Winger Henry Speight will be sidelined for a month by a hamstring injury and has been replaced in the Wallabies squad for the Rugby Championship by Peter Betham.
Fijian-born Speight was included in the squad last week despite not becoming eligible to play for Australia on residency grounds until 11 September, halfway through the tournament.
The tackle-busting winger sustained the injury in the second half of the Brumbies’ Super Rugby semifinal defeat to the Waratahs last Saturday.
Several ex-New Zealand and Australia internationals have confirmed that they will lodge an application to switch allegiances to a Pacific Island nation with whom they hold a passport, with a view to participating at the Rugby World Cup in England next year.
With the inclusion of rugby 7s at the Olympics in 2016, there has been a change in eligibility laws that will see players who have represented one nation now eligible to play for another, if they hold a passport from that country.
If they have not played international rugby in the past 18 months, they will be eligible for their new country in the Sevens World Series or designated Regional Olympic Qualification Tournaments and would thus be able to play for that country in all forms of rugby.
Forget the All Blacks’ attempt to break the world record for most wins in succession, Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie plans a record of his own.
McKenzie is eyeing Australia’s all-time record of 10 wins in a row this year, with his side currently sitting on seven successive victories.
Most focus leading up to the next month’s opening Bledisloe Cup test between the transtasman rivals will be on New Zealand’s pursuit of 18-straight victories, never achieved by a major test nation.
Ewen McKenzie says an Australian side winning the Super Rugby crown would be ”as good as it gets” for the Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup prospects.
The Waratahs and Brumbies go head to head in a blockbuster semi-final at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, with the winners likely to take on New Zealand superpowers, the Crusaders, in the August 2 championship decider.
The Wallabies tackle the All Blacks two weeks later in the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener in Sydney.
“Form and confidence, they’re good attributes to have,” McKenzie said after announcing his 32-man Rugby Championship squad yesterday.
“If you’re out there beating your opponents and winning consistently – and that’s what these teams have been doing – and the Wallabies have been doing the same thing.”
The Wallabies formalised a tug of war victory over New Zealand rugby today, though from the All Blacks’ perspective ideally Henry Speight will not compromise the world champions’ Bledisloe Cup reign and defence of the Rugby Championship.
One cult figure of Australian rugby replaced another when Ewen McKenzie named a 32-man squad that predictably included the Fijian-born wing – although he cannot be picked for the tests against the All Blacks in Sydney and Auckland next month plus the Springboks in Perth on September 6.
The Hamilton Boys’ High School-educated finisher, who was approached to join the Chiefs in 2012 a year after making his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies, is expected to make his test debut on September 13 against Argentina on the Gold Coast, two days after an IRB-imposed stand down expires.
Ever wondered what it would be like to cross rugby spectating with Gold Reef City? No? Well neither has anyone else, until Samsung Australia came up with an innovative an novel new way of watching rugby.
Samsung Electronics Australia will launch the SlideLiner, an exciting Samsung innovation to give Australian Rugby fans a money-can’t-buy seat between the grandstand and the pitch during three matches of the 2014 Rugby Championship.
The Samsung SlideLiner is a comfortable, four person ‘couch’ that will sit on tracks beside the pitch, following the action along the field of play as the Qantas Wallabies take on the All Blacks and Springboks in The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship 2014.
The Australian Rugby Union has unveiled the Wallabies player allocations for the inaugural year of Australian’s National Rugby Championship.
In general, Wallabies will be aligned to the NRC team that is affiliated with their Premier Club, with each NRC team entitled to four Test players outside of their 33-man contracted squad.
If an NRC team elects to have more than four Wallabies aligned to their team, extra Test players will be counted as part of their contracted playing squad.
SANZAR on Friday said it will immediately introduce a strengthened concussion test for players in Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship in line with moves made by the International Rugby Board.
SANZAR, which runs the Super Rugby competition and the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, said player welfare was paramount.
Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie believes Joe Tomane will soon be back in the selection frame for the national team.
The Wallaby and Brumbies wing, Tomane, signed a new two-year deal with the Australia Rugby Union that will take him through until at least the end of 2016.
His signature further bolsters the rich talent available to the Wallabies in the outside backs with Tomane determined to add to the nine caps he has earned since making his debut in 2012.
The International Rugby Board has named the Match Officials for SANZAR’s The Rugby Championship in August and September. A new face amongst them is John Lacey of Ireland.
Lacey has become increasingly prominent this year and last Friday refereed the Test in Cordoba between Argentina and Scotland.
