An Ireland performance riddled with mistakes was not enough to see off South Africa, who won today’s game 23-21.Despite 13 injuries to their side the Springboks were as physical as ever in the scrum, with Tony Buckley having a terrible time at the hands of Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira.Matfield and Botha also worked their magic in the lineout, and Matfield spoke of how much Ireland were missing injured Paul O’Connell to run that aspect of their game.Tomas O’Leary was also missed at scrum-half, with Reddan struggling to provide quick ball. His pass was also intercepted by Juan Smith who scored South Africa’s first try. It’s notable that Ireland’s performance picked up considerably when O’Gara and Stringer came on with 14 minutes to play – Ireland’s two tries were scored in this time.Ultimately Ireland’s mistakes cost them the game – they were always chasing the game, and left themselves too much to do to catch the Springboks.If Ireland had problems with their performance on the pitch today it was nothing compared to what was happening off it. Just 35,517 turned out for today’s game thanks to a poor ticketing strategy by the IRFU (the ground holds 51,000) and those who were there were deathly quiet for 70 minutes. They picked up at the end along with Ireland’s performance, but O’Gara admitted after the game that they’d missed the crowd, and had to find a way to get them going and supporting the team.Ireland marked the occasion of their first Test at the Aviva Stadium by wearing a commemorative shirt, but they kept ripping and referee Nigel Owens asked a few players to change them in the first half. The whole team then came on in their normal home shirts for the second half.Declan Kidney now has the difficult task of choosing a team for next week’s game against Samoa. You would think that some key players will be rested, but Ireland can’t afford another loss, especially before playing the All Blacks on 20 November.Who would you pick for next week’s game? What do you think of the new Aviva Stadium?Ireland (6) 21 LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Tries: Bowe, Kearney Cons: O’Gara Pens: Sexton 3South Africa (13) 23Tries: Smith, Aplon Cons: Steyn, Lambie Pens: Steyn 3 Sin bin: Habana (76)Ireland: Kearney (Earls 75); Bowe, B O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald; Sexton (O’Gara 66), Reddan (Stringer 66); Healy, Best, Buckley (Court 51), O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll (Ryan 63), Ferris, D. Wallace, HeaslipNot used: Cronin, LeamySouth Africa: Aplon; Basson, Kirchner, de Villiers (Jacobs 67), Habana; M Steyn (Lambie 59), Pienaar; Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis (van der Linde 71), Botha (van der Merwe 71), Matfield, Stegmann (Daniel 66), Smith, SpiesNot Used: Ralepelle, Hougaard Att: 35,517Ref: Nigel Owens (Wales)
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Leading by example: Jonathan Mills has epitomised London Welsh’s never-say-die attitude in the PremiershipBy Paul WilliamsHats off to London WelshMANY OF Wales’ regional rugby fans would admit to being one eyed. Thankfully, there’s now an excuse; they’re keeping the other eye on London Welsh. Whilst Welsh regional rugby is bemoaning the lack of budgets in one of Europe’s least competitive leagues, London Welsh are making a fist of it in one of the most unforgiving domestic leagues in the world. Lyn Jones and his squad currently find themselves in tenth place, three places clear of the drop – they’re eight points above London Irish and nine clear of Sale. I’m not suggesting for a minute that London Welsh are going to stay in the Aviva Premiership. However, you rarely hear them bemoaning their lot; publicly at least. London Welsh find themselves in a far less glamorous environment than the Welsh regions. The Blues currently have Cuthbert, Roberts, Halfpenny and Warburton. The Ospreys have Ryan Jones, Dan Biggar, Adam Jones and Tipuric. The Scarlets have George North, Jon Davies, Scott Williams and Liam Williams. London Welsh have no-one, unless you count Gavin Henson and Sonny Parker. There are few marquee names at London Welsh and there is little reason to believe that any will arrive; plus they have to cope with the very real threat of relegation and they’re essentially playing all of their home games ‘away’ at their adopted home in Oxford. London Welsh are a fine example of coaching over poaching. The Welsh regions should look and learn.Hang glider: Walker has been in elusive form over ChristmasEli WalkerIf it wasn’t for Eli Walker Welsh regional rugby would have been a very drab affair in December. Low skill levels coupled with high rainfall and a penchant for 16 stone wingers reduced the majority of the pre-Christmas programme to an exhibition of the two yard ‘pick and go’, wings carrying the ball predictably through the central channels and deep set outside-halves hoofing it to the corners. That is unless you were Eli Walker. Walker’s lateral movement unpicked every defence from South Wales to the South of France. Walker is able to traverse six to eight yards, laterally, in two or three steps without losing pace or balance. It’s a real talent. I’m not suggesting that Eli Walker is ready for test rugby, but where others require a ‘dogleg’ defence to make a line break, Walker merely requires a ‘gerbil’s ankle’ and he’s gone. It’s so refreshing.Shaun Edwards joins Wales full time. LLANELLI, WALES – DECEMBER 08: Scarlets captain Jonathan Davies looks on during the Heineken Cup match between Scarlets and Exeter