November teams: Steaks high in England, Kaino's All Blacks year over

by AFP

Eddie Jones insists Argentina will feast on beer and steak if they revive their season by defeating England at Twickenham.

The Pumas have lost all but one of their nine Tests this year, dispatching only Georgia in June, and have been defeated in all three meetings with Jones' men - who they must also face in the pool phase of the 2019 World Cup.

Victory in the opening autumn international on Saturday, however, would see them return to South America as conquering heroes according to the man plotting their downfall.

"Argentina are coming off the back of not a good season. Their coach (Daniel Hourcade) is under pressure, their players are under pressure," Jones said.

"But they know if they beat England at Twickenham then their whole season turns around.

"They can go back to Buenos Aires and sit on the beach as heroes. Everyone will want to buy them a beer. Everyone will want to buy them a steak.

"I'm confident we'll play well and if we play well enough the result will come our way. If they play better than us, they'll beat us. But we intend to play well."

Jones honoured his pledge to rest some of the British and Irish Lions involved in the summer tour to New Zealand by omitting Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje from the team to face Argentina.

The Australian stated last week that a number of the Lions who faced the All Blacks arrived into the Portugal training camp "deconditioned" and it is Farrell and Itoje who have been stood down.

"We always said we would look at each player individually to where they're up to and see what they needed to do. We decided to rest two," Jones said.

"I've picked the best 23 because we want to win this game against Argentina. It's very simple."

Henry Slade replaces Farrell at inside centre, holding off the challenge of Alex Lozowski who is named on the bench, while George Kruis and Courtney Lawes are paired in the second row.

Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson have been named on the wings after Jonny May failed to recover from a hamstring strain in time to be involved against the Pumas.

Daly was expected to miss the clashes with Argentina and Australia because of knee ligament damage but the injury was not as bad as his scan suggested and he has been passed fit.


England squad to take on Argentina 

1. Mako Vunipola

2. Dylan Hartley

3. Dan Cole

4. Courtney Lawes

5. George Kruis

6. Chris Robshaw

7. Sam Underhill

8. Nathan Hughes

9. Ben Youns

10. George Ford

11. Elliot Daly

12. Henry Slade

13. Jonathan Joseph

14. Anthony Watson

15. Mike Brown


16. Jamie George

17. Ellis Genge

18. Harry Williams

 19. Joe Launchbury

20. Sam Simmonds

 21. Danny Care

22.  Alex Lozowski

23. Semesa Rokoduguni

Argentina to face England

1. Santiago Garcia Botta

2. Agustin Creevy

3. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

4. Matias Alemanno

5. Tomas Lavanini

6. Pablo Matera

7. Marcos Kremer

8. Tomas LEzana

9. Matin Landajo

10. Juan Martin Hernndez

11. Emiliano Boffelli

12. Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias

13. Matias Moroni

14. Ramiro MOyano

15. Joaquin Tuculet


16. Julian Montoya

17. Lucas Noguera

18. Enrique Pieretto

19. Benjamin Macome

20. Leonardo Senatore

21. Gonzalo Bertranou

22. Nicolas Sanchez

23. Sebastian Cancelliere


Jerome Kaino has returned home to New Zealand. Photo: Getty imagesVaea Fifita's breakthrough All Blacks season will scale new heights in Paris but 2017 has bottomed out for injured veteran Jerome Kaino.

Rookie blindside flanker Fifita is the notable inclusion in Steve Hansen's team to face France on Saturday, with two other changes widely forecast.

Fifita replaces Liam Squire from the side who had lost to Australia three weeks ago in Brisbane. Squire wasn't considered after contracting a virus.

Key five-eighth Beauden Barrett missed the Brisbane Test with concussion and demotes Lima Sopoaga to the bench.

Barrett's brother Scott suffers the opposite fate, dropped to the reserves to allow room for in-form lock Luke Romano.

Fifita's chance also comes at the expense of flanker Kaino, who will return home with knee ligament damage from Saturday's win over the Barbarians in London.

He faces a six-week recovery, ending a forgettable season in which Kaino had missed all seven Tests after the series draw with the British and Irish Lions.

