.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Waisake back on the track, he’s been jumping out of his skin at training and I’m sure he can’t wait for game day,” Hanson said.
Hansen has made 10 changes to the starting line-up that defeated Namibia on 24 September with Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino and Julian Savea making a 3rd start.
4 Players were not considered for selection due to injury – Ma’a Nonu (shoulder), Colin Slade (hamstring), Liam Messam (calf) and Beauden Barrett (whiplash).
The Brumbies have agreed to 2-year deals with 1 of Australia’s best young talents in flyhalf Nick Jooste and experienced campaigner Andrew Smith, who will return to the nation’s capital in 2016.
At the tender age of 18, Australian Schoolboy and Perth Spirit player, Jooste has already amassed quite the rugby CV, even though he is still a high school student. The Western Australian native has represented his state at Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20 levels and also represented the Western Force A side against Singapore.
He was recently selected in the Australian Schools Barbarians side that took on Samoa and New Zealand.
The young flyhalf has been a member of the Hale School’s last 3 Brother Redmond Cup winning seasons, as well as captaining the side in their most recent title. Over his 3 years in the Hale 1st 15 Jooste has tallied in excess of 450 points, scoring more than 25 tries.
In 2015 Jooste has joined the Perth Spirit in the National Rugby Championship and has turned heads with his kicking game, and vision around the field.
Fiji and Wales meet in a Pool A match tomorrow at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. The match is scheduled to kick off at 17:45 SA Time (16:45 BST, 15:45 GMT).
Both teams have made various changes to the their match day squads, with many of these changes being enforced due to injury and in Fiji’s case also in part due to suspensions.
Fiji have made 6 changes to their starting line up since their last game. Winger Timoci Nagusa is 1 of those changes, he slots into the team in place of injured Waisea Nayacalevu. Another change will see scrumhalf Niko Matawalu miss the game due to a slight niggle. Matawalu’s place in the run on team will be taken by Nemia Kenatale. Another big player missing from Fiji’s line up is winger Nemani Nadolo who is serving a 1 week ban for a dangerous tackle against Australia. His vacant berth is being filled by Aseli Tikoirotuma.
Wales have made 3 changes to their starting team from the 1 who started in their win against England on Saturday night. All 3 of the changes Wales have made are in the backline. Tyler Morgan will make his Rugby World Cup debut as he starts at outside centre in place of the injured Scott Williams. Mathew Morgan and Alex Cuthbert start at fullback and wing respectively in place of the injured duo Liam Williams and Hallam Amos.
It is said that time is a great healer, but in Heyneke Meyer’s case it will also be a great revealer.
The Springbok coach has decided to delay his team announcement by 7 hours on Wednesday as he needs more time to resolve the all-important matter of who will wear the captain’s armband in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup clash against Pool B pace-setters Scotland at St James’ Park, Newcastle.
Instead of an 11:00 SA Time (10:00 UK Time) announcement, Meyer will now name his matchday-23 at 19:00 SA Time (18:00 UK Time) on Wednesday evening.
At the heart of the delay is a plethora of injuries which have a direct bearing on the captaincy appointment. Victor Matfield is the obvious choice to replace the injured Jean de Villiers as the captain at world rugby’s showpiece, but the 38-year-old lock has a hamstring strain which he suffered in the 2nd half against Samoa last weekend.
As a result of the lengthy injury list, the Springboks forfeited Monday’s training session as several players were nursing an assortment of niggles. Matfield will have to prove his fitness at Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s training before the Springboks’ medical staff make a call on his availability.