Chiefs at Parc y Scarlets on December 8, 2012 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images) This week Shaun Edwards quit his role with London Irish and joined Wales fulltime. It’s an intriguing move. Edwards has never been a permanent member of the Welsh coaching staff. Ever since he joined the set-up he has always preferred to err on the side of caution and keep his finger in the occasional English pie. Yet at the same time that he was omitted from the Lions coaching staff, by Gatland, he decides to join the WRU on a full time basis. Weirdly it’s as reassuring as it is unsettling. Currently the movement of the Welsh coaching setup off the field is more interesting than the performances they are directing on it – which is never a good thing.World-class: Jonathan Davies is highly ratedJon Davies – the best 13 in the worldWelsh rugby has had very little to cheer about in the last four weeks. That is unless you’re Jon Davies – the Scarlets and Wales’ No 13. Davies has recently been named in a Southern Hemisphere World XV of the Year. Had this been an Australian rugby writer’s vote, where Davies had beaten Ben Tapuai or Adam Ashley Cooper, it wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. If Davies had pipped Juan de Jongh or Jean de Villiers to the post in a South African rugby writer’s world XV; few comments would have been passed. However Jon Davies was voted as the world’s best outside-centre in the famously acerbic New Zealand media – ahead of Conrad Smith. Yes, Conrad Smith, the most complete 13 in world rugby. His defence, passing and subtle lateral movement are second to none – except to Jon Davies it would seem. New Zealand have produced some of the finest outside centres in the history of the game; so to vote for one of ours over one of their own is a fern, sorry, a feather in the cap.Ospreys earn respect Over recent years the Ospreys, rightly or wrongly, have become the team that most Welsh neutrals have come to resent. The Ospreys became synonymous with ‘soccer’ style budgets and media profiles to match. But no longer. The Ospreys now find themselves in the same quagmire as everyone else. There are no grizzled ex-All Blacks on the horizon; they have the same budget constraints and recruitment limitations as the rest of the regions. There is however one major difference. The show ponies may have left, but the workhorses remain. Adam Jones’ return to the squad after injury has been profound. Ryan Jones’ and Richard Hibbard’s five yard carries mean that the Ospreys rarely fall short of the gainline. Kahn Fotuali’i has emerged from his slumber and morphed into one of the world’s best scrum halves and Dan Biggar is having the best season of his unfeasibly youthful career – he’s still only 23. And in December the Ospreys beat Toulouse as well as a clean sweep of the regions. Like it or not, at the moment the Ospreys are the only reason for any optimism in regional rugby. And to think there were unsubstantiated suggestions they should be disbanded. Lunacy.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 08: Kurtley Beale of the Rebels looks on during the round 4 Super Rugby match between the Rebels and the Reds at AAMI Park on March 8, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) Benn Robinson (Waratahs) The loose-head is having a standout season so far. The Australian scrum options are often maligned and regularly ridiculed, but in Robinson they have a classy operator. He can offload, he can tussle with the best of them and he is confident at the set-piece.FrazzledThe RebelsOh boy. What can you say about the team that were beaten like a dusty rug when they settled Natal? A 64-7 loss to the Sharks is not only a drubbing and an embarrassment; it is also something that may prove tough to come back from.This is a team that has stars like Gareth Delve attempting to help James O’Connor or Scott Higginbotham toil to victory, but sometimes it gets harder when other teammates act out…Dog house: Ill discipline could cost BealeKurtley BealeAfter the 10-try pasting the players of the Rebels decided the only way to get over it was to head out in Durban. Cue hazy stories about Delve informing Beale on a bus that he had to put his shirt back on before heading into the team hotel. Winger Cooper Vuna stepped in to break things up and got a shot aimed at his chops by Beale.This story needing cleared up, but it is a fact that Vuna and Beale have both been sent home in disgrace.What a sorry story. It had been hoped that Beale would settle this season, as well…Travellers Both the Tahs and the Reds won games at home, while the Brumbies and Rebels where steamrollered in South Africa. If we ignore the Force losing to the Cheetahs at home (although again it was against RSA lads) then it could be stated, in a patently obvious manner, that the teams struggled on the road.Why say something as plain as the nose on my stupid face? Well it is because it can hint at a job needing done by any away fans. If the Lions supporters can make the Aussies feel outnumbered in their own home, maybe, just maybe, the red collective can unsettle the Wallabies players who are conditioned to lose when the going gets tough. Regenerated Genia: Queensland’s Will Genia finally looks ready to return to top-form after an hour against The BullsBy Alan DymockBEFORE THE weekend there was a wee bit of chatter under the equator about whether or not the Australian conference was the weakest of the three Super Rugby pools. However, even if this were true – it’s the kind of assumption that idle Europeans