The Autumn Nations Series delivered yet again over the weekend, with social media lighting up following the events in Marseille while history was made in Italy.
After the Wallabies shock loss to Italy, can they turn it around against Ireland? Meanwhile the All Blacks will look to keep their winning streak alive when they head to Twickenham.
Read on for all the line-ups and key team news as it comes to hand, plus our match previews and odds.
Saturday, November 19
Wales: Louis Rees-Zammit, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams, Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams, Josh Macleod, Justin Tipuric, Jac Morgan, Adam Beard, Ben Carter, Dillon Lewis, Ken Owens, Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Rhodri Jones, Sam Wainwright, Dafydd Jenkins, Taulupe Faletau, Dane Blacker, Sam Costelow, Leigh Halfpenny
Georgia: Davit Niniashvili, Mirian Modebadze, Deme Tafladze, Merab Sharikadze, Sandro Todua, Tedo Abzhandadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Tornike Jalaghonia, Beka Gorgadze, Beka Saghinadze, Kote Mikoutadze, Nodar Cheishvili, Guram Papidze, Giorgi Chakoidze, Guram Gogichashvili.
Replacements: Shalva Mamukashvili, Nika Abuladze, Aleksandre Kuntelia, Lado Chachanidze, Sandro Mamamvarishvili, Luka Matkava, Lasha Khmaladze, Lasha Lomidze.
Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only] N/A
Preview: Scarlets back row Josh Macleod will make his Wales debut after being selected by head coach Wayne Pivac for Saturday’s autumn international against Georgia in Cardiff.
The 26-year-old will start at No. 8 alongside blind-side flanker Jac Morgan, who came on as a replacement in the 20-13 victory over Argentina last weekend, and captain Justin Tipuric.
Wing Josh Adams returns to the side after missing the games against New Zealand and Argentina with injury.
The Welsh front row remains unchanged.
Meanwhile, Georgia have recalled No. 8 Tornike Jalaghonia and wing Mirian Modebadze. Georgia are hoping to bounce back from a narrow 20-19 loss to Samoa in Tbilisi last weekend and coach Levan Maisashvili has largely stuck with the same line-up.
Modebadze comes into the starting team for Aka Tabutsadze, who was concussed against the Pacific islanders, while the selection of Jalaghonia has forced a shuffle in the back row of the scrum.
Otar Giorgadze drops out of the team and Beka Gorgadze moves from the back of the scrum to flanker to accommodate the No. 8.
Italy: Ange Capuozzo, Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Montanna Ioane, Tommaso Allan, Stephen Varney, Lorenzo Cannone, Michele Lamaro (captain), Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza, Niccolo Cannone, Pietro Ceccarelli, Giacomo Nicotera, Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Simone Ferrari, David Sisi, Manuel Zuliani, Alessandro Garbisi, Edoardo Padovani, Tommaso Menoncello.
South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willense, Faf de Klerk, Jasper Wiese, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi, Marvin Orie, Salmaan Moerat, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche.
Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitschoff, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Kwagga Smith, Evan Ross, Cobus Reinach, Manie Libbok.
Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only]
Preview: Buoyant Italy have two changes to their starting line-up for the autumn international series fixture against South Africa in Genoa on Saturday, with prop Pietro Ceccarelli and hooker Giacomo Nicotera coming into the front row.
Coach Kieran Crowley has otherwise resisted changes from the side that stunned Australia with a 28-27 win in Florence last weekend, as they take aim at a Springbok side that has narrowly lost both their autumn series games against Ireland and France.
Livewire fullback Ange Capuozzo will be a key weapon again as part of a back three that also includes wings Pierre Bruno and Montanna Ioane, while the centre pairing is Luca Morisi and Juan Ignacio Brex. Flyhalf Tommaso Allan and Stephen Varney continue as the halfback duo.
Meanwhile, new South Africa cap Manie Libbok is hoping his versatility and accuracy off the kicking tee can book a place in next year’s Rugby World Cup squad after the flyhalf made his debut off the bench in the 30-26 defeat by France in Marseille last weekend.
Libbok has been rewarded for outstanding form with the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship having helped the Cape Town-based side win the title last season, and hopes to stake a further claim for a regular Springboks place.
An injury to first-choice flyhalf Handre Pollard has left the Boks short of a goal-kicker, which, in Libbok’s absence, cost them victory over Ireland in their autumn series opener in Dublin.
Libbock was not in line for a Bok place 12 months ago, but forced his way into the selectors’ thoughts and will hope to add to his credentials against the Italians from the replacements bench.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Finn Russell, Ali Price, Jack Dempsey, Jamie Ritchie (captain), Matt Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Zander Fagerson, Fraser Brown, Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: George Turner, Jamie Bhati, Murphy Walker, Glen Young, Andy Christie, Ben White, Blair Kinghorn, Cameron Redpath.
Argentina: Juan Cruz Mallia, Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Carreras, Gonzalo Bertranou, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Eduardo Bello, Julian Montoya (captain), Thomas Gallo
Replacements: Ignacio Ruiz, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Santiago Medrano, Lucas Paulos, Facunda Isa, Lautano Bazan Velez, Nicolas Sanchez, Matias Moroni.
