Wales (17) 23 / 13 (6) Fiji (Final Score)
Wales and Fiji did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff at 17:45 SA Time (16:45 BST, 15:45 GMT, Friday 03:45 Fiji Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
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.
There seems to have been so many injuries already in this tournament which is barely halfway through the group stages. One feels sorry for the players who have had their World Cup short and wish them all a speedy recovery, it just shows what an attritional game Rugby Union is.
We could theorize all day on the possible reasons for all of these injuries: too many games, players bulking up, laws not being sufficient or those that are there not sufficiently enforced, players possibly carrying injuries into the tournament. The harsh reality for those who have been ruled out is that the game involves high speed collisions of big men and they have been reduced to being spectators for the rest of the tournament as well as having to undergo a period of rehabilitation, for some this involves surgery.
England (16) 25 / 28 (9) Wales (Final Score)
England and Wales did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Twickenham Stadium, London, England at 21:00 SA Time (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Wales have received an official warning from World Rugby for a breach of Rugby World Cup regulations during training.
Back-up players who did not make the final 31-man squads are not allowed to take part in practice sessions.
But a group of players not in Wales’ squad did participate during training at Sunbury on Wednesday.
“While World Rugby is satisfied that no deliberate breach was intended, an official warning has been issued to the Wales Rugby Union,” the sport’s governing body said.
“All participating teams have been informed that additional players from the extended squad, including potential injury replacements, may not be included in any training sessions.”
While there was little prospect of a points deduction for the infraction, with a fine likely to have been the sternest punishment, the incident will have been an unwelcome distraction as Warren Gatland prepares his side to face England on Saturday.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster says he has not panicked by replacing flyhalf George Ford with Owen Farrell for Saturday’s game with Wales.
Ford, 22, started last week’s 35 / 11 World Cup Pool A win over Fiji, but Farrell impressed off the bench.
Sam Burgess has been selected at inside centre after Jonathan Joseph was ruled out with a chest injury.
“I don’t think putting an in-form and confident Owen Farrell into the team is a risk,” said Lancaster.
Billy Vunipola comes in at No 8 for Ben Morgan, who has a knee injury, while James Haskell and Alex Goode step up to the bench for the 1st time.
Wales centre Cory Allen, who scored 3 of his country’s 8 tries in their Rugby World Cup opener against Uruguay, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament by a hamstring tear on Monday.
The Welsh, already rocked by injuries to key backs Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb in their final warm-up match, had 6 players added to their casualty list during Sunday’s 54 / 9 victory in Cardiff.
Allen pulled up with the injury in the 2nd half and after having scans was replaced in the squad by Tyler Morgan, who joins Scott Williams and Jamie Roberts to restore the number of specialist centres in the squad to 3.
British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies was ruled out of the tournament by a knee injury.
Wales next face England in a Twickenham clash on Saturday, which could go a long way to deciding which teams progress from Pool A, which also includes Australia and Fiji.
Wales (28) 54 / 9 (9) Uruguay (Final Score)
Wales and Uruguay did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup at
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff at 15:30 SA Time (14:30 BST, 13:30 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
A popular topic of debate heading into the Rugby World Cup is that of eligibility, particularly that resulting from the residency method. We take a look at the foreign-born players in each squad, where they were born and how they are eligible.
An interesting fact – only Argentina can claim that all 31 players in their squad are native to their country. The other 19 teams all have players born abroad, including significant numbers in some of rugby’s most powerful nations.
All told, Rugby World Cup 2015 will have a grand total of 33 countries involved in the tournament. Players born in various African countries – Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe join the participating Namibia and South Africa. Zimbabwe has players representing 4 countries, more than any other non-competitor.
Spain is another country not present at the Rugby World Cup who have players representing multiple countries while other countries include Belgium, Israel, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and the Netherlands are also all represented.
Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa lead the way in terms of players representing others at the Rugby World Cup.
South Africa moved up to 3rd place in the World Rankings without even kicking a ball.
It means the Springboks have climbed 2 places in the World Rankings since their last match – a win over Argentina in Buenos Aires, last month.
Their rise, despite the team’s inactivity, is the result of Ireland’s dramatic slump – the men from the Emerald Isle having lost to Wales (10 / 16) and England (13 / 21) in the past fortnight.