would be best to avoid at any cost – there are sublime players in each franchise.Anyway, resurrection seems to be the theme from this weekend…Jazz hands: Quade Cooper put on a show against the BullsHOTWill Genia (Reds)He has slowly been working his way back from injury and in the 19-12 loss to the Western Force he was outplayed by a pumped-up Alby Mathewson, but in the Reds 23-18 win over the Bulls on Saturday the talismanic scrum-half put in an all-action display.He was only on the field for an hour, but he was lively enough and accurate enough to suggest that he will be back up to speed this summer.Quade Cooper (Reds)Outside Genia was an old pal, not clambering back after injury but trying to sort his head out.Cooper had his usual disruptive off-season, seeking out battles, even in the ring, and generally assuming that his talents would be appreciated come the Super Rugby season. Against the Bulls, though, he finally took a shine to himself. Perhaps it was the influence of his running mate Will, but when he took quick ball in the Bulls 22 and cut against the grain, rounding a drifting defender and helping himself to a vital try, there was a sense that QC was finally ready for a harsh cross-examination by the Lions pride. Now, can he can maintain his form?War horse: George Smith puts in a shift against the StormersGeorge Smith (Brumbies)Adrift in Africa, the Brumbies have had an okay time. However, with the loss of rising superstar full-back Jesse Mogg for the clash against the Stormers and with free-thieving phenomenon David Pocock out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, the Brumbies needed a hero.So, who you gonna call? Well. He’s tough. He’s strong. He’s fresh for the fight. He’s George Smith.Granted, in the end the Brumbies succumbed to their beefy South African counterparts, unable to play with the same sensual rhythm they have pumped out all season, but Smith passed muster. His unexpected comeback is coming at the right time for the Wallabies.
Warren Gatland named his 2015 World Cup squad on bank holiday Monday, largely choosing tried and tested combinations, but laced with a couple of surprises Elsewhere in the back three, Leigh Halfpenny was selected at full-back, with support from Liam Williams who is expected to return from foot injury in time for the first game, and likely to line-up on the wing.Wales 31-man squadProps: Tomas Francis (1 Cap), Paul James (61 Caps), Aaron Jarvis (12 Caps), Gethin Jenkins (115 Caps), Samson Lee (12 Caps)Hookers: Scott Baldwin (10 Caps), Ken Owens (28 Caps)Second Rows: Jake Ball (13 Caps), Luke Charteris (56 Caps), Bradley Davies (46 Caps), Dominic Day (1 Cap), Alun Wyn Jones (90 Caps)Back Row:Taulupe Faleatu (47 Caps), James King (5 Caps), Dan Lydiate (47 Caps), Justin Tipuric (33 Caps), Sam Warburton (Captain, 54 Caps)Scrum Halves:Gareth Davies (3 Caps), Rhys Webb (15 Caps), Lloyd Williams (19 Caps)Fly Halves: Dan Biggar (34 Caps), Rhys Priestland (28 Caps)Centres: Cory Allen (2 Caps), Jamie Roberts (70 Caps), Scott Williams (31 Caps) A regulation split of 17 forwards and 14 backs formed the 31-man Wales World Cup squad, which hail predominantly from the regions, which is a testament to the efforts of WRU to keep their players at home.ForwardsThe front row options are as many predicted: the experienced 115-cap Gethin Jenkins who is now the world’s most capped forward (if you include his five Lions Test appearances) and 61-cap Paul James, Aaron Jarvis and the largely untested Exeter Chiefs tighthead Tomas Francis. Arguably Wales’ most important player, Samson Lee, is in despite not playing since picking up an Achilles tendon injury in March. Rob Evans, the Scarlets loosehead is the unfortunate one to miss out, though he remains with the squad for the Italy Test.Gatland has controversially chosen to go with only two hookers. They are Ospreys’ Scott Baldwin and Scarlets’ Ken Owens. Kristian Dacey is the No 2 to miss out and Richard Hibbard is waiting in the wings.Forward march: Ken Owens and Jake Ball both made the cutThe second row have been given an extra place in the squad as Dominic Day is drafted in to cover for Alun Wyn Jones while he recovers from medial ligament knee-injury. Jake Ball, Luke Charteris, who is also carrying shoulder, back and neck complaints, and Bradley Davies were also selected.Taulupe Faletau is the only No. 8 picked in the squad with no obvious cover, one assumes that captain Sam Warburton, who played there at age-grade level, would fill in. Warburton joins fellow Lions Dan Lydiate to form the first-choice back row. Other choices include Justin Tipuric, who has won Man of the Match awards in the last two games and the versatile James King. One surprise omission was Ross Moriarty, who can play at No 6 or 8 leaving Wales threadbare at the base of the scrum.BacksScrum-halves Rhys Webb, Gareth Davies and Lloyd Williams have usurped Mike Phillips and point to Wales playing a quicker-paced, higher-tempo game.Dan Biggar will start at fly-half, with Rhys Priestland, who was first-choice in the 2011 World Cup, deputising. One suprise is the selection of ‘Nipper’ Matthew Morgan, who will be looked at to open up gaps in broken-field play late in the game. While he’s an outside-half for Bristol, he’s viewed more as a full-back at Test level, and even on the wing. Read Shane Williams, circa, 2003.Prolific: With over 3000 points between them, Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny will rack up the pointsGareth Anscombe has narrowly missed out on the squad, after his October move from New Zealand. An ankle injury sustained in training deemed him too much of a risk with Liam Williams and Samson Lee already going into the tournament carrying knocks.Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams will undoubtedly be the first-choice centre-pair, in Jonathan Davies’ absence and will bring all their combined 101-cap experience to the fore, even though Williams prefers to play at 12. Cory Allen, who had been carrying a shoulder-injury joins them, in place of Tyler Morgan, with plenty to prove to his doubters after a quiet second season.Wingers selected are George North, who can cover at outside-centre, the versatile Hallam Amos and Alex Cuthbert, who has been back to re-find his form, Eli Walker was the man to miss out. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Ready to go: The 31-man Welsh squad for the World Cup Back three: Hallam Amos (3 Caps), Alex Cuthbert (34 Caps), Leigh Halfpenny (61 Caps), Matthew Morgan (2 Caps), George North (50 Caps), Liam Williams (23 Caps)
TAGS: HighlightNamibia Bright lights: A lineout during New Zealand v Namibia at the Olympic Stadium. Photo: Getty Images New Zealand ran in nine tries, wingers Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea both scoring a brace, as they comfortably saw of Namibia in their World Cup game at the Olympic Stadium. They wrapped up the bonus point in a little over half an hour, but did not have things all their own way, particularly in the second half. Namibia centre Johan Deysel got the biggest cheer of the night when crossing after 50 minutes.WHAT’S HOTFleet feet and slick hands – Nehe Milner-Skudder darted around would-be tacklers with ease, his footwork continually fooling Namibia defenders and if he didn’t burst clear himself he’d pass to a team-mate. Then there were the hands of Sonny Bill Williams, king of the offloads. His pass out the back to Malakai Fekitoa showed great skill and awareness to know his centre partner was coming. He was at it again in the build-up to Milner-Skudder’s try too. Milner-Skudder then produced a sublime offload of his own to send Codie Taylor over in the last minute.Hard worker: Jacques Burger received a standing ovation when he came off. Photo: Getty ImagesJacques Burger – As always, the Namibia captain was ferocious and relentless in the tackle. Ably assisted by his back-row buddy Tinus du Plessis (15 tackles), Burger (12 tackles) made sure the All Blacks will feel a few after-effects when they wake up tomorrow morning. Without such commitment in defence the scoreline would have been higher.Opposition hopes – The All Blacks may have run in nine tries but this was not as complete a performance as Steve Hansen would have hoped. The coach will not have been happy to concede a try while his team’s failure to take control of the match in the second half will have given their title rivals a glimmer of hope.Corner stop: Nehe Milner-Skudder scores his second try against Namibia. Photo: Getty ImagesWHAT’S NOTFlat atmosphere – This was always going to be a one-sided match but the sign of a Mexican wave within 20 minutes only served to demonstrate how little the crowd was invested in events on the field. Even the cheers for the tries grew quieter as the match wore on (Namibia’s aside!) and in between those All Black scores the Olympic Stadium, so raucous in 2012, was eerily quiet.TMOs, again – It’s becoming a theme of this World Cup, and the constant referrals to the video officials are beginning to grate. The amount of whistle in the second half meant there was no flow to the game and that was disrupted further when the TMO was called in. Yes, we want the right decisions but there must be a quicker way of doing things – and the referee should back himself.STATISTICS522 – The number of metres made by New Zealand compared to 61 by Namibia.11 – The number of offloads made by New Zealand compared to one by Namibia. 3 – The numnber of clean breaks made by Nehe Milner-Skudder, more than any other player. He also topped the metres charts with 95.31 – The number of tackles made by New Zealand compared to 110 by Namibia.Magic moment: Johan Deysel finds the space to score for Namibia. Photo: Getty ImagesNew Zealand: C Slade (B Smith 51); N Milner-Skudder, M Fekitoa, SB Williams (M Nonu 62), J Savea; B Barrett, TJ Perenara (T Kerr-Barlow 48); B Franks, C Taylor, C Faumuina (W Crockett 64), L Romano, S Whitelock (K Read 58), J Kaino (R McCaw 62), S Cane (capt), V Vito.Tries (9): Vito, Milner-Skudder 2, Fekitoa, Barrett, Savea 2, Smith, Taylor. Cons: Barrett 4, Slade. Pens: Barrett.Namibia: J Tromp; D Philander (C Viviers 58-68), JC Greyling, J Deysel, C Marais (C Botha 45); T Kotze, E Jantjies (E Buitendag 73); J Engels, T van Jaarsveld (L van der Westhuizen 73), J Coetzee (R Larson 48, J Coetzee 60-69, 73), PJ van Lill (R Kitshoff 62), T Uanivi, J Burger (capt, J Venter 65), T du Plessis (L Damens 50-53), L Damens (R Bothma 45).Try: Deysel. Pens: Kotze 3.Yellow card: Engels (58)Referee: Romain Poite (France)Man of the Match: Nehe Milner-Skudder A full review of New Zealand’s big win over Namibia at the Olympic Stadium LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Attendance: 51,820For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here.
