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Andy Marinos

Andy Marinos

SANZAR has appointed Andy Marinos as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

His new job will formally commence on 1 January 2016 and he replaces Greg Peters – who is taking over as CEO of the new Argentina Super Rugby team.

The South African, who is no stranger to the position, having previously served as CEO between 2008 – 2010, brings a wealth of business and rugby experience to the role, both as an administrator and professional player.

Marinos re-joins SANZAR from SARU, where he has served as General Manager of Commercial & Marketing for the past 5 years, in addition to SARU Acting Managing Director and Board Member (2008 – 2010), Springbok Team Manager (2008), Manager of South African National Teams (2005 – 2010) and World Rugby Sevens Advisory Group (2008 – 2015).

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Steval PumasDie Pumas van Suid-Afrika het so byna by die Superrugby-agterdeur ingeglip, maar dié unie se plan om die OP-Kings se plek in volgende jaar se kompetisie te “kaap”, is ter elfder ure deur Cheeky Watson gefnuik.

Rapport het na bewering betroubaar verneem dat Hein Mentz, die Pumas se president, ’n volledige sakeplan aan die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugbyunie (SARU) voorgelê het, waarin hulle aanbied om die Oos-Kapenaars, wat reeds maande lank verlam is deur ’n geldkrisis, in 2016 se toernooi te vervang.

Dié plan sou die Kings “tyd gee om hul geldsake uit te sorteer” en dié franchise terug op die been te kry.

Dít het onder meer ’n groot borgskap en beloftes van geleenthede vir spesifiek swart spelers bevat en het glo die steun van die Mpumalanga-regering gehad.

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Barbarians RugbyArgentinaBarbarians (12) 31 / 49 (28) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The Barbarians and the Argentinaian Los Pumas did battle in a Barbarians Rugby 125th aniversary celebration match at

Twickenham Stadium, London at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 UK Time & GMT, 12:05 Arg Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.


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Barbarians Rugby - Victor Matfield & Bakkies Botha

The world’s most famous invitation club, the Barbarians, will aim to entertain when they celebrate their 125th year of existence.

The BaaBaas will host a strong Argentinean Los Pumas team at Twickenham on Saturday.

However, coach Michael Cheika’s message to his Barbarians team was simple.

“Keep it simple, have a go and back yourselves,” Cheika told the BaaBaas players.

Argentina have a slightly different focus.

Having finished 3rd in The Rugby Championship – the 1st time hey did not finish last – and 4th in the Rugby World Cup, they hope to finish their year on a winning note.

Wing Santiago Cordero, 1 of the sensations for the Pumas at the Rugby World up, said it is going to be a “pretty tough” game.

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Tomás Cubelli

Tomás Cubelli

The Brumbies have announced Argentine scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli will be joining the Canberra-based Super Rugby team on a 2-year deal.

Cubelli is a member of the Argentine national team and has been a standout player for Los Pumas this year including a number of strong performances in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Cubelli has 45 Test caps, the most recent being the 3rd-place playoff at the Rugby World Cup against South Africa, in which he started at scrumhalf for Los Pumas.

Brumbies CEO Michael Jones said Cubelli was presented a number of options after a very successful international season, including the new Argentinian Super Rugby side which will boast 21 of their Rugby World Cup semifinal squad, and was very happy to have secured the international star.

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Steve Tew

Steve Tew

New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew said it was premature to speculate about Japan joining The Rugby Championship.

The sport is currently on a high in the Asian nation after the Brave Blossoms’ exploits at the Rugby World Cup, which included a stunning 34 / 32 win over South Africa, but there are already concerns about its preparations for the expanded Super Rugby competition next year.

With Japan set to host the next edition of the Rugby World Cup in 2019, World Rugby is keen to consolidate its popularity in a large and potentially lucrative market.

The governing body’s chairman Bernard Lapasset said on a trip to Tokyo this week that Japan should join The Rugby Championship, which currently comprises New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina.

But New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said a more immediate concern for Japanese rugby was fielding a competitive side in the Super Rugby competition in 2016.

