June Internationals: Cipriani to start for England, Brits in for Boks

by AFP

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has shuffled his backline and included exciting fullback Warrick Gelant as one of five changes to his side as he seeks a series clean-sweep against England.

Gelant takes over from the experienced Willie le Roux, who drops to the bench for Saturday's third and final Test, while Andre Esterhuizen will earn his second cap at inside centre in the place of Damian de Allende.

In a new midfield pairing, Jessie Kriel starts at outside centre ahead of Lukanyo Am.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard, so impressive in the first two Tests of the series for the Boks, drops to the bench as he is rested to allow Elton Jantjies to start in the number 10 jersey.

Gelant is an exciting runner though with wet conditions predicted for Newlands on Saturday, it could be a test played at close quarters, which is why the more muscular Esterhuizen has been selected.

Schalk Britz has been called out of retirement to return to the Springboks setup. Photo: Getty ImagesIn the only change among the forward pack, Chiliboy Ralepelle starts at hooker with Schalk Brits, who announced his retirement from rugby last month after a decade with Saracens in England, taking his place among the replacements.

Five eighth Danny Cipriani will make his first start for England in nearly a decade and there is a return for flanker Chris Robshaw, with coach Eddie Jones shuffling his team for the third and final Test against South Africa.

Cipriani, in his first Test appearance in three years, replaces George Ford in the number 10 jersey as one of four changes to the starting line-up announced by Jones on Thursday as England seek to end a run of five straight Test defeats and grab a consolation victory.

Robshaw, previously a stalwart under Jones, is recalled to the blindside flank position after New Zealand-born Brad Shields dropped out of the squad due to illness.

Prop Joe Marler comes into the side in place of Mako Vunipola, who has returned home for family reasons, while Nathan Hughes takes over at number eight from Billy Vunipola, who re-fractured his arm in last weekend's loss in Bloemfontein.

Uncapped lock Jonny Hill has been included among the replacements.


South Africa to face England

1. Tendai Mtawarira

2. Chiliboy Ralepelle

3. Frans Malherbe

4. RG Snyman

5. Franco Mostert

6. Siya Kolisi

7. Pieter-Steph Du Toit

8. Duane Vermuelen

9. Faf de Klerk

10. Elton Jantjies

11. Aphiwe Dyantyi

12. Andrew Esterhuizen

13. Jesse Kriel

14. Sbusiso Nkosi

15. Warrick Gelant


16. Schalk Brits

17. Steven Kitshoff

18. Thomas du Toit

19. Jean-Luc du Plessis

20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe

21. Embrose Papier

22. Handre Pollard

23. Willie le Roux

England to face South Africa 

1. Joe Marler

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Joe Launchbury

5. Maro Itoje

6. Chris Robshaw

7. Tom Curry

8. Nathan Hughes

9. Ben Youngs

10. Danny Cipriani

11. Mike Brown

12. Owen Farrell

13. Henry Slade

14. Jonny May

15. Elliot Daly


16. Luke Cowan-Dickie

17. Alec Hepburn

18. Harry Williams

19. Jonny Hill

20. Mark Wilson

21. Sam Simmonds

22. Ben Spencer

23. Denny Solomona


There are four new caps and Sonny Bill Williams returns in an All Blacks shake up for the third Test against France in Dunedin in Saturday.

With the series already wrapped up, coach Steve Hansen has made 11 changes to the match-day 23 to both cover injuries and to give four new players a taste of Test rugby.

Flanker Shannon Frizell and centre Jack Goodhue will make their debuts in the run-on side with Jackson Hemopo and Richie Mo'unga to come off the bench.

From the side which won the second Test in Wellington 26-13 last weekend, Beauden Barrett, Liam Squire and Vaea Fifita were ruled out because of injury.

The All Blacks won the first Test 52-11 and Hansen said with the series won he could now focus on building depth as he swapped 10 players and made one positional change.

"We think this is the right time to do that," he said when naming the side on Thursday with the promise of a fast-flowing game unaffected by the weather in the roofed Dunedin stadium.

"It's an exciting mix of players with big-match experience, newer All Blacks who are continuing to grow their game, and four players who have been named in the Test 23 for the first time."

Ardie Savea has been isolated. Photo: Getty ImagesThere are two changes in the starting forward pack, with Ardie Savea getting his fourth start in the seven jersey and Frizell is at six.

Like replacement prop Karl Tu'inukuafe, the Tongan born Frizell was a late sighting on the All Blacks radar having only started in three of 10 games in his maiden Super Rugby year with the Otago Highlanders.

In the backs, Damian McKenzie will start at fly-half outside Aaron Smith with Sonny Bill Williams and Jack Goodhue forming a new midfield combination.

Williams was initially ruled out of the series after undergoing knee surgery but has been brought back into the side following a quicker than expected recovery.

Meanwhile, Captain Mathieu Bastareaud has been axed by France as they bid to end their contentious tour of New Zealand on a winning note.

Coach Jacques Brunel has overhauled his midfield and handed the captaincy to halfback Morgan Parra for Saturday's third and final Test in Dunedin.

