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Robbie Deans

World XVThe World XV have named 5 Rugby World Cup winners in their starting line-up, alongside several more pushing hard for inclusion in this year’s tournament.

Andy Ellis, Andrew Hore, Ali Williams and Adam Thomson lifted the Webb Ellis Trophy for New Zealand in 2011, while captain Bakkies Botha was victorious with South Africa in 2007.

No 8 Pierre Spies is the other former Springbok to feature in the side to tackle Japan at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground in Tokyo on Saturday.

The above-mentioned players are joined by an Australian contingent who will be out to impress coach Michael Cheika as he finalises his squad ahead of next month’s global contest in England.

The likes of James O’Connor, Christian Lealiifano, Nick Cummins, Sean McMahon and uncapped wing Taqele Naiyaravoro are all involved against a Japan team ranked No 15 in the world under the guidance of Eddie Jones.

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Robbie Deans

Robbie Deans

Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was linked with the Stormers coaching job in 2007, and it happened again when the search for Allister Coetzee’s replacement commenced this year.

But Deans, who is in charge of Saturday’s World XV side that will take on the Springboks at Newlands, confirmed on Thursday that there had not been an official offer from the Cape Town-based franchise or any other South African franchises.

“Not South African ones, no,” said Deans.

“I had a brief conversation with Gert (Smal, Stormers Director of Rugby). I actually do a bit of work with some of the guys from down here like (current Western Province defence coach) Paul Treu. I take an interest in the game.

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Bakkies Botha

Bakkies Botha

Springbok lock Bakkies Botha, who announced his retirement from international rugby late last year, will head up a strong group of Test icons for the match between South Africa and a World XV at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday 11 July 2015.

Botha is 1 of 9 Toulon players who will line up against the Springboks. The giants from the south of France recently won their 3rd consecutive European club title.

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte, who was previously in charge of the French national team, will assist former Wallaby and Crusaders coach Robbie Deans with the World XV.

Botha’s Toulon team-mates who have been confirmed for the World XV are Delon Armitage (fullback), David Smith (wing), Rudi Wulf (centre), Maxime Mermoz (centre), Steffon Armitage (loose forward), Ali Williams (lock), Craig Burden (hooker) and Alexandre Menini (prop).

Added to this list are Springbok and Vodacom Bulls centre JJ Engelbrecht, Wallaby scrumhalf Luke Burgess and France scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud. The World XV will be captained by Louis-Benoit Madaule, who plays on the flank for French club Bordeaux Begles.

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Robbie Deans

Robbie Deans

Bernard Laporte

Bernard Laporte

Two of the most experienced coaches in world rugby, Robbie Deans of New Zealand and France’s Bernard Laporte, will take charge of a star-studded World XV for their match against the Springboks at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, July 11.

Deans was in charge of a Barbarians team that beat an Ireland XV, 22 / 21, in Limerick, Ireland on Thursday night and who were hammered by 73 / 12 by an England XV side on Sunday at Twickenham.

The DHL Newlands clash will be the Springboks’ season-opener and it promises to deliver festival rugby. Last year in the corresponding fixture, more than 30,000 spectators flocked to DHL Newlands to see the South Africans beat a strong World XV by 47 / 13, with Heyneke Meyer’s side scoring 6 tries in the process.

“Between them, Robbie and Bernard are 2 of the most experienced coaches in world rugby since the game turned professional 2 decades ago,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

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Barbarians RugbyJoe Launchbury and Ed Slater will resume their international careers by lining up for an England XV against the Barbarians today (Sunday).

The lock pairing will feature in a side captained by scrum-half Lee Dickson, and with Mathew Tait at fullback.

The squad features 10 players from Stuart Lancaster’s initial World Cup squad, including Danny Cipriani at No 10.

New Zealand’s World Cup-winning forward Brad Thorn skippers an experienced BaaBaas side at Twickenham.

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David Smith

David Smith

Joe Rokocoko

Joe Rokocoko

Rene Ranger

Rene Ranger

Toulon try-machine David Smith, All Black legend Joe Rokocoko and New Zealand centre Rene Ranger will provide the firepower for the Barbarians against Ireland and England next month.

Smith, Rokocoko and Ranger were on Tuesday confirmed as the latest players who have accepted invitations to join Robbie Deans’s squad for games against Ireland at Thomond Park on 28 May and an England XV at Twickenham on 31 May.

The Barbarians celebrate their 125th anniversary this year and former Australia head coach Deans is assembling a group that will maintain the attacking traditions of the world famous invitation side.

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markanscombe

Mark Anscombe

UlsterThe niceties dictate that the phrase ‘parted company’ is employed but effectively Ulster have sacked Mark Anscombe. The New Zealander did not know what was in the offing over the weekend and only learned of his fate yesterday.

Ireland’s defence coach Les Kiss will combine those duties with the responsibility of those as interim head coach for the province. There is no time limit placed on his dual remit.

Ulster rugby released a statement yesterday afternoon. It read: “Following the departure of director of rugby, David Humphreys, Ulster Rugby has today announced that head coach, Mark Anscombe, is to leave the province with immediate effect.”

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Robbie DeansFormer Wallabies boss Robbie Deans will become the head coach of Japan’s Top League and national champions Panasonic Wild Knights on May 1, the club said on Tuesday.

Deans, who has also managed the Christchurch-based Crusaders and served as an All Blacks assistant coach, will take over from Norifumi Nakajima, who is transferring to another part of the giant electronics firm.

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Robbie DeansEwen McKenzieAustralian rugby chiefs are to fire national coach Robbie Deans and replace him with the Reds’ Ewen McKenzie on Tuesday, reports said on Monday following the Wallabies’ series loss to the British and Irish Lions.

Deans will be sacked six months before his contract ends, as the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) seeks to rebuild after the national team’s 41-16 thrashing by the Lions in Saturday’s series-deciding third Test, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

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Kurtley BealeWallabies coach Robbie Deans has expressed confidence that troubled star Kurtley Beale is ready to take on the British and Irish Lions.

Deans named his final squad for the series which included Beale, who has been sidelined due to recent alcohol related issues, but is missing flyhalf Quade Cooper.

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The Wallabies have named Drew Mitchell and Radike Samo and Under-20 captains Liam Gill and Jake Schatz in their 30 man squad for the upcoming Four Nation rugby Championship.

Mitchell and Samo both missed the June Tests, where Australia was upset by Scotland before clean sweeping the Six Nations champions 3-0 in the Wales Tour, but worked their way back into the Test arena.

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Australia and Wales play each other in the 3rd test match of the current series in at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday, 23rd June. Kick off is at 07.00 SA time.

There are few changes to the teams following the 2nd test last week that Wales agonizingly lost following a last minute Australian penalty. Wales outscored the Wallabies by two tries to one in that game.

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The Wallabies have finalised their coaching team for the upcoming June Internationals and the inaugural Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship featuring Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, and South Africa with the appointments of Tony McGahan, Andrew Blades and Nick Scrivener.

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