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Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade has named a group of 25 players to prepare for their match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on 21 November. Only 4 players come from outside of the squad that took park in the Rugby World Cup – Tomás Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Emiliano Boffelli, and Ramiro Moyano.

Of note is that all but 3 of the group is contracted to the UAR for the 2015 Super Rugby season, giving Southern Hemisphere fans an early glimpse at what the Jaguars side might look like. Exceptions include scrumhalf Ezcurra, loose forwards Leonardo Senatore, and tighthead prop Juan Pablo Orlandi. The latter was called into the Rugby World Cup group in place of Matías Diaz, ruled out with heart problems. Should Diaz by unable to take part in Super Rugby, Orlandi looks the most likely replacement.

Notable absentees are giant lock Tomás Lavanini, currently suspended, and scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli, whose squad place has been taken by Ezcurra. Cubelli’s absence could well be linked to his reported signing with the Brumbies for the Super Rugby season, with the Australian-based franchise said to have inked a 2-year deal with the Pumas star as a replacement for departed playmaker Nic White.

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Nehe Milner-Skudder

Nehe Milner-Skudder

New Zealand and Australia’s World Cup finalists join forces in a superstar Barbarians’ squad when they take on Gloucester and Argentina this month. Add a sprinkling of South Africans to it and you have the Barbarians squad.

Wing Nehe Milner-Skudder, the All Blacks’ opening try scorer in the 34 / 17 win against the Wallabies, is just 1 of 7 All Blacks in the squad.

Milner-Skudder will be joined by Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Charlie Faumuina, as well as fellow wing Waisake Naholo, when the world famous invitation club returns to action at Kingsholm on 17 November before taking on Rugby World Cup semifinalists Argentina in the Killik Cup match at Twickenham Stadium on 21 November.

Tevita Kuridrani – the scorer of Australia’s 2nd final try – has been added to the squad and joins Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and flank Scott Fardy in a 24-man group.

The squad also contains one of the world’s greatest lock partnerships in South Africa’s Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha who are backed up by rising star Lood de Jager.

Barbarians head coach Michael Cheika will have formidable firepower at his disposal with the likes of Fiji’s World Cup star Nemani Nadolo lining up with South Africa’s Pat Lambie and Australia’s Joe Tomane.

There is world class front row potential with Moore and Faumuina alongside South Africa’s Tendai Mtawarira, while flank Fardy was 1 of Australia’s most consistent Rugby World Cup performers.

There are 2 uncapped players in the squad: Cheetahs’ centre Francois Venter and Hurricanes flank Ardie Savea.

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Steval Pumas signings

The Steval Pumas have signed a total of 13 new players in a bid to become a stronger and more competitive team in the 2016 season.

MJ Mentz has also been reappointed the head coach of team on a 2 year term and will be assisted by Marius van Rensburg (operations Manager), Luzahn Louw (physiotherapist), Robin Arkell (strength and conditioning), Tobias van Niekerk (conditioning) and Ernst Kruger (assistant performance analyst).


The Pumas’ new contracted players:

Stephan Greeff (ORC Griquas), Nardus van der Walt (ORC Griquas), Francois Brummer (ORC Griquas), Hugo Kloppers (ORC Griquas), Tyler Fischer (Cell C Sharks), Marné Coetzee (Cell C Sharks), Chris Cloete (DHL Western Province), Emil Temperman (UP-TUKS), Lambert Groenewald (Xerox  Golden Lions), Ruben Johannes (SA Sevens), Dylan Petersen (UJ) and Deon Helberg (Xerox Golden Lions). Marlo van Niekerk is on loan from the EP Kings.

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World RugbyAs well as winning a host of new admirers for their adventurous approach throughout Rugby World Cup 2015, beaten semifinalists Argentina and headline-grabbing Japan have also enjoyed the biggest rise of all the competing nations in the World Rugby Rankings. Both are ranked 3 places higher than where they were when Rugby World Cup 2015 began at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 18 September.Los Pumas have moved up from 8th to 5th thanks to their 2nd place finish behind New Zealand in Pool C and the way that they effortlessly brushed Ireland aside in the quarterfinals.

