France vs Argentina

France aim to end patchy record against Argentina

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France vs Argentina

France and Argentina will both be aiming to get back to winning ways when they meet at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille on Saturday.

South Africa scored a try in stoppage time to snatch a dramatic 29-26 win over France last weekend, while Argentina went down 28-17 to Ireland in a patchy encounter in Dublin.

As bogey teams go, Argentina give France an itch like no other, and have done so for more than two decades. In 20 years, under five different coaches, various French sides, featuring stars such as Frederic Michalak, Sebastien Chabal and Thierry Dusautoir, have only managed seven victories over the South Americans.

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In the opening game, with French fans expecting a positive start to the tournament, Agustin Pichot’s Pumas silenced the 79,000 crowd at Stade de France with a 17-12 win.

Three weeks later, they upset the locals once again to claim third place with a thumping 34-10 victory across Paris at the Parc des Princes.

Twelve years on, the sides will meet again in their opening fixture at the World Cup in Japan.

France coach Jacques Brunel doesn’t think this weekend’s result will have any bearing on what happens next September.

“Whatever the result, it will have very little effect on the World Cup match, even if we think it could have a psychological impact,” he said.

“We’re in completely different circumstances, for me that match will be different to the one on the weekend.”

Saturday’s visitors have a French feel, on and off the field. Three members of the Argentinian coaching staff – Mario Ledesma, Martin Gaitan and Gonzalo Quesada — have all played and coached in France’s Top 14. Quesada coached Stade Francais to the title in 2015.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez has been in France since 2011, playing for Bordeaux-Begles and Toulon, and will join Stade after the November internationals. Second-row Tomas Lavanini spent the 2014/15 season with Racing 92.

Brunel said the familiarity gives Argentina an advantage, but it will not be the deciding factor heading into the clash at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

“Clearly they know our players better than we know theirs,” he said.

“It has an implication, but I don’t think it will determine the outcome of the match.”

Brunel praised the work Ledesma has done since he took over from Daniel Hourcade, who stepped down from his position in June.

“It’s a team which has evolved over the years. They have played with much more ambition since the new coach took over,” Brunel said.

“They’re a quality side, which they’ve showed throughout their games in the southern hemisphere.”

Ledesma’s side have lost three successive matches and Brunel’s outfit haven’t won since March’s Six Nations victory over England.

France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 1 Jefferson Poirot, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5 Yoan Maestri, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 7 Artur Iturria, 8 Louis Picamoles

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Mathieu Babillot, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Benjamin Fall.

Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta, 2 Augustin Creevy, 3 Santiago Medrano, 4 Matias Alemanno, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 7 Guido Petti, 8 Javier Ortega Desio.

Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Tomas Lezana, 22 Tomas Cubelli, 23 Matias Moroni.

All Blacks vs Ireland

All Blacks vs Ireland: Flanker Dan Leavy ruled out of NZ test with injuryThe media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.

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All Blacks vs Ireland

Ireland have been dealt a blow ahead of Sunday’s (NZ time) test against the All Blacks, with openside flanker Dan Leavy forced to miss the match with injury.

Leavy has been sctarched due to “full body soreness” and his starting place at the Aviva Stadium has been handed to Josh van der Flier.

Jordi Murphy has been added to the bench for Joe Schmidt’s side.

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The loss of Leavy compounds Ireland’s loose-forward woes with British and Irish Lions standout  Sean O’Brien also on the sidelines after breaking his arm against Argentina last week.

“From our point of view it doesn’t affect us that much, we are replacing one quality player with another,” said captain Rory Best.

“I think Josh and Dan are rather similar players. Josh will bring his game and fit in seamlessly,” Best added.

1-Cian Healy, 2-Rory Best (c), 3-Tadhg Furlong, 4-Devin Toner, 5-James Ryan, 6-Peter O’Mahony,7-Josh van der Flier, 8-CJ Stander,9-Kieran Marmion,10-Jonathan Sexton,11-Jacob Stockdale,12-Bundee Aki, 13-Garry Ringrose, 14-Keith Earls, 15-Rob Kearney

Reserves: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Jack McGrath, 18-Andrew Porter, 19-Iain Henderson, 20-Jordi Murphy, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Joey Carbery, 23-Jordan Larmour.