As a result, Rugby Championship heavyweights New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will go into the Rugby World Cup as the Top 3 nations in the rankings.
Ireland’s rating fell by 0.79 points and resulted in a 3-place drop to 6 for the Six Nations Champions, placing them below the Springboks.
England gained the same amount of points to leapfrog their Pool A opponents Wales into 4th.
Long-time leaders New Zealand remain untouchable – for a fortnight at least – on 92.89 points, with Australia 6.22 points behind in 2nd and South Africa a further 1.52 points back in 3rd.
Australia were unable to make up any ground on their arch rivals, despite being the only one of the 3 in action over the weekend.
Their 47 / 10 win over the USA Eagles in Chicago did not come with any ratings points, given the double-figure difference in rankings positions and rating points between the nations.
Serious injuries to star fullback Leigh Halfpenny and scrumhalf Rhys Webb, made it a day to forget for Wales, who scraped home 23 / 19 against Italy at the Millennium Stadium.
Following Saturday’s narrow win over Italy, Wales have now been hit by the news and reality that Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb are out of the Rugby Wolrd Cup, their injuries serious enough to keep them out of the tournament in total.
Leigh Halfpenny suffered torn right knee ligaments in a warm-up match against Italy at the weekend.
There were some very interesting results on the weekend in the last Rugby World Cup warm-up matches, befor the world showpiece starts on 18 September in England.
- England beat Ireland at Twickenham, by 21 / 13.
- Wales barely beat Italy by 23 / 19 but at the same time suffered 2 huge injury blows, one to Rhys Webb and the other to Leigh Halfpenny.
- France edged a spirited Scotland side at Stade de Framce, by 19 / 16.
- The Australian Wallabies romped past the USA Eagles by 47 / 10 at Soldier Field.
- Fiji put Canada to the sword by 47 / 18.
- Tonga beat Romania by 21 / 16.
- Japan beat Georgia 13 / 10.
- Samoa beat Wasps 25 / 19.
- Argentina beat Leicester 55 / 34.
It is the major results we will focus on however…
Wales captain Sam Warburton is set to make his 1st appearance of the Rugby World Cup warm-up campaign.
He was named to lead the side in Saturday’s match against Italy at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
The openside flank suffered a shoulder injury in training last month and was rested from Wales’ 16 / 10 win away to Six Nations champions Ireland in Dublin last weekend.
Wales coach Warren Gatland has named a strong side for Wales’ final World Cup tune-up fixture.
Warburton is part of a new look back row – alongside James King at flank and Taulupe Faletau at No 8.
The same front row which faced Ireland in Dublin last weekend will start against Italy – with the World’s most capped prop Gethin Jenkins packing down with Ken Owens and Tomas Francis, who will make his 1st appearance at the Millennium Stadium.
Jake Ball and Dominic Day are named in the 2nd row.
Halfbacks Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar continue their partnership, whilst there is a new look midfield with Scott Williams lining up alongside Cory Allen.
The back 3 from Dublin also remains unchanged with George North and Alex Cuthbert on the wings and Leigh Halfpenny at fullback.
International rugby’s ruling body, World Rugby, are expected to sanction an experiment in Wales that will see 6 points being awarded for tries and 2 points for all kicks…
The sports governing body are constantly reviewing the rules in rugby and looking at ways to improve the game and this experiment is expected to promote scoring tries instead taking kicks for points.
The experiement is expected to go ahead in Wales’ 2nd-tier Premiership which is made up of semi-professional teams and includes some of the biggest clubs in the history of the Welsh game and includes Pontypridd, Llanelli, Cardiff and Newport.
Wales coach Warren Gatland named prop Samson Lee in his 31-man squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Lee has not played since rupturing his Achilles tendon in March.
Flyhalf Gareth Anscombe was left out in favour of Matthew Morgan.
Wales are in Pool A with hosts England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.
Welshman Geraint John on Monday quit as coach of Australia’s Sevens team to take up a new role for the Welsh Rugby Union.
The sudden announcement comes barely a year out from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
John, who had served as the Sevens director and head coach since June 2014, resigned to take up a new position with the WRU as the leader of the elite coach development.
Former All Blacks star Mils Muliaina has appeared in a Welsh court to face accusations of sexually assaulting a woman.
Muliaina has been charged with 1 count of sexual assault, which the prosecution claims occurred in central Cardiff on 7 March.