Mathieu Bastareaud will return from suspension for France. Photo: Getty ImagesIt leaves no room for bullocking outside centre Bastareaud, who has been solid but unspectacular in the losses in Auckland and Wellington.

His No.13 jersey will be worn by Remi Lamerat, whose Clermont Auvergne clubmate Wesley Fofana starts at inside centre in place of Geoffrey Doumayrou.

Parra, also from Clermont, will lead his country for the first time in his 69th Test.

Brunel has made no other changes, hoping the team who were so combative in the 26-13 second Test loss in Wellington can end France's nine-year drought against New Zealand.

Benjamin Fall remains at fullback after a World Rugby-appointed judicial committee cancelled the red card he was shown early at Westpac Stadium which spoiled the contest.

On the bench, Lyon lock Felix Lambey is poised to make a Test debut.

The other change is Adrien Pelissie's return to the backup hooker berth he held in the 52-11 first Test loss in Auckland.

New Zealand takes on France on Saturday June 23 in Dunedin, kicking off at 7:35pm local, 5:35pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS.


New Zealand to take on France

1. Joe Moody

2. Codie Taylor

3. Owen Franks

4. Sam Whitelock

5. Scott Barrett

6. Shannon Frizell

7. Ardie Savea

8. Luke Whitelock

9. Aaron Smith

10. Damian McKenzie

11. Rieko Ioane

12. Sonny Bill Williams

13. Jack Goodhue

14. Waisake Naholo

15. Ben Smith


16. Liam Coltman

17. Karl Tuinukuafe

18. Ofa Tuungafasi

19. Jackson Hemopo

20. Matt Todd

21. TJ Perenara

22. Richie Mounga

23. Jordie Barrett

France to face New Zealand

1. Dany Priso

2. Camille Chat

3. Uini Atonio

4. Bernard Le Roux

5. Yoann Maestri

6. Mathieu Babillot

7. Kelian Galletier

8. Kevin Gourdon

9. Morgan Parra

10. Anthony Belleau

11. Gael Fickou

12. Wesley Fofana

13. Remi Lamarat

14. Teddy Thomas

15. Benjamin Fall


16. Adrien Pelissie

17. Cyril Baille

18. Cedate Gomes Sa

19. Felix Lambey

20. Alexandre Lapandry

21. Baptiste Serin

22. Jules Plisson

23. Maxime Medard


Centre Bautista Ezcurra will win his first Argentina cap when he plays against Scotland Saturday in a one-off Test at Estadio Centenario in Resistencia.

His selection ahead of Jeronimo de la Fuente is among six changes -- one enforced -- to the side outplayed 30-12 by Wales in Santa Fe last weekend.

Argentina also suffered a heavy loss to Wales in the first of two Tests, leaving them needing to defeat Scotland to avoid a mid-season whitewash.

In the other backline alteration, winger Sebastian Cancelliere gets a first start for the Pumas in place of injured Ramiro Moyano.

Among the forwards, coach Daniel Hourcade has altered the front, second and back rows for his final match in charge after a poor two-season run led him to quit.

Scotland have changed seven of their eight forwards and switched the position of the other for a one-off Test against Argentina in Resistencia Saturday.   

The match will also see a first tour start for skipper and hooker Stuart McInally after an injury ruled him out of a big win in Canada and a shock loss to the United States.

Tim Swinson is the lone forward to survive a cull after the 30-29 defeat in Houston, but he is moved from tighthead prop to lock.

The new front row comprises loosehead Allan Dell, McInally and Simon Berghan with Swinson partnering Grant Gilchrist in the second row.

Loose forwards Fraser Brown and Magnus Bradbury and number eight David Denton form a new back row.

Coach Gregor Townsend resisted wholesale changes in the backline, however, making only one with winger Dougie Fife replacing Byron McGuigan.


Argentina to face Scotland

1. Javier Diaz

2. Agustin Creevy

3. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

4. Guido Petti

5. Matias Alemanno

6. Pablo Matera

7. Tomaz Lezana

8. Leonardo Senatore

9. Martin Landajo

10. Nicolas Sanchez

11. Sebastian Cancelliere

12. Bautista Ezcurra

13. Matias Orlando

14. Bautista Delguy

15. Emiliano Boffelli


16. Julian Montoya

17. Santiago Garcia Botta

18. Santiago Medrano

19. Marcos Kremer

20. Tomas Lavanini

21. Gonzalo Bertranou

22. Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias

23. Juan Cruz Mallia

Scotland to face Argentina

1.Alan Dell

2. Stuart McInally

3. Simon Berghan

4. Tim Swinson

5. Grant Gilchrist

6. Magnus Bradbury

7. Fraser Brown

8. David Denton

9. George Horne

10. Adam Hastings

11. Blair Kinghorn

12. Pete Horne

13. Nick Grigg

14. Dougie Fife

15. Stuart Hogg


16. George Turner

17. Jamie Bhatti

18. Zander Fagerson

19. Ben Toolis

20. Jamie Ritchie

21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne

22. James Lang

23. Chris Harris