New Zealand vs Ireland

How the kicking game will decide New Zealand vs Ireland

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New Zealand vs Ireland

He is more understated about the significance of Saturday’s game, but recognises victories over New Zealand are rare for any team. “For us to challenge ourselves in these conditions is an exciting time”.

Hansen says Schmidt has managed to get the best out of the players at his disposal and uses their individual strengths as a team collective.

Schmidt will hope that without his talismanic scrum-half Conor Murray, who has not played this season due to a neck injury, fly-half Johnny Sexton will be able to orchestrate matters as well with Kieran Marmion alongside him.

New Zealand vs Ireland Live Rugby Streaming

With regards to Beauden Barrett, who like Sexton is also nominated for the World Rugby Player Of The Year, he also had a hard afternoon at a rain-sodden Twickenham on Saturday.

Hansen has persisted with his preference to field two playmakers against top sides, with Beauden Barrett at flyhalf and Damian McKenzie at fullback. No less of an intriguing sideshow is the battle between Hansen and Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, tipped as his possible successor when he leaves his post at the end of the next World Cup.

“They’re probably the team in World Rugby who hang onto the ball the most,”said Hansen”. They are going to play to their potential and it is just unfortunate that Ireland are going to get them at the wrong time’.

“Each coach has got to coach the group of athletes the way that best suits them”. You’ve got to admire all of that, it’s winning and they’ll punish you. “I feel we’re in a pretty good space right now mentally, and physically we’re in the best shape we can be as well”.

Barrett has much been criticised for his goal kicking but he was assured in this department in terrible conditions and he also landed a hard drop goal in the second half to bring his side to within two points after finding themselves 15-0 down at one stage – seemingly learning the lesson from their loss to South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks boss added that he has got great admiration for Ireland’s possession-dominated style of play and that in his experience, you have to coach a team based around the athletes that you have and that you can’t implement a style of rugby without the players to support your plans.

The superb break from Matias Orlando which saw Ramiro Moyano hauled down just metres from the Irish line led to a Bautista Delguy try as they spread the ball wide from the next phase where Ireland were found backtracking and too narrow.

“We expect high standards and if we’re not winning we’re not happy”.

Ireland host New Zealand in Dublin on Saturday November 17, kicking off at 7pm local, 6am AEDT, LIVE on beIn Sports.

South Africa vs Scotland

South Africa vs Scotland: will want to continue on winning ways when they meet Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. Rassie Erasmus’ men bounced back from the disappointment of Twickenham to claim a last-gasp victory over France in Paris last week and will look to make it three wins on tour against a Scottish side fresh off dispatching Fiji in their previous outing.

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South Africa vs Scotland

With the clash against the Springboks a step up in quality of opposition compared to the Pacific Islanders, Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has made six changes from the side that did duty last weekend.

The highly-rated Huw Jones returns to the starting lineup and slots in at outside centre, after sitting out the game against Fiji, in a strong XV lead by the experienced Greg Laidlaw at scrumhalf.

South Africa vs Scotland Live Streaming

The Springboks, on the other hand, are short of experience at number 9, with Embrose Papier set to make his first start in the green and gold in place of Faf de Klerk, who has been released to turn out for the struggling Sale Sharks.

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The Bulls scrumhalf is one of only two outright changes in the starting XV made by Erasmus, with RG Snyman starting at lock, moving Pieter-Steph du Toit to the back row in the absence of Warren Whiteley.

While many a Bok coaches in the past would have used the fixture against Scotland to give some of the fringe players a run, the minimal changes in the visitors’ camp are perhaps testament to the stride made by the hosts in recent years.

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In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .

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In their last ten Tests at Murrayfield, the Scots have lost just once – running world champions New Zealand close for a 22-17 defeat – and have beaten the likes of Australia, Ireland and England on their way to making theh venue somewhat of a fortress under Townsend.