Muliaina did not enter a plea at the court in Cardiff on Friday. The case will resume at Cardiff Crown Court on 7 September.
Experienced trio James Hook, Mike Phillips and Richard Hibbard were among 8 players released from Wales’s World Cup training squad.
The announcement was made by Welsh coach Warren Gatland on Thursday.
Flyhalf Hook, capped 78 times, scrumhalf Phillips, who has made 94 international appearances, and 38-cap hooker Richard Hibbard failed to make the cut after Gatland trimmed his squad from 46 players to 38.
Jack Dixon, Rhys Patchell, Nicky Smith, Rory Thornton and Dan Baker are the other players who will return to their respective clubs and regions.
SA Schools coach Hein Kriek and his SA Schools A counterpart Lance Sendin on Monday made wholesale changes to their starting line-ups for the 2nd Round of the Under 18 International Series at Outeniqua Park in George on Tuesday.
The SA Schools team will take on France at 17:00 SA Time and the SA Schools A team will go up against England at 13:00 SA Time.
In the other clash Wales will take on Italy at 15:00 SA Time.
Kriek made 7 changes to his team, which sees 2014 Coca-Cola Craven Week player of the year Curwin Bosch move from flyhalf to fullback, while flyhalf Damian Willemse will join forces with scrumhalf Embrose Papier in a new halfback combination.
The other changes in the backline were on the left wing where Wandisile Similane replaces Manie Libbok and centre Heino Bezuidenhout is selected alongside Stedman Gans, who scored 2 tries in their opening fixture against Wales.
Up-front Kriek retained the flanker combination of Cobus Wiese and captain Ersnt van Rhyn, while Hacjivah Dayimani has been selected at No 8. In the engine room lock Ruben van Heerden will start alongside Ruben de Villiers.
Ashwyn Adams, meanwhile, will start at loosehead prop in a strong front row with tighthead prop Carlu Sadie and hooker Johan Grobbelaar.
The SA Schools and SA Schools A teams on Friday started the Under 18 International Series on a high note at the City Park Stadium in Crawford, Cape Town, as they registered encouraging victories against Wales and Italy respectively to make their presence felt early on.
The SA Schools team delivered a solid performance on attack and defence against Wales for a 42 / 11 victory, while the SA Schools A side overcame a closely-fought 1st half against Italy for 29 / 14 win.
In the other clash England defeated France 15 / 7.
The teams will battle it out in the 2nd Round in George on Tuesday before returning to the City Park Stadium on Saturday 15 August for the closing Round of the Series.
Wales coach Warren Gatland has revealed he and Ireland counterpart Joe Schmidt discussed team selection before naming their sides for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match in Cardiff.
Gatland has handed debuts to four players in an experimental Welsh side.
Wales host Ireland on Saturday, before playing them in Dublin on 29 August and hosting Italy on 5 September.
“Joe rang me last week to talk about what we were looking at in the squad,” Gatland said.
“I said we were going to have a mixed squad with an opportunity for some younger players.
“He sort of indicated that they were probably going to do the same thing.
“I think they will experiment with the squad too.”
Warren Gatland has revealed there have been altercations in training as the Welsh pack battle for World Cup places.
Members of the Wales squad were involved in fights during training this week as the battle for World Cup places boiled over.
Coach Warren Gatland revealed the incredible edge that has been present in the build-up to Saturday’s sell-out clash with Ireland, admitting members of his pack have become embroiled in physical altercations.
Gatland is delighted with the way his team are preparing for next month’s World Cup and has relished watching his players give everything they have to ensure they make his final cut at the end of this month.
Scott Williams will captain Wales against Ireland on Saturday, leading a team that contains 4 uncapped players.
The Scarlets centre will become Wales’ 131st captain on his 30th Test appearance and will be joined in the centre by uncapped Tyler Morgan.
Ross Moriarty, a double Under 20 World Cup-winner with England, was 1 of 4 uncapped players selected by Wales to face Ireland in this World Cup warm-up match in Cardiff.
The Gloucester flank, 21, was joined by wing Eli Walker, centre Tyler Morgan and lock Dominic Day in the team announced by head coach Warren Gatland on Tuesday.
The fixture at the Millennium Stadium follows intensive training camps in Switzerland and Qatar and is the 1st of 3 warm-up games building up to Wales’s opening World Cup game against Uruguay on 20 September.