A disappointing World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup campaign this summer left Japan languishing 13th in the rankings, and at that stage few people would have predicted what they would go on to achieve in England: 3 wins from 4 and a place in tournament folklore.

The Brave Blossoms’ historic 34 / 32 win over South Africa in Brighton may not have been enough to book them a place in the knockout stages but it did help them return to the world’s Top 10.

With points exchanges doubled to reflect the importance Rugby World Cup matches no-one fared better than Japan, going from 72.06 rating points pre-tournament to 77.05 at its conclusion.

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Springboks celebrate 3rd Place at Rugby World Cup 2015

Springboks celebrate 3rd Place at Rugby World Cup 2015

South Africa said goodbye to a large swathe of great players in victorious fashion when they defeated Argentina 24 / 13 in the bronze medal final on Friday.

Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Bryan Habana (above) will all be over 35 come Japan 2019, while 38-year-old Victor Matfield, who captained them in the bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, has already announced his retirement for the 2nd time.

All 4 were members of a glorious few years for the Springboks in which they bestrode the world. It began when Jake White’s team won the 2007 World Cup and, under his replacement Peter de Villiers, they won the 2009 Tri-Nations then beat the British & Irish Lions 2 / 1 in a Test series in the same year.

Du Preez, Habana and Matfield were also part of the Blue Bulls team that was coached by Heyneke Meyer and became the 1st South African franchise to win the Super Rugby title, in 2007.

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Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade may stay on as coach of Argentina for 2 more years but confirmed on Friday he will not be in charge at the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Hourcade’s Pumas finished 4th at the tournament when they lost 24 / 13 to South Africa’s Springboks at Olympic Park on Friday.

The Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) have indicated they want him to continue but Hourcade said he had yet to sit down to formalise his next step.

“If we come to an agreement it would be for 2 years,” Hourcade told reporters.

“A lot can happen in 2 years including logical physical wear… Cycles come to an end.”

Hourcade, who told Argentine daily Clarin this week he would not take the team to Japan, has carried out a transformation of Argentina’s game in his 2 years as coach.

Argentina joined The Rugby Championship in 2012 and their only defeats at the Rugby World Cup in England came at the hands of their 3 southern hemisphere rivals.

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South AfricaArgentinaSpringboks (16) 24 / 13 (0) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup 3rd Place Play-off at

Olympic Stadium, London, England at 22:00 SA Time (20:00 UK Time & GMT, 17:00 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.


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Marcos Ayerza

Marcos Ayerza

Argentina loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza, who was set to start for Los Pumas in the bronze final against the Springboks on Friday, has been ruled out of the game due to a hamstring injury sustained in training on Thursday, according to team doctor Guillermo Botto.

Team management have called up Santiago García Botta, a Belgrano Athletic prop with 5 Test caps under his belt, to take his place in the squad.

García Botta, 23, flew in from Buenos Aires on Thursday and will be on the replacements bench at the Olympic Stadium as Daniel Hourcade’s men take on South Africa for the right to finish 3rd at Rugby World Cup 2015.

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Red Arrows

On 31 October, 9 of the iconic aircraft will treat fans in Twickenham Stadium, as well as the Richmond and Trafalgar Square fanzones, to a special flypast prior to the start of the final between New Zealand and Australia. They will flyover Trafalgar Square 7 minutes before kick-off, then over Twickenham Stadium and the Richmond Fanzone at 15:55 as the teams line up for the anthems.


Full House:

The finalists are set to battle it out for rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, in front of a sell-out crowd of 80 125. South Africa and Argentina will also go head to head in front of a full house in the Bronze final at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – in front of 56 000 spectators.

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Nicolás Sánchez

Nicolás Sánchez

Nicolas Sanchez, the highest points scorer at the Rugby World Cup, will captain Argentina for the 1st time in Friday’s 3rd-place play-off against South Africa.

Sanchez, who has 89 points, mainly from the boot, will take over the armband from the injured Agustin Creevy.

Coach Daniel Hourcade has made 9 changes to the team that started the 15 / 29 semifinal loss against Australia last Sunday.