He withdrew from All Blacks contention temporarily in August amid media allegations about his personal life.

Beauden Barrett will lead the All Blacks against the Barbarians. Photo: Getty ImagesHansen said he felt for 34-year-old Kaino, who had been unable to win his place back but was being lined up for the final tour Test against Wales.

He'll return home after Saturday and set about building for next year.

"He's pretty philosophical about it. It's been a tough year but we've had a good yarn about it," Hansen said.

"It's not the end of his Test career at this point. He's just got to go home and do what everyone else has to do and play well in the Super (Rugby) season. We'll start again."

Fifita, preparing for the fourth Test, looked sharp against the Barbarians.

Hansen said the rangy forward had made enormous strides this year and not just with his spectacular surges in open space.

"He's starting to add to his game. Rather than just his running game, he's starting to get more physical," Hansen said.

"He's worth persevering with because he's a very, very talented young man. If we get him to where we think we can get him to, he's going to be a fairly handy player."

Rieko Ioane is on the left wing, having overcome the mumps.


France to face New Zealand

1. Jefferson Poirot

2. Guilhem Guirado

3. Rabah Slimani

4. Sebastien Vahaamahina

5. Paul Gabrillagues

6. Judicael Cancoriet

7. Kevin GOurdon

8. Louis Picamoles

9. Antoine Dupont

10. Anthony Belleau

11. Yoann HUget

12. Mathiew Bastareaud

13. Geoffrey Doumayrou

14. Teddy Thomas

15. Nans Ducuing


16.Clement Maynadier

17. Raphael Chaume

18. Daniel Kotze

19. Paul Jedrasiak,

20. Anthony Jelonch

21. Baptiste Serin

22. Francois Trinh-Duc

23. Damian Penaud

New Zealand to face France

1. Kane Hames

2. Dane Coles

3. Nepo Laulala

4. Luke Romano

5. Sam whitelock

6. Vaea Fifita

7. Sam Cae

8. Kieran Read

9. Aaron Smith

10. Beauden Barrett

11. Rieko Ioane

12. Sonny Bill Williams

13. Ryan Crotty

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Damian McKenzie


16. Codie Taylor

17. Wyatt Crockett

18. Ofa Tu'ungafasi

19. Scott Barrett

20. Matt Todd

21. TJ Perenara

22. Lima Sopoaga

23. Anton Lienert-Brown


The Beast won't be running out for the Springboks. Photo: Getty ImagesProps Tendai Mtawarira and Coenie Oosthuizen both return to bolster South Africa's pack as coach Allister Coetzee picked a strong team to face Ireland in Dublin in the first Test of a four-match European tour.

The two front-rowers missed the narrow loss to world champions New Zealand in Cape Town last month, Mtawarira with a family problem and Oosthuizen after breaking his arm in the Rugby Championship campaign. But they bring a combined total of 124 caps to bolster the team.

Mtawarira replaces Steven Kitshoff, who drops to the bench, and Oosthuizen comes in for Ruan Dreyer, who is in the tour party but not in Saturday's match squad.

Damian de Allende will start at centre in place of Jan Serfontein, who was not selected for the tour as he starts a new career at Montpellier in France.

"Continuity is important and we have kept changes to a minimum. I am really excited to see Damian getting an opportunity on Saturday. He has worked very hard and looked good in training," said Coetzee, who sought to portray the Irish as the favourites.

"They beat us here in 2014 and with an experienced coaching team and world-class players, they are rightfully considered as the favourites and is one of few teams in the last five years that managed to beat the All Blacks."

"The Irish have a world-class halfback pair and their set-piece play is extremely good, so it will be a great battle on Saturday. They know how to keep the ball and use a good kicking game to put teams under pressure."


