Former teammates to meet in Japan

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

There’s a packed Boxing Day in Japan’s Top League, with plenty of Aussies in action.

Bernard Foley’s Ricoh Black Rams are still fighting to avoid the relegation play-offs, sitting eighth in their pool.

The 26-year-old will start at flyhalf for the team in their match against Kubota on Saturday afternoon.

Capped Wallaby Sam Norton-Knight will line up at 10 for the NEC Green Rockets against the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

Mark Gerrard will again play flyhalf for the Toyota Industries Shuttles, against the Coca-Cola Red Sparks.

Winger Nick Cummins will miss the game, not named in the 23 for the Sparks.

Berrick Barnes rounds out the Aussie 10s featuring in Japan this weekend, starting for competition favourites Panasonic Wild Knights against the Honda Heat.

Wallabies backrower Ben McCalman will be injected off the bench for the Wild Knights.

Barnes’ former Super Rugby and national teammate Digby Ioane will start on the wing for the Heat.


Peter Betham has been named  at outside centre for third-placed Leicester Tigers against Newcastle on Saturday night (AEDT).

George Smith will miss the Wasps’ match against the Saracens, with Tom Youngs starting at openside flanker.

After a strong start to the season, the Wasps are fifth, with a 3-3 record, as they prepare for their clash with the reigning premiers.

Cooper Vuna will start on the left wing for the Worcester Warriors as they try for an upset against Bath.

The newly promoted Worcester have sprung some surprise wins this season and will be looking for another against their heavyweight opponents.


Former Rebels back Luke Burgess will start at halfback for Zebre against Benetton Treviso in an all-Italian clash of the Pro12.

The two sides occupy the bottoms spots in the PRO12 competition, with Benetton searching for its first win of the year.

Former Waratahs wing Taqele Naiyaravoro will be looking to continue his strong form for Glasgow when they take on Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

The Warriors sit in eighth, just one spot above Edinburgh as they head into the local derby.