Many were forced by injury as key players Creevy, outstanding wing Juan Imhoff and veteran centre Juan Martin Hernández all had to be replaced on Sunday.

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ArgentinaArgentina have dismissed Springbok suggestions that Friday’s bronze final does not mean anything and are determined to celebrate their attacking style at the tournament by beating their Rugby Championship rivals.

After his side narrowly lost to New Zealand 20 / 18 in Saturday’s 1st semifinal, South African coach Heyneke Meyer said it would be tough mentally to prepare for the clash at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. “It does not mean anything to me. It is like kissing your sister,” he said.

But, despite the disappointment of failing to get past Australia in their semifinal, Argentina captain Agustin Creevy and his squad were excited about trying to secure the 3rd place.

Asked about Meyer’s comments, Creevy said: “I don’t know why he said that. I would rather be 3rd than 4th. We want to be in the Top 3. We need to get over the defeat and start again. The 3rd-place playoff means a lot.”

Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, who scored all of Argentina’s points in the 29 / 15 defeat by the Wallabies, said: “We came here to play the final, but I think we gave it our all. The biggest challenge now is to finish on a high note and get the 3rd place.

“We’ve got a mentally very tough game ahead. This week probably won’t be as pleasant as this past one, but we’ll make a great effort to get the bronze medal.”

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World RugbyThe Southern Hemisphere nations consolidated their positions as the Top 4 in world rugby after a weekend of battle that resulted in the Top 2, New Zealand and Australia, moving through to this Saturday’s final of Rugby World Cup 2015.

South Africa, who lost 20 / 18 to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semifinal on Saturday, retain their position as world No 3 ahead of Argentina, who were defeated 29 / 15 by Australia in Sunday’s semifinal.

The Springboks and Pumas will contest the Rugby World Cup bronze final on Friday and the winner is likely to be the world No 3, with the sides separated in the rankings by less than 1 point.

Under the points exchange system used to calculate rankings, sides take points off each other based on the match result; whatever 1 side gains, the other loses. Such points exchanges are doubled during the Rugby World Cup to recognise the unique importance of the event.

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Nigel Owens

Nigel Owens

Nigel Owens has been appointed to referee the final of Rugby World Cup 2015. The 44-year-old from Wales is a veteran of 67 Tests but on Saturday at 17:00 SA Time (16:00 UK Time) he will take charge of the biggest match of his career to date.

Owens will become just the 7th referee to do the job, following in the footsteps of Kerry Fitzgerald (1987), Derek Bevan (1991), Ed Morrison (1995), Andre Watson (1999 and 2003), Alain Rolland (2007) and Craig Joubert (2011).

His experience and his consistency over many years, as well as his excellent form during the build-up to and during Rugby World Cup 2015, has won him selection to the pinnacle match in the sport at the end of a tournament in which the high quality of officiating has been a feature.

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Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe

Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe

Argentina star Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe believes the creation of a new Super Rugby franchise in Buenos Aires can inspire the Pumas to greater heights even if it means the end of his Test career.

The South Americans, not long ago regarded as a ‘second-tier’ nation, confirmed their status as a major rugby force with a run to the Rugby World Cup semifinals that saw them lose 15 / 29 to Australia at Twickenham on Sunday.

Argentina, however, still have a chance to equal their 3rd-place finish at the 2007 World Cup when they face South Africa in the bronze medal play-off at London’s Olympic Stadium on Friday.

The past year has seen Argentina beat both Australia and South Africa in the Southern Hemisphere’s The Rugby Championship.

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AustraliaArgentinaWallabies (19) 29 / 15 (9) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The Australian Wallabies and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in a Semifinal at the 2015 Rugby World Cup at

Twickenham Stadium, London, England at 18:00 SA Time (17:00 BST, 16:00 GMT, 13:00 Arg Time, Monday 03:00 AEDT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.


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ArgentinaAustraliaArgentina will be looking to break new ground in the rugby world when they face Australia in their Rugby World Cup semifinal at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday.

The Latin Americans have been fantastic in this year’s tournament, with their only hiccup coming in a spirited 16 / 26 defeat to defending champions New Zealand in their opening match. They are now just 1 win away from reaching their 1st-ever Rugby World Cup Final.