The Springboks’ last visit to the venue came in 2013, when they ran off comfortable 28-0 winners under Heyneke Meyer.

Scotland vs South Africa: Head to head

2015: South Africa won 34-16 (Newcastle)

2014: South Africa won 55-6 (Port Elizabeth)

2013: South Africa won 28-0 (Edinburgh)

2013: South Africa won 30-17 (Nelspruit)

2012: South Africa won 21-10 (Edinburgh)
Teams
Scotland

Backs: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Pete Horne, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (c).

Forwards: Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, Sam Skinner, Jonny Gray, Ben Toolis, Willem Nel, Stuart McInally, Gordon Reid.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Josh Strauss, Jamie Ritchie, Ali Price, Adam Hastings, Chris Harris.
South Africa

Backs: Willie le Roux, Sbu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Handré Pollard, Embrose Papier.

Forwards: Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Franco Mostert, RG Snyman, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Thomas du Toit, Vincent Koch, Lood de Jager, Francois Louw, Ivan van Zyl, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe.
Match officials

England vs Japan

England vs Japan LIVE – What time does it start, which TV channel, how to watch, latest news and more

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England vs Japan

A heavily changed England side takes on Japan on Saturday afternoon in the third of their autumn internationals, with Eddie Jones looking to get his side back to winning ways after last weekend’s defeat by the All Blacks.

Jones hands Bath wing Joe Cokanasiga his England debut while Zach Mercer makes his first start at No 8, with only four players being retained and just two of those in the same position in the form of full-back Elliot Daly and lock Maro Itoje.

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George Ford comes in at fly-half to replace Owen Farrell and captain the side on what will be his 50th cap, but he will want to ensure that England do not suffer a similar fate to the Springboks in 2015 after witnessing Japan pull off one of the great shocks of rugby union. Follow the live action below.

 

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of today’s autumn international clash between England and Japan, brought to you from pitchside at Twickenham stadium.
With kick-off due at 3:00pm, we’ll begin our in-depth build up an hour before, bringing you the latest team news and atmosphere from Twickenham.

England: Elliot Daly; Joe Cokanasiga, Jack Nowell, Alex Lozowski, Chris Ashton; George Ford, Danny Care; Alec Hepburn, Jamie George, Harry Williams; Charlie Ewels, Maro Itoje; Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Zach Mercer.

Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Ben Moon, Kyle Sinckler, Ted Hill, Sam Underhill, Richard Wigglesworth, Owen Farrell, Henry Slade.

Japan: Will Tupou; Akihito Yamada, Timothy Lafaele, Ryoto Nakamura, Kenki Fukuoka; Yu Tamura, Fumiaki Tanaka; Keita Inagaki, Atsushi Sakate, Koo Ji-won, Wimpie van der Walt; Uwe Helu, Michael Leitch, Masakatsu Nishikawa, Kazuki Himeno.

Replacements: Yusuke Niwai, Koki Yamamoto, Aasaeli Ai Valu, Samuela Anise, Hendrik Tui, Shunsuke Nunomaki, Yutaka Nagare, Rikiya Matsuda.

Wales vs Tonga

Wales vs Tonga changes as Scotland brace for Springboks clash

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Wales vs Tonga

For all World Rugby’s efforts to give emerging nations greater exposure to the leading teams in between World Cups, Tonga’s match with Wales in Cardiff on Saturday is only their third against a tier-one country in three years.

They will match that tally in the opening three rounds of next year’s World Cup in Japan when they face England, Argentina and France in a two-week period far more demanding than they are used to.

Although they are up against a Wales side that shows 14 changes from the team that defeated Australia last weekend, their opponents have been in camp for the best part of a month. Tonga, whose side is made up of players based in France, England, New Zealand and Wales, warmed up with a victory over the French Barbarians in Bordeaux last weekend.

