Wallabies abroad: Top League action returns

by Sam Phillips

After an autumn break the Japanese Top League returned at the weekend, with several Australians in action.

Here's who featured where across the globe.


David Pocock, Berrick Barnes, Digby Ioane, Sam Wykes and Daniel Heenan enjoyed Panasonic's return to rugby, racking up a big 57-5 win, the club's 30th straight at home.

Barnes was also named man-of-the-match.

Matt Giteau and Campbell Magnay headlined an all-Australian centre pairing for Suntory, who also had Hendrik Tui line up at blindside flanker in their 34-win over Anthony Faingaa, Nigel Ah Wong and the Liners.

Magnay scored the opening try of the match, with Giteau taking control of kicking duties.

Cadeyrn Neville, Peter Kimlin and Mark Gerrard all featured for the Toyota Shuttles but they fell to Eddie Quirk's Canon Eagles, 31-10.

Amanaki Mafi came off the bench for the Shining Arcs and scored the late try which secured a draw after Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a double against for the Kobelco Steelers.


Brock James came off the bench for La Rochelle and scored the late try that sealed their 26-14 win over Montpellier.

Zack Holmes started at flyhalf for Toulouse but they were outgunned in a shootout with Castres.

Mitch Inman started at outside centre for Oyonnax but they couldn't get a win on the board against Brive, Curtis Browning coming off the bench for the struggling club in the 65th minute.Liam Gill and Lyon were well beaten. Photo: Getty ImagesLuke Jones and Leroy Houston both started for Bordeaux but they couldn't get past Pau, falling 27-17.

Liam Gill, Mike Harris and Lyon were blown away by Toulon, Gill crossing for a late consolation try in the 39-11 loss.

Peter Betham's Clermont were too good for Jake McIntyre's Agen, the former Reds flyhalf slotting two conversions in the 35-26 loss.

Hugh Pyle and Paul Alo-Emile both came off the bench for Stade Francais in their 27-17 win over Racing 92. 


Christian Lealiifano was both hero and villain in the space of 90 seconds for Ulster, scoring a late try which put them on terms with Newport Dragons, only to miss a relatively simple match winning conversion, leaving the score deadlocked at 32-all.

Scott Fardy's Leinster kept their good form rolling, easily accounting for Benneton in a 36-10 win.


Jono Lance's Worcester faced James O'Connor and Sale, the latter shifting to fullback and earning bragging rights with a 18-14 win.

Rob Horne's Northampton lost a thriller against Newcastle, with Ben Meehan's London Irish also falling short of a win.

There was better news for Nic White and Exeter, who staved off a fast finishing Bath to claim a 42-29 win.

James Horwill skippered Harlequins to a thrilling win over Will Skelton's Saracens, Ian Prior also coming off the bench for Quins.