Their 43 / 20 win over Ireland in last weekend’s quarterfinals was a clear message to the other remaining teams in the competition that they are not in Britain to make up the numbers.

However, they are facing a stern test against a street smart Wallabies’ outfit who are many pundit’s favourites to win the coveted title this year, after the mighty All Blacks won it the last time around in 2011. Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez has been one of the stars of Argentina’s campaign so far scoring 74 points.

Despite many singing his praises, Sanchez’s attention remained firmly on preparing for the semifinal this week.

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Heyneke Meyer, Steve Hansen, Daniel Hourcade & Michael Cheika... the 4 Rugby World Cup 2015 SEMIFINALS coaches

Heyneke Meyer, Steve Hansen, Daniel Hourcade & Michael Cheika… the 4 Rugby World Cup 2015 SEMIFINALS coaches

For the 4 coaches of the Rugby World Cup semifinalists – Argentina’s Daniel Hourcade, Australia’s Michael Cheika, New Zealand’s Steve Hansen and South Africa’s Heyneke Meyer – the coming weekend promises to be a defining moment in their careers.

Win and they can look forward to leading their teams out for the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham Stadium next Saturday, lose and they will be left to prepare for Friday night’s bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, wondering what might have been.

Hansen summed up the contrast earlier in the week: “You either stand up and be counted or go home. Even worse, you have to play that other game.”

One thing the coaches share is that none had spectacular playing careers – Cheika’s Australia Under 21 caps represent the closest any of them came to international rugby – though all 4 have worked tirelessly as coaches to earn the positions they currently occupy.

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Mario Ledesma

Mario Ledesma

It is going to be an emotional week for an emotional man. For 20 years, Mario Ledesma, the proudest of Argentines, gave everything for the Pumas’ cause at the head of their mighty scrum. This week, he is charged with obliterating the prospect of the greatest day in his country’s rugby history.

Ledesma, one of the game’s greatest hookers who helped Argentina reach new heights at 4 Rugby World Cups, is now transforming Australia’s pack, as the coach of the vastly improved Wallabies’ scrum.

On Sunday, the popular Ledesma’s Australian charges face their most demanding test yet against the team whose reputation for scrummaging prowess was so greatly enhanced by the flinty 42-year-old from Buenos Aires.

The Twickenham semifinal, Australian coach Michael Cheika understands, is bound to be a strangely conflicting experience for such a passionate servant of Argentine rugby.

He also knows it will not stop Ledesma from continuing to put “120%” into the Wallabies’ team he has learned to love over the past year. Either way, it will probably end in tears for “Super Mario”.

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Vodacom Stats AppSouth Africa may have squeaked through in their Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match against Wales but the statistics suggest a more dominant performance by the Springboks.

Statistics taken from the Vodacom Rugby App demonstrate how Wales had to defend South Africa’s relentless attacks on the advantage line.

The Springboks topped the carries stats in the quarterfinals with 157, forcing the Welsh to make 197 tackles in their encounter.

Influential flanker Schalk Burger was South Africa’s main strike runner taking the ball up 26 times in the match.

Burger led the carries statistics over the weekend with compatriot Duane Vermeulen behind him with 15.

The wave after wave of attack by the South Africans is also reflected in the fact that 5 Springbok players feature among the Top 5 in the carries category.

Springbok centre Damian de Allende (14), Eben Etzebeth (13) and Handré Pollard (12) followed behind Burger and Vermeulen in the stats.

Argentina, who upset Ireland to book a semifinal clash against Australia made the 2nd most carries with 122, with the Wallabies following in 3rd with 112.

The 4 Southern Hemisphere teams that will feature in the semifinals topped the Carries statistics with Argentina (122), Australia (112) and New Zealand (109) following behind the Springboks.

South Africa did not only test the Welsh defence but were also made to work hard to keep the opposition off the line by making 123 tackles – the 2nd most of the weekend.

Wales and South Africa kicked the most of all the quarterfinal matches, with the Springboks making 46 kicks from hand and the Red Dragons 2 less.