The two men at the heart of Wales’ Grand Slam winAs the final whistle edged closer at the Principality Stadium, Bread of Heaven echoed around the heaving ground, growing louder and louder as a Six Nations Grand Slam looked ever more certain for Wales.“Feed me till I want no more” is the key line in that song and it’s clear that Alun Wyn Jones’s appetite for success on the rugby pitch is not sated yet.In the ninth minute of this match against Ireland, it looked as though the Wales captain’s day was done. He was lying on the ground receiving treatment from the medical team. Replay footage on the big screen showed the second-row in significant pain as his leg got trapped awkwardly in a maul.Worrying time: Alun Wyn Jones receives treatment early in the match (Getty Images)Was he going to leave the pitch with an injury just as George North had done seconds earlier? That scenario looked odds-on but instead Jones rose to his feet, tested out his leg with a light jog over five metres, and then stuck it out until the final whistle.Adrenaline will have no doubt paid a part in numbing the pain somewhat but the display he produced after such a blow was quite phenomenal and Wales went on to thump Ireland in all facets to clinch the Grand Slam – a third such clean sweep for Jones.Related: How Wales won the Six Nations Grand SlamYes, it was the kicking of Gareth Anscombe that was crucial to the scoreboard, but the talismanic nature of Jones’s performance played just as big a part in the triumph.Here are a few stats to back up that assertion: more carries than any other Wales player (seven); more dominant tackles than any of his team-mates (five); 18 successful tackles – a tally beaten only by Josh Navidi, who made an incredible 28!Leading the charge: Alun Wyn Jones makes a big carry against Ireland (Getty Images)And remember Jones is 33 years old, one of the veterans of the modern game and now the joint fifth most-capped player in the world alongside Gethin Jenkins with 134 Test appearances for Wales and the Lions.Eddie Jones may have quipped that Wales look tired ahead of this decisive fixture, but Jones looked wide awake. There’s plenty of life left in those long limbs. And he inspires those around him not just through his pure work-rate or how he has matured and improved over the years, but because of his stature in the game. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Why Alun Wyn Jones and Warren Gatland were crucial to a Welsh triumph in the 2019 championship Pure joy: Alun Wyn Jones celebrates with the trophy after Wales are crowned Six Nations champions (Getty Images) That takes us nicely onto his coach. Jones points to the self-belief Warren Gatland has instilled in the players – after all, the Kiwi predicted Wales would win the championship if they beat France in their opening game and so it has transpired.“If someone is confident at the top of the tree that filters down,” says Jones. “His record speaks for itself. He’s been pretty prolific not just for Wales but the other red jersey (Lions).“It’s easy to say on the back of a win but he’s come under pressure over the years and it takes a certain type of character to come through the mire. He’s done that.“He’s got a bit left on his contract and he won’t take his foot off the gas yet.”Gatland, too, has three Grand Slams to his name now – the first coach to do so – and attentions will now turn to the World Cup, after which Gatland will sign off as Wales boss.In fairness, Gatland has been thinking about Japan 2019 for a while now, bringing in new players over the past 18 months to increase the depth of his squad – and it has paid off.Smiling in the rain: Wales coach Warren Gatland after the win over Ireland (Getty Images)Wales have won 14 straight Tests, have leapfrogged Ireland to be ranked second in the world – a rise from tenth when Gatland took over after RWC 2007 – and so expectations will be high in Japan, where they are grouped with Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Uruguay.“We’ve probably put a big target on our backs for a lot of other teams,” says Jones. “We’ve got to be comfortable with the pressure that comes with it.“If we drop a game it won’t be panic stations; we’ll regroup and go again.” It’s clear both captain and coach are hungry for more success and those two men will be at the heart of all Wales do at the World Cup. Just as they have been in this Six Nations campaign.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All you need to know about the opening match of the new tournament George North on motorbikes and milestones What have the coaches said? Expand Autumn Nations Cup Fixtures 2020 Autumn Nations Cup Fixtures 2020 What time does it kick off and is it on TV?Ireland v Wales, Friday 13 November, Aviva StadiumThe match kicks off at 7pm and will be broadcast live on Channel 4 in the UK and RTE in Ireland, while Welsh language channel S4C will have live coverage too. There is also live match commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds as well as RTE radio.If you’re outside the UK and Ireland, check out our guide to Autumn Nations Cup coverage around the world.It’s an all-French officiating team for this match, with Mathieu Raynal the referee, Pascal Gauzere and Alex Ruiz the assistants, and Romain Poite the TMO.Welcome return: Justin Tipuric has recovered from tonsillitis (Getty Images)What are the line-ups?Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (captain), Jamison Gibson Park; Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Will Connors, Conor Murray, Billy Burns, Keith Earls.Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Shane Lewis-Hughes, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Lloyd Williams, Callum Sheedy, George North. George North on motorbikes and milestones Who are Amazon Prime’s rugby pundits? George North will become the youngest player in Test history to win 100 caps if he comes off the bench. The 28-year-old currently sits on 99 with 96 for Wales and three for the Lions and will beat Michael Hooper’s recent record by more than 100 days.Wales (53) made more than twice as many offloads as Ireland (23) in the Six Nations whereas the Irish (58) broke far more tackles than Wales (34) in the championship.Billy Burns is set to become the latest international to emerge from Hartpury College, as Charlie Morgan explains… Expand Collapse Who are Amazon Prime’s rugby pundits? Rewind: Ireland beat Wales 24-14 in this year’s Six Nations (Getty Images) Autumn Nations Cup Fixtures 2020 The Autumn Nations… Autumn Nations Cup Ireland v Wales PreviewFriday the 13th is a somewhat ominous date to launch a new tournament, so both Ireland and Wales will be looking to avoid a horror show in the opening match of the Autumn Nations Cup at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.This will be the fifth time the two sides have met in less than two years and Wales will be looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat by the Irish – just six days after parting company with their defence coach.While the departure of Byron Hayward last weekend was a surprise, Wayne Pivac’s selection for this match is less so because he has stuck with the majority of the squad that lost to Scotland in the final round of the Six Nations.Given that lacklustre performance against the Scots and Pivac’s well-known attacking philosophy, the coach will surely be looking for more creativity from the men in red on Friday night. After all, having scored five tries in their opening match of 2020 against Italy, Wales managed only eight more in their four subsequent Six Nations matches.Ireland coach Andy Farrell continues to try out different combinations as he looks to put his own stamp on the squad having taken over from Joe Schmidt post-RWC 2019.As well as selecting the uncapped James Lowe on the wing, Farrell has opted to start Jamison Gibson Park at scrum-half – meaning Conor Murray has to settle for a place on the bench for the first time in five years.Man at No 9: Jamison Gibson Park starts at scrum-half for Ireland (Getty Images)The powerful centre pairing of Chris Farrell and Robbie Henshaw will be looking to keep their opposite numbers of Jonathan Davies and Owen Watkin busy, yet perhaps the most interesting contest will come at the breakdown.A quick reflection on the Six Nations statistics shows that these two teams were at opposite ends of the turnovers won table. Ireland topped it with 35, which is more than twice as many as Wales’ 16.Will Justin Tipuric and Shane Lewis-Hughes be able to improve Wales’ performance at the contact area? Or will the likes of Josh van der Flier and Peter O’Mahony dominate?While that question awaits a response, we have answered the following ones ahead of Ireland v Wales…What’s the big team news?Andy Farrell made several changes to the side that lost to France in Paris on Halloween, including handing a first cap to New Zealand-born Leinster wing James Lowe. Chris Farrell and Jamison Gibson Park also start in the backs while Ronan Kelleher, Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier come into the pack.Farrell was forced to make two late changes with Jacob Stockdale and Iain Henderson ruled out two hours before kick-off, with Andrew Conway and Quinn Roux coming into the starting line-up.Wales have named an unchanged back-line to the one that lost to Scotland, but Justin Tipuric returns to the back row after withdrawing late from that Six Nations match due to tonsillitis.Two fly-halves are in line to make their Test debuts from the bench, with Ulster’s Billy Burns among Ireland’s replacements and Bristol Bears’ Callum Sheedy in Wales’ match-day squad.MORE ON THE AUTUMN NATIONS CUP A look at those providing expertise for the… Of debutant James Lowe, Ireland coach Andy Farrell said: “I think he brings an extra dimension to how we want to play. We’ve all seen him play in the Pro14 and what he brings for Leinster, so hopefully he can definitely bring the same.“Hopefully on top of that with a good performance at the weekend, he brings competition for places back into our squad, which is very important for us going forward.”Wales coach Wayne Pivac is excited for a fresh start post-Six Nations, saying: “Friday night is a new international season and a new campaign and we are looking forward to getting out there and showing what we can do.”Any interesting statistics?Johnny Sexton will make his 100th Test appearance – he has 93 caps for Ireland and six for the Lions.Tomas Francis will win his 50th cap for Wales and Alun Wyn Jones will make his 150th Test appearance. Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 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Jersey Reds are also proud that Robinson has the opportunity to join England’s coaching team, albeit on a temporary basis.