Odds: [tab.com.au, Aus only] N/A
Preview: Former Australia test forward Jack Dempsey will make a first start for Scotland after being named in the lineup to take on Argentina at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The 28-year-old is one of two changes to the Scottish side made by coach Gregor Townsend on Thursday after last Sunday’s disappointing 31-23 loss to New Zealand.
Dempsey, allowed to switch allegiance in line with World Rugby’s new eligibility rules, has come off the bench in Scotland’s last three games against the Wallabies, Fiji and New Zealand but starts now in place of Hamish Watson, who was forced off the field last week against the All Blacks with concussion.
Dempsey will go to the back of the scrum and Matt Fagerson moves to the side.
In the second row Jonny Gray replaces elder brother Richie, who was handed a three-match ban on Wednesday for foul play after being cited following last Sunday’s test.
England: Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet, Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Sam Simmonds, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Will Stuart, David Ribbans, Jack Willis, Ben Youngs, Guy Porter, Henry Slade
New Zealand: Beauden Barrett, Mark Telea, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Ardie Savea, Dalton Papali’i, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick Sam Whitelock (captain), Tyrel Lomax, Codie Taylor, Ethan de Groot.
Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, George Bower, Nepo Laulala, Shannon Frizell, Hoskins Sotutu, TJ Perenara, David Havili, Anton Lienert-Brown.
Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only]
Preview: Manu Tuilagi is back in the England team to face New Zealand on Saturday, with Jack Nowell also restored to the starting team having withdrawn shortly before last week’s win over Japan with a stomach issue.
Maro Itoje will move back to the second row as coach Eddie Jones has gone for an unfamiliar back-row of Tom Curry at seven, Sam Simmons at six and Billy Vunipola at eight in the team named on Thursday.
Owen Farrell continues at centre, outside Marcus Smith, where the captain will make his 100th appearance for England.
Prop Will Stuart returns from injury and is among the replacements, as are David Ribbans, Jack Willis, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Ben Youngs, Guy Porter and Henry Slade. The game is the first between the teams since England’s 19-7 victory in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, when Tuilagi scored England’s only try after two minutes.
Meanwhile, New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick is set to win his 100th cap as he returns from suspension to beef up the pack.
Retallick was suspended after being sent off against Japan last month, missing the wins against Wales and Scotland over the last fortnight, but reprises his long-standing partnership in the second row with skipper Sam Whitelock.
The pair will scrum down together for a record 64th time, surpassing the previous mark held by South Africa’s Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.
Retallick, who will be the 12th Kiwi to get 100 caps, comes in for Scott Barrett, who moves to blindside flank in place of Akira Ioane in one of nine switches to the lineup after last weekend’s 31-23 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.
Rieko Ioane replaces Anton Lienert-Brown at centre and will play alongside Jordie Barrett, who comes in for David Havili.
Beauden Barrett moves to fullback where his brother Jordie played last week, allowing Richie Mo’unga to return at flyhalf with Aaron Smith back at scrumhalf for his 11th cap.
In the pack, Codie Taylor starts at hooker in place of Samisoni Taukei’aho, while Tyrel Lomax replaces Nepo Laulala at tighthead as New Zealand put out their strongest side for their last game of the year.
Sunday, November 20
Ireland: Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Stuart McCloskey, Jimmy O’Brien, Johnny Sexton (captain), Jamison Gibson Park, Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, Dan Sheehan, Andrew Porter.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Jack Conan, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Bundee Aki.
Australia: Andrew Kellaway, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright, Bernard Foley, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper, Jed Holloway, Cadeyrn Neville Nick Frost, Allan Alaalatoa, Dave Porecki, James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: Folau Fainga’a, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Will Skelton, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Jordan Petaia.
Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only]
Preview: Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton has been recalled as one of seven changes for the autumn international against Australia in Dublin on Saturday, with uncapped lock Joe McCarthy named among the replacements.
Captain Sexton sat out the 35-17 victory over Fiji last weekend, but head coach Andy Farrell has returned to something close to his first-choice selection for the visit of the Wallabies.
Hugo Keenan is at fullback as Jimmy O’Brien switches to the wing and Mack Hansen moves from left to right in the back three. Robert Baloucoune misses out.
Garry Ringrose is back in the No. 13 jersey for the injured Robbie Henshaw and will partner Stuart McCloskey at centre, keeping Bundee Aki on the bench, while Sexton is alongside scrumhalf Jamison Gibson Park.
Ireland are seeking a clean sweep of wins in the autumn internationals against an Australia side who have lost their last two by just one point in France and Italy.
Australia, meanwhile, made sweeping changes to their team in an attempt to counter their losses. Only four of the starters from the 28-27 defeat in Florence — the first time Italy had beaten the Wallabies — remain in the side named by coach Dave Rennie.
Mark Nawaqanitawase, who debuted last week, keeps his place on the wing while the centre pairing of Hunter Paisami and Len Ikitau also remain. Allan Alaalatoa plays again in the front row after captaining Australia for the first time last week but James Slipper returns to captain the team in what will be his 126th test.
Andrew Kellaway moves back to fullback after playing on the wing in the opening two games of Australia’s European tour where they beat Scotland 16-15 but then lost 30-29 to France.
Source : Sky.com