The Welsh’s desperate defence on the day is reflected in the individual tackles stats with 4 of their players among the Top tacklers.

Loose forward Dan Lydiate tops the stats with 24, with Alun Wyn Jones (19), Taulupe Faletau (18) and Sam Warburton (17) following behind him.

Scotland’s Jonny Gray with 18 and Burger with 16 were the only players among the Top 5 from other countries.

While the weekend produced its fair share of nail-biting moments it was not the case in the match between New Zealand and France.

The All Blacks were in sensational form as they stepped up a gear as they set a new Rugby World Cup quarterfinal victory margin beating the French by 49 points.

Running in 9 tries it is no surprise they dominate the Metres run and Clean breaks categories, as they ran the French rampant.

They ran 732 metres, which was 142 metres more than their nearest rivals, Argentina, while they made 19 clean breaks – more than double as many as Australia who ranked 2nd with 9.

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WhistleThe Match Officials have been confirmed for the semifinal stage of Rugby World Cup 2015 this weekend, with Jérôme Garcès and Wayne Barnes selected as Referees.

The 1st semifinal will take place at Twickenham Stadium between South Africa and New Zealand on Saturday (kick-off at 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 BST) with France’s Garcès in the middle. He will be joined on the line by compatriot Romain Poite and Ireland’s John Lacey, with George Ayoub of Australia being the Television Match Official.

The following day at the same venue, Argentina will take on Australia in the 2nd semifinal (kick-off 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 BST) and England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge. His Assistant Referees will be Jaco Peyper of South Africa and Ireland’s George Clancy. New Zealand’s Ben Skeen will be TMO.

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World RugbyThe Top 4 spots on the current world rankings are all taken up by Southern Hemisphere teams, with Argentina moving up to 4th.

The Pumas and South Africa were the biggest climbers after their wins over Ireland and Wales respectively in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

Los Pumas moved up 2 places on the rankings – overtaking Ireland and Wales. South Africa improved their position from 5th to 3rd after a tough 23 / 19 win over Wales.

Ireland plummeted from 3rd to 6th on the rankings, while Wales also fell from 4th to 5th.

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Nehe Milner-Skudder

Nehe Milner-Skudder

New Zealand will join forces with World Cup semifinal opponents South Africa for the Barbarians next month.

Nehe Milner-Skudder – whose brilliant try opened the scoring in the weekend’s 62 / 13 win over France – tops the list of All Blacks invited to feature in games against Argentina and Gloucester.

The rookie wing now has 7 tries in his 1st 6 Tests for New Zealand and will be joined by scrumhalf Tewera Kerr-Barlow, wing Waisake Naholo and prop Charlie Faumuina from the current Rugby World Cup squad, and reinforced by centre Ryan Crotty, flyhalf Lima Sopoaga and uncapped flanker Ardie Savea.

The Barbarians, who beat Samoa at the former Olympic Stadium in August, take on Gloucester on 17 November at Kingsholm before facing the Argentinian Pumas at Twickenham Stadium on 21 November.

The famous invitation club was founded 125 years ago and the Killik Cup match against Rugby World Cup semifinalists Argentina is the centrepiece of the celebrations.

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Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade

Argentina have reverted to their strongest side for their quarterfinal match against Ireland on Sunday.

Argentina’s starting 15 at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday will contain 496 caps worth of experience, their 2nd most experienced of this tournament after the 54 / 9 win over Georgia in their 2nd Pool C match.

Head coach Daniel Hourcade has made 10 changes from the team that beat Namibia. This is the largest amount of changes made to an Argentina side, except for the 11 made between the Tonga and Namibia matches, since the opening 2 games of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The whole front row changes, with the replacements from the Namibia game starting against Ireland and the Namibia game starters dropping to the bench. Tomas Lavinini comes in for Matias Alemanno in the locks, with the latter dropping to the bench.

There are also 2 changes in the loose forwards, with Javier Ortega Desio out of the matchday-23 and Facundo Isa dropping to the bench, as Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Leonardo Senatore return.

In the backs, Juan Martin Hernandez reverts to inside centre to allow for the return of Nicolas Sanchez. Scrumhalf Martin Landajo and Matias Moroni retain their places, though Moroni moves to outside centre. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino drops to the bench.

