Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s rugby news has Will Skelton ready for All Blacks challenge, Aussies named in World XV, All Blacks preparing for Hooper and Pocock and Jean De Villiers to return to test rugby. 

Skelton Ready

Wallaby lock Will Skelton is ready for the challenge of playing the All Blacks in Sydney and says the Wallabies will have to be on top of their game to have any chance of beating them.

“We try and build our game around physicality and having a power game through the forwards and being creative in the backs,” he said.

“Always when you play the All Blacks you have to be on your game. But we have guys in our team who have the same characteristics with the ball in hand.

“I think we can match them across the paddock. It is just a matter of whether we bring our game.”


Aussies Named in World XV

The World XV squad to take on Japan on August 15 has been announced and consists of many fringe Wallaby players.

Ben Alexander, Benn Robinson, Saia Fainga’a, Luke Jones and Liam Gill are all named in the squad alongside Nick Cummins, James O’Connor, Christian Lealiifano and Taqele Naiyaravoro.

The squad also includes Bakkies Botha Pierre Spies, Carl Hayman, Ali Williams and former Wallaby Berrick Barnes.

The World XV will be coached by former Wallabies coach and current Panasonic Wild Knights coach Robbie Deans.

All Blacks Preparing

The All Blacks are preparing for the Wallabies to play both Michael Hooper and David Pocock when they meet in Sydney this weekend.

“Early in the week, we take our best guess, but we just really gear our game about what we want to get out of it,” said All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.

“Once we find out who’s in their team, we might make the slight adjustment. But either way we’re expecting Pocock and Hooper to be on the park together at some point.

“If we’re not good at what we do, if we’re not accurate in the way we attack and clean out, we’re in trouble; and we got a bit of a lesson in that [against the Springboks].”

The All Blacks have named Sonny Bill Williams and Nehe Milner-Skudder to start.

Team: Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Luke Romano, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock.

Reserves: Codie Taylor, Ben Franks, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, T.J. Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa.

De Villiers Returns

Jean De Villiers will make his return to test rugby after being named at outside centre for the Springboks.

De Villiers will also captain the side for the first time since his horrific knee injury against Wales in November 2014.

In form centre Jesse Kriel has been shifted to the right wing for the match against Argentina.

“Jean’s comeback is truly remarkable and very inspirational and I can’t wait to see what he can offer playing next to exciting youngsters such as Handre Pollard, Damian (De Allende) and Jesse,” said Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer.

“Jean now has 160 minutes of rugby behind him since his comeback a month ago and I’m very satisfied that he will be able to make his mark as player and captain.”

  • Mitch T Gray

    I really hope I am wrong, but I think the AB’s have too much experience playing together… This wallabies team still feels too experimental for me. Anyway… Finger crossed…

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      It’s fair to say that many Wallaby fans echo your thoughts, and fair enough too.
      Still and all, I know the boys will have a real crack and it will be a fantastic test. Here’s hoping for a Wallaby win.

      • Mitch T Gray

        I should’ve added that this Wallabies side definitely has some of that elusive ‘Mongrel’ that has been missing for so long…

    • Simon

      Yeah that ABs team looks pretty scary. Mix of extreme experience and brilliant new talent. At least you’ll get good odds backing the Wallabies…….

  • sampro

    Another three Aussies are also in that World XV squad, I’ve heard.

    • sampro

      Saia Fainga’a Hooker Australia
      Tolu Latu Hooker Australia
      Ben Alexander Prop Australia
      Petrus du Plessis Prop South Africa
      Carl Hayman Prop New Zealand
      Benn Robinson Prop Australia
      Bakkies Botha Lock South Africa
      Luke Jones Lock Australia
      Ali Williams Lock New Zealand
      Liam Gill Flanker Australia
      Sean McMahon Flanker Australia
      Adam Thomson Flanker New Zealand
      Pierre Spies Number 8 South Africa
      Luke Burgess Scrum-half Australia
      Andrew Ellis Scrum-half New Zealand
      Berrick Barnes Fly-half New Zealand
      Mike Harris Fly-half Australia
      Christian Lealiifano Centre Australia
      Wynand Olivier Centre South Africa
      Ben Tapuai Centre Australia
      Nick Cummins Wing Australia
      Taqele Naiyaravoro Wing Fiji
      Dom Shipperley Wing Australia
      James O’Connor Fullback Australia

      • Stuey

        “Berrick Barnes Fly-half New Zealand


        • sampro

          I always knew that he had a bromance with Deans.

  • Simon

    I guess the only good thing about having Milner-Skudder at 14 is that at least he’s not at 15, catching every wayward kick.
    Not that Bin Smuth is really preferable there, from a Wallabies perspective.

  • muffy

    All Blacks preparing for Pooper: Watch for plenty of holding on to Pocock and Hooper at ruck time, grabbing and deliberately keeping them out of play. Its a common practice with teams playing against Pocock, Hooper not so much as he is not in the tight as much, but they certainly will when they get the opportunity.
    Best defence is for the boys to make a big song and dance about it early, chicken scratching like a mungo when they are being held down and for Squeak to get in the refs ear quickly.
    Tough game to win, but I think they could do it. Good luck boys!

    • Bizzare

      Not actually illegal to “bind” a player within arms reach in to a ruck or maul. I had been known to “bind” the Ref in, if he got to close, back in the day of the squirrel grip and “sort it” ;-) part of the game defenders have to deal with it.

  • Jimmydubs

    Robbie deans holding a bit of a reunion!
    World xv. More like Robbie’s old wobbly team.


Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

More in Rugby