A potential move by barnstorming Newport-Gwent Dragons No 8 Taulupe Faletau to English Premiership team Bath would not hinder his international chances, Wales head coach Warren Gatland insisted on Thursday.
The so-called “Gatland’s law” was put in place with the theory that home-based players would be favoured over those choosing to ply their trade overseas.
But it has appeared increasingly irrelevant, with a host of current Welsh internationals turning out for the national side despite playing in England or France, although the ‘law’ will reportedly only allow 2 wildcard selections from those playing outside the country after this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Tonga-born Faletau has a year left on his Dragons contract, but it seems increasingly likely he will be bought out of that deal, to the reported value of £ 250 000.00, with Premiership club Bath keen to sign the 24-year-old British and Irish Lions forward.
“We’re discussing it at the moment with the Dragons, the regions and Bath,” Gatland said.
“Toby’s got the biggest choice to make, that’s ongoing and hopefully that gets sorted out in the next week.
“There is potential there for Toby to move, that’s up to him, but he wouldn’t be hampered by that.
The Welsh Rugby Union have acquired the services of highly respected and experienced fitness expert Paul Stridgeon as consultant Head of Physical Performance.
Stridgeon linked up with the national squad on Monday 15 June as Wales’ World Cup preparations commenced with initial conditioning training.
The 34 year-old will oversee the WRU’s Physical Performance department on a tournament-by-tournament basis combining that role with his Head of Strength and Conditioning position at European Champions Toulon.
Stridgeon, a former freestyle wrestler who represented England at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, joined Toulon in 2014 after 6 years as England Rugby National Fitness Coach.
He already has a close working relationship with a number of the Wales management team and players having toured with the British and Irish Lions as fitness coach in 2009 and 2013. His relationship with head coach Warren Gatland stretches further back to their time together at Wasps where they won both European and domestic titles.
Welsh internationals Adam Jones and Alex Cuthbert will represent the Barbarians against England and Ireland this month.
Former Wallabies coach Robbie Deans invited the duo – neither of whom have played for the Barbarians before – to join his squad for the games at Thomond Park on 28 May and Twickenham on 31 May.
Deans’ squad already includes former New Zealand winger Joe Rokocoko, Australia back Berrick Barnes and triple European Champions Toulon’s leading try scorer David Smith.
Jones, who has retired from international rugby and moves from Cardiff Blues to Harlequins this summer, was thrilled by the opportunity to don the Barbarians’ iconic black and white jersey for the 1st time.
South African lock, George Earle, has extended his contract with the Scarlets after joining the region from the Cheetahs in 2012.
An experienced player, Earle played previously with the Golden Lions, Western Province, Boland and the Griquas in the Currie Cup.
The lock will become Welsh-qualified in June after being with the Scarlets for 3 years.
Earle was attracted to playing rugby in Wales because of the Welsh style of play, making his Scarlets debut in a pre-season friendly against Narbonne in August 2012.
Somewhere, shaking his cauliflower ears in dismay, a grizzled old retired prop was probably secretly wishing someone would just stick the ball up his jumper and make a cautious 3 inches.
For everyone else watching this was surely the most thrilling day that 5 or 6 Nations rugby has seen: a fantasy finale, a chest-squeezer and knee-knocker, a day to fall back in love.
There are the stats: 221 points scored across the 3 matches, the most in a single weekend – 27 tries, run in from deep and wide and everywhere in between.
There was England’s record score against France, Ireland’s biggest away win, the most tries Wales have scored in 1 championship half.
Then there was the style. This was rugby we thought had died and been laid to rest, killed by detailed analysis and the professional urge to be sensible.
Sensible? This was glorious chaos, March madness to put a spring in every watcher’s step and an ulcer in the stomach of every defence coach.
It should be a 3-way fight between England, Ireland and Wales for the Six Nations title on Saturday, although France still have an outside chance.
The Top 3 are locked on 6 Points with 3 wins apiece, while England’s points difference of +37 puts them 1st, ahead of Ireland’s +33 and Wales’ +12.
France are 4th with 4 Points and a points difference of +22.
Philippe Saint-Andre’s side could still steal the title if Wales and Ireland lose and Les Bleus then beat England by a margin of 8 points or more, but it looks a remote possibility.