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Agustin Creevy

Agustin Creevy

Argentina are on a roll having beaten Australia and South Africa in the past 12 months and captain Agustin Creevy insists the Pumas have “no limits” at the Rugby World Cup.

With Ireland reeling from injuries to key players, Argentina can sense an upset in the quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Sunday.

“I dream of lifting the cup. I don’t know whether it will come true, but I swear I dream about it,” said the 30-year-old Creevy.

Twelve months ago Argentina beat Australia 21 / 17 at home. It was the last straw in a troubled reign and Wallabies coach Ewan Mackenzie was gone within 2 weeks.

One month before coming to the Rugby World Cup they defeated South Africa for the 1st time – 37 / 25 in Durban – forcing Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer to apologise to the nation. He had to repeat it when they lost to Japan at the Rugby World Cup.

The Pumas world ranking has gone up in a year from 12 to 6, above England and France.

“This team has no limits,” Creevy declared.

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Here’s a quick summary of the Diciplinary Sanctions imposed on cited players of remaining Quarterfinal Countries – Argentina, Ireland and Scotland – following the weekend’s last Pool Stage games in the Rugby World Cup of 2015.

  • Marcelo Bosch of Argentina is suspended for 1 week, for a dangerous tackle
  • Sean O’Brien of Ireland is suspended for 1 week, for striking a player
  • Ross Ford of Scotland is suspended for 3 weeks, for his participation in a dangerous tip takle against Samoa
  • Jonny Gray of Scotland is suspended for 3 weeks, for his participation in a dangerous tip takle against Samoa

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WhistleRugby World Cup organisers have announced that Wayne Barnes, Nigel Owens, Jérôme Garcès and Craig Joubert will referee the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarterfinals this weekend.

England’s Wayne Barnes will take charge of the 1st match on Saturday between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, London (Kick-Off 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 UK Time, 15:00 GMT) and will be joined by Assistant Referees George Clancy (Ireland) and JP Doyle (England) with the Television Match Official being Graham Hughes, also of England.

Later the same day, New Zealand take on France at the Millennium Stadium (Kick-Off 21:00 SA & French Time, 20:00 UK Time, 19:00 GMT) in a repeat of the Rugby World Cup 2011 final, with Nigel Owens of Wales refereeing the game at his union’s home ground. On the line will be Jaco Peyper of South Africa and John Lacey of Ireland while the Television Match Official will be South Africa’s Shaun Veldsman.

The 3rd quarterfinal between Ireland and Argentina in Cardiff (Kick-Off 14:00 SA Time, 13:00 UK Time, 12:00 GMT) on Sunday will be refereed by Jérôme Garcès of France with his countryman, Romain Poite, and New Zealand’s Chris Pollock as Assistant Referees. George Ayoub (Australia) will be the Television Match Official.

The final match of the stage will take place at Twickenham on Sunday (Kick-Off 17:00 SA Time, 16:00 UK Time, 15:00 GMT) between Australia and Scotland and will be refereed by Craig Joubert (South Africa). He will be assisted by Glen Jackson (New Zealand) and Pascal Gauzere (France) with Ben Skeen (New Zealand) the Television Match Official.

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World RugbyIreland have moved up 2 places to 3rd in the World Rugby Rankings after beating France in the Rugby World Cup Pool D decider on Sunday.

Joe Schmidt’s side, who topped the pool with their 24 / 9 win against Les Bleus, have leapfrogged Wales (4) and South Africa (5) in the rankings, which are published by World Rugby every Monday.

France dropped 1 place to 7th following Sunday’s defeat at the Millennium Stadium, swapping places with Ireland’s quarterfinal opponents Argentina, who rose to 6th.

7 Of the 8 Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-finalists feature in the Top 8 of the rankings; the exception being Scotland, who remain 1 place below England in 9th position.

Under the points exchange system used to calculate rankings, sides take points off each other based on the match result; whatever 1 side gains, the other loses. Such points exchanges are doubled during the Rugby World Cup to recognise the unique importance of the event.

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