He is an e at -player – a wing or fullback for Munster and Ireland A. His debut for Munster was in 1995 against Transvaal. He played till 2007 when he retired and then became a referee. In 2008 he was refereeing club rugby in the Amlin Cup and the Magners League. In 2009 the IRB chose him as an international assistant referee. In 2010 he replaced injured Greg Gardner at the Junior World Championship where he refereed a semifinal. The next year he was on the international panel as a referee. Now he is going to Loftus Versfeld to referee a Test between the Springboks and the Pumas.
The last Championship matches are on 4 October 2014, the Bledisloe Cup match a fortnight later.
The Wallabies have set their sights on the all-conquering All Blacks and retrieving the Bledisloe Cup after sweeping their three-Test series against France this weekend.
The Australians had too much firepower for Les Bleus, winning 39-13 in Sydney on Saturday for their seventh consecutive Test win under coach Ewen McKenzie.
It has been 12 years since the Wallabies last held the Bledisloe Cup, the symbol of trans-Tasman supremacy, but McKenzie said there was every reason for Australia to believe that a slice of history could be within their reach against the world champions.
“There’s no mortgage on these sorts of things,” McKenzie told reporters on Sunday.
Wallabies (20) 39 / 13 (6) France (Final Score)
The Australian Wallabies and France did battle in the 3rd Test of the June Internationals at
Allianz Stadium, Sydney at 07:00 SA Time (15:00 AEST, 07:00 French Time, 05:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.
Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver on Thursday ruled out introducing player sabbaticals, preventing stars such as Israel Folau taking up lucrative short-term overseas deals.
Folau this week joined Test greats including ex-captains John Eales, George Gregan and Stirling Mortlock in calling for playing stints overseas to be allowed without losing eligibility to represent the Wallabies.
Folau, 24, is hot property across the two rugby codes and comes off contract next year, with French champions Toulon reportedly expressing an interest in the dual rugby international back.
ARU rules stipulate that players must complete a full season of domestic rugby in Australia to be eligible for national team selection.
Four of France’s leading players, including scrum-half Morgan Parra and centre Mathieu Bastareaud, are struggling to be fit for their final Test against Australia.
Team officials said lock Yoann Maestri and prop Nicolas Mas, who is on the bench after captaining the tourists in the opening Test, are also in doubt as France seek their first win in Australia since 1990.
Maestri pulled out of training early on Thursday with a left knee injury.
Waratahs enforcer Will Skelton will make his Test debut for the Wallabies as they target a clean sweep of the French in Sydney on Saturday.
With Australia entering the match with an insurmountable 2-0 series lead, coach Ewen McKenzie has opted to give the 203cm, 140kg lock an opportunity in the starting side in his home state.
His inclusion represents one of the two changes made to the starting XV, with Skelton’s Waratahs teammate Wycliff Palu returning at No 8 after missing the second Test in Melbourne with a minor ankle injury.
There have been two further changes made on the bench with Brumbies prop Scott Sio and Waratahs outside back Rob Horne getting their first opportunities in the match day squad for 2014.
There was little change in the International Rugby Board’s rankings after the weekend’s matches, according to the IRB website.
New Zealand, who beat England 28-27 in Dunedin to secure the three-match series, remain at the top with 93.81 ratings points.
The Springboks, who beat Wales 38-16 in Durban, stay in 2nd position on 89.34, while Australia – who were 6-0 victors over France in Melbourne – stay in 3rd position (86.92) ahead of England (85.68).
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has continued his selection merry-go-round when he named the team to face Australia in the third and final Test in Sydney on Saturday.
Saint-Andre made two changes to his starting line-up in a bid to salvage a win in the series against the Wallabies.
Saint-Andre recalled Hugo Bonneval, who played at fullback in the first Test, to replace Maxime Medard on the wing.
Fulgence Ouedraogo comes into a reshuffled back row and will start at openside flank, forcing captain Thierry Dusautoir to the blindside.
In-demand Wallabies star Israel Folau has ruled out any move to Europe or a switch back to league in Australia before next year’s World Cup.
Folau is hot property across the two codes and comes off contract next year, with French champions Toulon reportedly expressing an interest in the dual rugby international back.
Toulon, the reigning European Cup and Top 14 champions, are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, boasting a star-studded roster including former Wallabies backs Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and the newly signed James O’Connor.
But Folau, 25, said he would not decide his future before rugby’s showpiece event which starts in England in September next year.
Wallabies (0) 6 / 0 (0) France (Final Score)
The Australian Wallabies and France do battle in their 2nd Test of the June Internationals at
Etihad Stadium. Melbourne at 12:00 SA Time (20:00 AEST, 12:00 French Time, 10:00 GMT).
This is the live match discussion Article.
The match is broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.