If teams are level on points, and match-points difference, then England are likely to win the Championship on tries scored, having crossed 11 times to Ireland’s 4 and Wales’ 5. In the highly unlikely event this was also level come Saturday night, the trophy would be shared.
Wales are in action 1st away to Italy in Rome (14:30 SA Time, 12:30 GMT), before Ireland take on Scotland at Murrayfield (16:30 SA Time, 14:30 GMT), ahead of England’s home match against France at Twickenham (19:00 SA Time, 17:00 GMT).
With the Six Nations wide open, we assess the 4 teams’ chances.
Wales players Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Scott Williams and the uncapped Gareth Anscombe have all signed central contracts, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have announced on Wednesday.
Ospreys team-mates Jones and Biggar, Scarlets centre Williams and Cardiff Blues flyhalf Anscombe follow Rhys Webb in signing a National Dual Contract, taking the total number of Welsh players on central contracts to 12.
“Alun Wyn, Dan, Scott and Gareth represent a cross-section of experience, but each one of them is a player of proven talent,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland in a statement on the WRU website.
“Within the group of 12 we have signed a mixture of emerging talent and players who have secured reputations for excellence through their appearances for their regions, Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
Wales have made 2 changes in their front row to face Italy in their final Six Nations encounter of the season, in Rome on Saturday.
Rob Evans and Aaron Jarvis come into the starting 15, replacing the injured duo of Gethin Jenkins (hamstring) and Samson Lee (Achilles).
The team which will take to the field at the Stadio Olimpico is otherwise unchanged team.
Evans will make his first start as he wins his 2nd cap in Rome and will line-up alongside Ospreys duo Scott Baldwin and Jarvis.
Luke Charteris and Alun Wyn Jones continue in the second row with Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau lining up alongside captain Sam Warburton in the back row.
The backline remains unchanged with Rhys Webb (No 9) and Dan Biggar (No 10) at halfback, Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies in the centre and a back 3 of George North, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny.
Wales ended Ireland’s hopes of a Six Nations Grand Slam and in the process climb above Australia to 5th in the World Rugby Rankings.
Wales have climbed 1 place to 5th in the latest World Rugby Rankings after their 23 / 16 victory over Ireland, setting up a thrilling climax to the RBS 6 Nations with 3 sides tied on 6 Log points.
The Welsh victory, in a match which saw Sam Warburton surpass Ryan Jones’s record for the most tests as captain, leaves them, Ireland and England battling for the title this coming Saturday.
Wales’ climb comes at the expense of Australia, who have now fallen to their lowest ever position since the World Rugby Rankings were introduced in October 2003.
A resilient Wales side withstood a 2nd half battering to blow the RBS 6 Nations wide open and end holders Ireland’s grand slam hopes with a 23 / 16 victory on Saturday.
After an opening home defeat by England, Wales have hit back with 3 successive wins and by defeating previously undefeated Ireland they have a shot at the title, heading into the final round next week.
Despite losing both props to injury in the 1st half, Wales wobbled but did not wilt in the face of fierce Irish pressure and even a late Penalty Try, which set up a grandstand finale proved insufficient.
“An absolutely unbelievable effort,” Sam Warburton, captaining Wales for a record 34th time, said.
Wales will field an unchanged starting lineup for the Six Nations showdown with Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.
Coach Warren Gatland was pleased with his side’s 20 / 13 win over France in Paris which kept alive their hopes of winning the tournament and had no problem giving the same 15 men a vote of confidence.
Flanker Sam Warburton, who went off after taking a blow to his knee during the French clash, has regained his fitness and will be able to break Ryan Jones’ record when he captains Wales for the 34th time at the Millennium Stadium.
The only 2 changes to the Paris lineup are due to injuries and come on the bench.
George North will make his 50th international appearance, in record time, against France on Saturday, and will be looking to continue his purple patch against Les Bleus.
At just 22-years-old, North will become the youngest international player ever to reach the milestone – it will be his 47th cap for Wales, added to three for the British and Irish Lions.
The towering Northampton wing scored tries against France in each of the 2 previous matches and will be looking to continue that form as Wales seek a 4th straight win over Philippe Saint-Andre’s side.
North will make his comeback for Wales having sat out the 26 / 23 win over Scotland 2 weeks ago due to a pair of concussions suffered against England the week before.