“First and foremost we are really excited for Ed. It’s a fantastic experience for a young coach and he deserves this opportunity,” said Harvey Biljon, director of rugby at Jersey Reds. “At Jersey we’re very proud of producing players that have gone on to play at the highest levels. It is very encouraging that one of our coaches is getting a chance to work at that level too.”Robinson meets up with the 28-man squad, which will be announced Friday 22 January, at St. George’s Park. Following further negative tests, Jones and Amor will join up with the group on Thursday 28 January.The squad will then move to their base at The Lensbury in Teddington, ahead of their opening game against Scotland at Twickenham on 6 February. New addition: Ed Robinson joins England from Jersey Reds on an interim basis (Jersey Reds TV) Ed Robinson, the son of ex-England boss Andy Robinson, joins England as skills coach for the Six Nations. This comes following Jason Ryles’ decision to remain in Australia amid the pandemic, despite only joining the team last autumn.Related: Introducing Jason Ryles, England’s new skills coachRobinson, 27, is currently the backs coach for Championship side Jersey Reds. He suffered a complex concussion injury at 19 which forced him to stop playing, and has since coached at Rotherham Titans, Clifton and Loughborough Students. He will miss the first three rounds of The Islanders’ campaign, which is due to start on 6 March.Ryles’ decision, however, is not the only disruption to England’s coaching staff. Eddie Jones and attack assistant Simon Amor both have to self-isolate after coming into contact with forwards coach Simon Proudfoot, who tested positive for Covid-19. All three will miss the start of England’s camp ahead of the Six Nations, as the squad meet up on Wednesday 27 January.Men down: Ryles will miss the Six Nations as Jones has to self-isolate (Getty Images)Therefore, Robinson’s introduction to the coaching staff was vital. Highly experienced defensive coach John Mitchell is the only senior coach available for the beginning of England’s training camp. This shouldn’t affect the team too much though, as Robinson joins England with praise from Eddie Jones.“We’re looking forward to welcoming Ed to our coaching staff for the tournament and we’d like to thank Jersey Reds for their cooperation and support in making it happen. He’s a talented young coach and will work to help the players improve.” Robinson joins Eddie Jones’ coaching team on an interim basis ahead of the start of the Six Nations LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Follow our Six Nations homepage which we update regularly with news and features. Also make sure you know about the Fixtures, Injuries, Table, Venues, TV Coverage by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The former All Blacks hooker has an impressive coaching record 6. Gatland and his wife Trudi have two children, Bryn and Gabby.Bryn, a fly-half/full-back, was pitted against his father when he represented the New Zealand Barbarians versus the Lions in 2017. Gatland Jnr scored two points, a conversion, in a 13-7 defeat for the hosts in Whangarei.After spells at the Blues and Highlanders Bryn signed for the Chiefs in December 2020.Gabby is a solicitor in New Zealand. Tragically the Gatlands lost an infant daughter, Shauna, to spina bifida, in 1992.7. Gatland spent 12 years as Wales coach, during which time he guided the country to Rugby World Cup semi-finals, in 2011 and 2019, and three Six Nations Grand Slams – in 2008, 2012 and 2019.8. Shane Williams, Lawrence Dallaglio and Sitiveni Sivivatu were named by Gatland as the best players he has coached on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast. He coached Williams with Wales, Dallaglio with Wasps and wing Sivivatu Waikato at Waikato.Of Dallaglio he said: “He’d talk the talk and then walk the walk.” Sivivatu had “the ability to make up moves during a game from the wing” according to the coach.9. Gatland’s Gate at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff was opened in 2019. It is situated, at what was Gate 4, where the players enter the ground on match days.10. Away from rugby Gatland is a big horse racing fan and a regular visitor to the Cheltenham Festival. He has owned horses in New Zealand, one called Rolling Maul, with some mates, which he said was about as fast as a rolling maul. Warren Gatland has lots of experience with the Lions (Sportsfile/Getty Images) Who is Warren Gatland: Ten things you should know about the Lions head coachWarren Gatland impressed as a hooker in his playing days before carving out an impressive coaching career.He played against the British & Irish Lions for Waikato in 1993 and has since been on three tours as a coach, working as an assistant to Ian McGeechan in 2009 before taking charge in 2013 (Australia) and 2017 (New Zealand). He is head coach again for the Lions 2021 tour to South Africa.Here are a few more facts about the experienced coach.Ten things you should know about Warren Gatland1. Warren Gatland was born on 17 September 1963 in Hamilton, New Zealand.2. Gatland played 17 games for the All Blacks as hooker between 1988 and 1991, scoring two tries, but never won a Test cap in the period when New Zealand played 29 Tests. He went on four tours with his country but could not dislodge Sean Fitzpatrick from the No 2 jersey.“Those experiences with the All Blacks and me sat on the bench a number of times behind Fitzy, remember in those days you could only be replaced for an injury, made me a better coach,” he said.3. Gatland won the Rugby Union Writers’ Club Special Award for 2013 after the British & Irish Lions series win in Australia. He received a case of wine and some glasses… Previous winners include Bob Dwyer, Francois Pienaar, Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Ian McGeechan, Cliff Morgan and Jim Telfer.He was also voted the greatest-ever rugby coach by Rugby World readers in 2020.Warren Gatland prepares to throw in to a lineout during his playing days (Getty Images)4. Gatland was award a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2020, Alun Wyn Jones got his OBE in the same list and former Wales skipper Gareth Thomas was also handed a CBE (for services to sport and health).5. In 1996, when Gatland was head of sport at Hamilton Boys’ High School in New Zealand, he was called at 4am by Billy Glynn inviting to coach Connacht for 12 weeks and on a pre-season trip to Sweden. Three months later he was director of rugby at the Irish province and his coaching career was taking off.He went on to coach Ireland and Wasps, where he won three Premiership titles and a European Cup. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