 Ireland to face South Africa

1. Cian Healy

2. Rory Best

3. Tadhg Furlong

4. Iain Henderson

5. Devin Toner

6. Peter O'Mahony

7. Sean O'Brien

8. CJ Stander

9. Conor Murray

10. Johnny Sexton

11. Jacob Stockdale

12. Bundee Aki

13. Robbie Henshaw

14. Andrew Conway

15. Rob Kearney


16. Rob Herring

17. Dave Kilcoyne

18.  John Ryan

19. James Ryan

20. Rhys Ruddock

21. Kieran Marmion

22. Joey Carbery

23. Darren Sweetnam

South Africa to take on Ireland

1. Tendai Mtawarira

2. Malcom Marx

3. Coenie Oosthuizen

4. Eben Etzebeth

5. Lood de Jager

6. Siya Kolisi

7. Pieter-Steph du Tiot

8. Francois Louw

9. Ross Cronje

10. Elton Jantjies

11. Courtnall Skosan

12. Damian de Allende

13. Jesse Kriel

14. Dillyn Lletds

15. Andries Coetzee


16. Bongi Mbonambi

17. teven Kitshoff

18. Wilco Louw

19. Franco Mostert

20. Uzair Cassiem

21. Rudy Paige

22. Handre Pollard

23. Francois Venter


Gregor Townsend has made some big changes to his team to face the Wallabies. Photo: Getty ImagesScotland coach Gregor Townsend has told his side to prepare for a typically proud Samoa at Murrayfield on Saturday regardless of the financial meltdown that has engulfed the Pacific islanders.

This week saw the Samoa Rugby Union declared bankrupt by chairman Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegao, also the country's prime minister.

"We are bankrupt," Malielegao told the Samoa Observer as he launched an appeal for public donations.

"It means the union cannot continue to pay off our debts with the banks. We also need money to pay the players so they can continue to play," he added ahead of a Samoa tour that also includes a match against Romania as well as a showpiece Test with England at Twickenham.

England's Rugby Football Union has reportedly agreed a £75,000 goodwill payment with the Samoa Rugby Union ahead of the November 25 match, while the England players selected for that Test are considering whether to hand over a portion of their match fee.

Meanwhile it is understood the Scottish Rugby Union are covering Samoa's tour costs while they are in Scotland.

There have long been concerns about how professional rugby union has exacerbated the wealth gap between the likes of rich nations such as England and France compared to poorer countries such as Samoa and Fiji.

But former Scotland playmaker Townsend said he hoped a way could be found to return Samoa to solvency.  


Scotland to face Samoa

1. Darryl Marfo

2. Stuart McInally

3. Willem Nel

4. Ben Toolis

5. Jonny Gray

6. John Barclay

7. Hamish Watson

8. Ryan Wilson

9. Ali Price

10. Finn Russell

11. Lee Jones

12. Alex Dunbar

13. Huw Jones

14. Tommy Seymour

15. Stuart Hogg


16. George Turner

17.  Jamie Bhatti

18.  Zander Fagerson

19. Tim Swinson

20. Cornell Du Preez

21. Henry Pyrgos

22. Peter Horne

23. Chris Harris

Samoa to take on Scotland

1. Jordan Lay

2. Manyu Leiataua

3. Donald Brighouse

4. Josh Tyrell

5. Chris Vui

6. Piula Fa'Asalele

7. Tj Ioane

8. Jack Lam

9. Pele Cowley

10. Tim Nanai-Williams

11. David Lemai

12. Reynold Lee-Lo

13. Kieron Fonotia

14. Paul Perez

15. Ah See Tuala


16. Motu Matu'u

17. James Lay

18. Hisa Sasagi

19. Fa'atiga Lemalu

20. Ofisa Treviranus

21. Mealani Matavao

22. AJ Alatimu

23. Alapati Leiua



Italy team to take on Fiji

1. Andrea Lovotti

2. Luca Bigi

3. Simone Ferrari

4. Marco Fuser

5. Dean Budd

6. Francesco Minot

7. Abraham Steyn

8. Sergio Parise

9. Marcello Violi

10. Carlo Cana

11. Mattia Bellini

12. Tommaso Castello

13. Tommaso Boni

14. Leonardo Sarto

15. Jayden Hayward


16. Leonardo Ghiraldini

17. Federico Zani

18. Dario Chistolini

19. Marco Lazzaroni

20. Giovanni Licata

21. Edoardo Gori

22. Ian McKinley

23. Matteo Minozzi

Fiji to face Italy