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AustraliaAustralia’s 2015 World Cup preparations will be well tested on their end-of-season European tour in November with coach Ewen McKenzie trying to replicate their potential campaign for the Webb Ellis trophy as much as possible.

McKenzie’s side will play five matches on five successive weekends, which includes clashes against World Cup Pool A opponents England and Wales.

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Rugby World Cup 2015South AfricaSouth African rugby fans need not worry about securing match tickets for Springbok matches at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England following the establishment of SA Rugby Travel, it was announced on Tuesday.

The new company – a joint venture between the South African Rugby Union and Tourvest Destination Management – has secured thousands of tickets for likely Springbok matches and tailored packages to suit a wide range of fans’ pockets and experience choices.

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ERCA new European Cup accord will be signed this week after nearly two years of fraught negotiations and stand-offs. The six unions involved in the tournament, together with officials from competing sides in England, France and Wales, met in Paris on Monday to finalise the details.

It was hoped the stakeholders would be able to sign the heads of agreement at the meeting but the translation of the document into Italian was completed only over the weekend and their rugby federation said it had not had time to fully scrutinise it.

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SIX-NationsWales, France, Ireland, England, Scotland and Italy have named thie teams for the weekend’s Six Nations action.

Wales named 6 changes in their side for the clash against Scotland.

France made 4 changes to their side, including bringing back Gael Fickou, for their clash against Ireland on the weekend.

Ireland made just 1 change to their side to face France.

England made no changes to their starting side and has made only 1 change on the bench, bringing back Manusamoa Tuilagi in the place of Alex Goode, for their clash with Italy in Rome.

After initially only naming the forwards and sweating over the composition of his backline, Scotland coach, Scott Johnson, has named his backline, with Edinburgh winger Dougie Fife winning his first cap.

Italy coach, Jacques Brunel, has made 3 changes to the Italy side, to face England, with Sergio Parisse returning to the fold and leading the team.

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ItalyItaly will be without injured captain Sergio Parisse but will start with a new half-back pairing of Luciano Orquera and Tito Tebaldi for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin.

Parisse, who along with Martin Castrogiovanni picked up a record 104th cap for Italy against Scotland in Rome, is suffering from a calf injury and is just one of several third row players missing from Jacques Brunel’s squad.

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SIX-NationsThe fourth round of the 2014 RBS 6 Nation Championship takes place this weekend with the first match kicking off in Dublin on Saturday where Ireland host Italy. Scotland are hosts to France shortly after this, while the final game of the weekend takes place on Sunday with England hosting Wales at Twickenham.

There  has been a bit of a gap in Six Nations action with no games played last weekend and so the thinking has been that this may be a good time to share an article to remind us of the action from the previous round.

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EnglandEngland named experienced tighthead prop David Wilson in place of the injured Dan Cole in their team to play Ireland in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.

The inclusion of Wilson on Thursday was the only change in the starting line-up from the side which beat Scotland 20 / 0 at Murrayfield two weeks ago.

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IrelandDan TuohyIreland lock Dan Tuohy suffered a fractured arm during his side’s 26 / 3 win over Wales in the Six Nations Championship in Dublin on Saturday, the Irish Rugby Football Union said on Monday.

No date has been set for his return but he is likely to miss the rest of the tournament.

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RBS Six NationsIt is the 2nd week of RBS Six Nations rugby this weekend.

As usual, there will be 3 Six Nation games on the weekend, between these 6 participationg countries, 2 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.

Ireland host Wales on Saturday, 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT).

Scotland host England on Saturday, 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).

France host Italy on Sunday, 17:00 SA Time (16:00 France Time, 15:00 GMT).

Rugby-Talk will feature LIVE GAME ARTICLES for all 3 games.

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RBS Six NationsRound 2 of the RBS Six Nations tournament follows this weekend, after an eventfull Round 1 this past weekend.

Out of the England camp, it appears that winger Jonny May, who broke his nose against France hs been passed fit to play on the weekend.

France news is that Antoine Burban will miss Sunday’s Test against Italy with a hamstring injury and is replaced in the squad by Ibrahim Diarra.

Scotland’s Sean Maitland will miss the clash against England, suffering from concussion and a right leg injury.

Ireland’s inspirational captain, Paul O’Connell, is set to return against Wales after he withdrew from the team last weekend due to a chest infection.

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RBS Six NationsThree games are played on the weekend of 1 & 2 February 2014 in the start of the 2014 RBS Six Nations tournament.

On Saturday it’s Wales vs Italy at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT) at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and thereafter it’s France vs England at 19:00 SA Time (18:00 Fr Time, 17:00 GMT) at Stade de France, Paris.

On Sunday it’s Ireland vs Scotland at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT) at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

ALL THREE MATCHES are broadcast on TV in South Africa and ALL THREE matches will have their LIVE GAME ARTICLES here on Rugby-Talk.

The Six Nations is the prime International Test tournament in the Northern Hemisphere and is a short and powerful competition where each team plays the other 5 sides only once. The winner of the tournament is decided on Log Points at the end of the tournament.

Wales are defending champions, in fact they are double defending champions and will try to make 2014 their hat trick season.

In 2013 France had a nighmare season, ending with the wooden spoon.

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FranceMention of the fact France have won the Five or Six Nations every year after a British and Irish Lions tour in the professional era can elicit deep consideration, confusion or shrugs, depending on who you mention it to.

That’s the thing about history, it can be interpreted in different ways. Or ignored. Or forgotten. Or remembered and its significance disregarded.

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MunsterCJ StanderFormer Bulls flank CJ Stander has committed to a long-term goal of playing Test rugby for Ireland by signing a two-year contract extension with Munster that will see them stay with the province until June 2016.

Stander joined Munster in October 2012 from Super Rugby side the Bulls and made his debut as a substitute against Scarlets that November at Musgrave Park.

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