IRB chief executive Brett Gosper has revealed that while an IRB committee is working on it a global season is unlikely to happen before 2019.
Super Rugby and Rugby Championship organisers SANZAR have requested that the IRB move the current June Test window to July in order to allow their Super Rugby tournament to run without a break for internationals.
July does not currenly fit in with the European season as the climax of the Northern Hemisphere tournaments take place in May and the June Internationals follow on.
Moving the mid-year internationals to July would therefore not work for Northern Hemisphere teams as the players would not get sufficient rest and the season would have a “dead” month in June.
Wallaby hooker Nathan Charles says he wants to be judged on his performance rather than a genetic disease he has defied to make the national team.
Charles, who is poised to make his Test debut when he starts on the replacements bench against France in Melbourne on Saturday, is a cystic fibrosis sufferer.
He is believed to be the only athlete with the condition in the world who is playing a professional contact sport.
Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.
True to tradition, French coach Philippe Saint-Andre has wielded a very heavy axe ahead of his team’s second Test against Australia, in Melbourne on Saturday.
Saint-Andre made 10 changes, including the return of inspirational skipper Thierry Dusautoir, to try to save the series against the Wallabies – following a hammering in the first Test.
France lost 23-50 in Brisbane last week and Saint-Andre said he expected a lot more in Melbourne on Saturday, speaking even of being “ashamed”.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has made three injury-enforced changes to his starting XV for Saturday’s second Test against ‘desperate’ France, when Michael Hooper will become one his country’s youngest ever captains.
Veteran hooker Stephen Moore (knee), lock Sam Carter (ankle) and back-row forward Wycliff Palu (ankle) have all been ruled out after Australia dominated the opening game in Brisbane 50 / 23.
Waratahs powerhouse Tatafu Polota-Nau replaces Moore, big lock James Horwill comes in for Carter for his 50th game for Australia and Western Force workhorse Ben McCalman will wear the No 8 jersey.
News out of the Australian camp ahead of the 2nd Test against France is that Ewen McKenzie hs named young Michael Hooper as Wallaby captain, after Stephen Moore was ruled out for the season with injury.
In addition, James Hanson, Reds backup hooker was drafted into the Wallaby camp to replace Stephen Moore.
Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore has said Sunday he will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury that has left him needing surgery following Australia’s 50-23 thumping of France.
In a further blow to the Wallabies following their comprehensive first Test victory over France on Saturday, lock Sam Carter was also ruled out of the rest of the three-match French series with a high left ankle strain.
Scans revealed that hooker Moore ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament and medial ligament in the opening minute of the first Test win over France in Brisbane.
“I’m going to need some surgery to repair my ACL/MCL.”
French coach Philippe Saint-Andre spoke of the ‘panic’ in his team, but it appears he may well be ready to hit the panic-button himself.
Saint-Andre made it clear he will wield the axe as France seek to keep their three-Test series alive against Australia in Melbourne next week.
Les Bleus were outclassed by a rampant Australia, who won 50-23 in the opening Test in Brisbane ate the weekend – with the Wallabies scoring seven tries.
Wallabies (29) 50 / 23 (9) France (Final Score)
The Australian Wallabies and France did battle in the June Internationals at
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane at 12:05 SA Time (20:05 AEST, 12:05 French Time, 10:05 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.
We’ve already seen the matches of Round 2 of the 2014 Junior World Championships on TV on Friday 6 June, but Saturdat 7 June sees the proper start of the June Internationals, with 4 of those international Tests broadcast live on TV in South Africa.
These Fixtures will of course also be handled as Live Game Articles right here on your favourite rugby website, Rugby-Talk.
The action is kicked off at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 08:40 BST, 07:35 GMT) between the All Blacks vs England, followed by the Wallabies vs France at 11:40 SA Time (19:40 AEST, 09:40 France Time & GMT).
The Springboks vs the World XV side follows at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT).
At 20:40 SA Time (15:40 ARG Time, 19:40 BST, 18:40 GMT) we see Argentina vs Ireland.
Les Bleus coach Phillipe Saint-Andre pulled a major surprise on Wednesday by leaving out tour captain Thierry Dusautoir.
There was however room in the starting line up for mercurial vetern flyhalf, Frederic Michalak.
Dusautoir, the 2011 player of the year underwent surgery to his left arm after tearing his bicep during this year’s French Top 14 competition and is still regaining full power.
Veteran hooker Stephen Moore will captain the Wallabies in the opening Test against France this coming weekend, coach Ewen McKenzie said Monday.
Moore, 31, is Australia’s most capped hooker with 91 Tests and is in his 10th season with the Wallabies.
“It is a huge personal achievement in being chosen to lead your country,” McKenzie said.