EPPN: Domestic Programs – What’s at stake in the budget Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Washington, DC Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Featured Events Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector Knoxville, TN Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Youth Minister Lorton, VA TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Submit an Event Listing Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Submit a Press Release An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Collierville, TN Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Rector Albany, NY Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Tags Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Advocacy Peace & Justice Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector Smithfield, NC [Episcopal Public Policy Network] Under an agreement Congress reached in 2011, a variety of federal programs that benefit tens-of-millions of people living in poverty at home and around the world will face automatic cuts of 8.2 percent if Congress fails to agree by the end of the year on a balanced approach to alleviating our national deficit.Congress employed this mechanism, known as sequestration, to provide an incentive for lawmakers to reach a balanced agreement. Sequestration will trigger sweeping cuts in defense and non-defense spending (including programs that address domestic and global poverty). If these proposed cuts are implemented, crucial programs that support vulnerable populations and empower and transform families and communities will reach fewer people and fewer places.This is the first alert in a four-part series that highlights the far-reaching consequences of disproportionate cuts that will be enacted if Congress fails to reach a balanced compromise over the next few months.What’s at stake for U.S. hunger and poverty programs if Congress does not reach a balanced agreement?The Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) assists states in providing supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income families at nutritional risk. If the 8.2 percent cuts take effect, states will be forced to cut an estimated 735,000 to 750,000 mothers and young children from the program in 2013.The government allocates critical funding to housing rental assistance programs for low income, elderly, and disabled Americans. Should the 8.2 percent cuts take effect, these programs will lose $2 billion in annual funding. Nearly one million people currently enrolled in the rental assistance voucher program (a majority of whom are elderly or have a disability) would be at risk of homelessness, and an estimated 100,000 households receiving Homeless Assistance Grants would lose their homes, including 1,500 veterans and their families.Head Start helps communities provide comprehensive childhood educational services for low-come families, including key early-childhood development programs. If Congress enacts the 8.2% cuts, 96,000 children will lose their place in the Head Start programs, and over 20,000 Head Start employees will lose their jobs.Low-income families often find it difficult to balance living expenses. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides home heating and cooling assistance to low income families, many of which have at least one vulnerable member (a child, a senior citizen, or a person with a disability) for whom a loss of heat in the winter or cooling in the summer could have serious health and safety implications. If the automatic cuts take place, more than 649,000 families would be at serious risk of being unable to pay their utility bills.The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides food to states for their local food banks, which in turn distribute food to soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public. Although TEFAP is exempt from sequestration in that the amount of funding for food purchases will remain unaffected, the administrative funding for the program—which includes the costs of warehousing and distributing food—will suffer from the sequestration cuts. The threat of looming cuts comes at a time when many central food banks are already struggling to fund regular deliveries, particularly to rural areas.Tell Congress how these cuts will affect you, your family, and your community.Programs that will be affected by these sweeping cuts include U.S. hunger and poverty programs, essential public education services, loan funds that invest in clean water infrastructure, international aid programs (such as Food for Peace and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), operational funds for our national parks, and initiatives that provide support for farms and rural economies.Over the next few weeks, we will explore the threat posed by harmful spending cuts to foreign poverty-focused development assistance, environmental protection, our food system, and public education system. 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