Wallabies abroad: Bittersweet weekend for Aussies

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Matt Toomua has made it through his first full Premiership match in close to a year, lining up for Leicester in a tight 27-23 loss to Bath.

Toomua ruptured his ACL in the Tigers' second round match in the 2016-17 season, cutting short his first year in England.

The 27-year-old played in Leicester's warm-up matches, before running out in their season opener.

Aussie Sevens olympian Nick Malouf started on the wing for the Tigers, while Ben Tapuai came off the pine for Bath in the final seven minutes.

Nic White made his Exeter debut, alongside former Wallaby Dave Dennis, who played at blindside flanker.

Nic White made his Premiership debut for the defending champs. Photo: Getty ImagesWhite played 58 minutes as the defending champions suffered a narrow loss to Gloucester in their opening fixture.

James Horwill lead Harlequins out in a 39-29 loss to newly promoted side London Irish.

Irish were missing two of Horwill’s ex-Reds teammates, Saia Faingaa and Jake Schatz, both awaiting their club debut after joining the side this season.

Former Waratahs teammates Will Skelton and Rob Horne missed the chance to face off for the first time, with neither selected in the Saracens-Northampton opening round encounter, that Saracens claimed 55-24.


Gloucester 28 - Exeter 21

Newcastle 35 - Worcester 8

Saracens 55 - Northampton 24

Wasps 50 - Sale 35

London Irish 39 - Harlequin 29

Leicester 23 - Bath 27

PRO 14

Christian Lealiifano made his Ulster debut on Friday night, impressing in his first full match of top-flight rugby since a leukaemia diagnosis. 

Lealiifano steered Ulster at flyhalf in his Irish debut as they romped to a 42-19 win over Super Rugby discards, the Cheetahs.

His former Brumbies teammate Scott Fardy ran out for Leinster for the first time later on in the weekend, playing at lock in a big 39-16 win over Newport Gwent Dragons.


Munster 34 - Benetton 3

Cardiff 10 - Edinburgh 20

Ulster 42 - Cheetahs 19

Ospreys 22 - Zebre 13

Dragons 16 - Leinster 39

Scarlets 57 - Kings 10

Connacht 12 - Glasgow 18

TOP 14

Leroy Houston and Bordeaux had a tough afternoon in the Top 14. Photo: AFPLiam Gill played his second match for Lyon, starting at openside flanker in a 29-14 win over Brive.

Aussie Jake McIntyre was among an Agen side that shocked heavyweights Racing 92, with the former Queensland Reds half scoring 13 points.

Leroy Houston played at no. 8 for Bordeaux, in a tough night out against Castres, while former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen started at blindside

Joe Tomane watched on as Montpellier played out a 37-6 win over Oyonnax in the second week of the Top 14.


Agen 23 - Racing 92 19

Stade Francais 25 - La Rochelle 24

Montpellier 37 - Oyonnax 6

Lyon 29 - Brive 14

Castres 33 - Bordeaux 19

Toulouse 23 - Pau 19

Clermont 21 - Toulon 16


David Pocock back in action with Panasonic. Photo: JRFUA host of capped Wallabies helped Panasonic to another big win in the Japanese Top League, 47-10 over the Toshiba Brave Lupus.

Two-Test lock Daniel Heenan notched a try, while flyhalf Berrick Barnes slotted seven points off the boot, David Pocock played out the entire match at openside flanker and Digby Ioane was injected off the pine.

Suntory snuck past Yamaha, as Japanese hero Ayumu Goromaru made his homeground return amid huge fanfare.

Matt Giteau and George Smith played at 12 and no. 8 respectively as the defending champions kept their undefeated record intact.

Adam Ashley-Cooper played the last half hour off the bench for the Kobelco Steel in a 45-7 win over the Kubota Spears while Anthony Faingaa was at inside centre for the Kintetsu Liners, as they went down to the Shining Arcs 36-10.


Toshiba Brave Lupus 10 - Panasonic 47

NEC Green Rockets 42 - Toyota Industries Shuttles 26

Suntory 27 - Yamaha Jubilo 24

Kobelco Steel 47 - Kubota Spears 5

Blues 14 - Ricoh Black Rams 35

NTT Red Hurricanes 28 - Coca-Cola Red Sparks 24

Kintetsu Liners 10 - NTT Communications Shining Arcs 36

Canon Eagles 12 - Toyota Verblitz 34