Wales vs Tonga Live Stream Rugby

“There are a few areas we have to work on but we are heading in the right direction,” the Tonga coach, Toutai Kefu, a No 8 in his playing days who won 60 caps for Australia, said. “Wales may not have picked their strongest team but they are still Wales and will have a strong set piece and good kicking game. They won’t give us much and we will need to take care of the ball.”

Tonga were the runners-up in this year’s Pacific Nations Cup, although they went on to defeat the champions, Fiji. They lost to Wales in Auckland last year having beaten Italy in Padova in the 2016 autumn series. They are captained by the Bristol centre Siale Piutau with the Newcastle scrum-half Tane Takulua their goalkicker and conductor.

Wales have not lost at home for nearly a year and, after overcoming their nemesis Australia, are on course to go through a four-match autumn campaign unbeaten with South Africa to come next week. They have, though, often struggled against tier-two opponents having made sweeping changes.

They laboured to a 13-6 victory over Georgia last year, beat Japan with a late drop goal in 2016 and in the years before that failed to score points in the second half against Fiji and Tonga. Leicester’s full-back Jonah Holmes makes his Test debut on an afternoon when the Saracens wing Liam Williams wins his 50th cap.

“We are not getting ahead of ourselves,” the Wales head coach, Warren Gatland said, “but we feel we are in a good place. We have not been talking about South Africa this week: the focus has been Tonga. We have made a lot of changes but everyone knows that he has the chance to put himself in contention to face South Africa.”

Elsewhere, Scotland’s captain Greig Laidlaw says his side are braced for a tough test against South Africa at Murrayfield.

The Dark Blues have won just five of their previous 26 meetings with the Springboks, the last of which was eight years ago when Gregor Townsend was assistant coach for a 21-17 triumph.

South Africa, who have outscored Scotland by 15 tries to one in the last three meetings, lost to England and beat France in two close-fought matches on tour so far.

Laidlaw, though, says their recent victory over New Zealand is a true indication of the size of Scotland’s task. “It’s going to be a hard Test match, that’s for sure,” Laidlaw said.

“They’re a very good side and they’re coming off the back of victory against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence, coming back to win well last week against France. It’s going to be tough but we’re looking forward to it.”

Scotland’s head coach Townsend has made six changes to the team that started last week’s game against Fiji. Centre Huw Jones, whose professional career began in South Africa, is the only new name in the backline but Townsend has brought Gordon Reid, Stuart McInally, Jonny Gray, Ben Toolis and Hamish Watson into a beefed-up pack for what he has described as “the biggest physical challenge in world rugby”.

Italy vs Australia

Italy vs Australia: Talking points ahead of Saturday’s autumn international between Italy and Australia at Stadio Euganeo in Padua (kick-off 2pm).
Italy going for the kill

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Italy vs Australia

Italy are looking to turn the screw on Michael Cheika and gun for their first win over ailing Australia, who are in the mire after a terrible recent run of results.

Pressure is mounting on Wallabies coach Cheika thanks to the two-time world champions gaining just three wins from 11 Tests this season, with the latest defeat coming against Wales in Cardiff last weekend.

Italy have lost all 17 matches they have played with Australia, with nine of those defeats coming on Italian soil.

“Coming off a win always helps from in terms of mood and self-confidence,” said Italy forwards coach Giampiero De Carli after last weekend’s 28-17 win over Georgia.

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“Australia are a team with a high level of technical skill. We’ll have to try to keep up the pressure and to be sharper in attack, but the support of our crowd will surely be a help.”

There has been speculation that defeat at the Stadio Euganeo could be the final straw for 51-year-old Cheika, whose side have slipped to seventh in the world rankings.

Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tommaso Castello, 11 Mattia Bellini, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini (c), 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Dean Budd, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Jake Polledri, 8 Abraham Steyn.

Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore’, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Johan Meyer, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Luca Morisi.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Jake Gordon; 1 Scott Sio, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 3 Taniela Tupou, 4 Izack Rodda, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 8 David Pocock,

Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Jermaine Ainsley 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Will Genia, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Dane Haylett-Petty.