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COMPLETE RWC Cup week 4 teams: Eddie makes changes, Fiji at full strength for QF push, Pollard to play first Test in 13 months

29th September, 2023
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29th September, 2023
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Australia is all but out of the World Cup with one game still to play against Portugal while there are still some important matches elsewhere to determine the make up of the quarterfinalists.

Eddie Jones named his team to play in Saint Etienne on Monday AEST – with a new centre partnership.

While All Blacks coach Ian Foster has brought back several big names and included all three of his star playmakers in his side side to take on Italy in their must-win clash in Lyon.

Eddie Jones has some decisions to make as to whether he uses his wider squad against Portugal. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Uruguay vs. Namibia, OL Stadium, Lyon (1.45am AEST, Thursday)

Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses has made four changes to his starting XV from their 38-17 loss against Italy, with two in the forward pack and two in the back-line.

Diego Arbelo replaces Ignacio Peculo in the front-row, Carlos Deus replaces Manuel Diana in the back-row and Bautista Basso replaces Gaston Mieres on the right wing, while Felipe Arcos Perez will make his RWC debut, replacing Tomas Inciarte in the centres.

Namibia coach Allister Coetzee has made seven personnel changes to his starting XV from their last game against France, with four in the forward pack and three in the back-line.

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Johan Coetzee and Gerswin Mouton will be the only two players to have started all four matches at this tournament.

Uruguay (1-15): Mateo Sanguinetti, German Kessler, Diego Arbelo, Felipe Aliaga, Manuel Leindekar, Manuel Ardao, Santiago Civetta, Carlos Deus, Santiago Arata, Felipe Etcheverry, Nicolas Freitas, Andres Vilaseca (c), Felipe Arcos Perez, Bautista Basso, Baltazar Amaya.

Replacements: Guillermo Pujadas, Facundo Gattas, Reinaldo Piussi, Juan Manuel Rodríguez, Eric Dosantos, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Juan Manuel Alonso.

Namibia (1-15): Jason Benade, Torsten Van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Adriaan Ludick, Tiaan De Klerk, Prince Gaoseb, Tjiuee Uanivi, Richard Hardwick, Damian Stevens, Tiaan Swanepoel, JC Greyling, Danco Burger, Alcino Izaacs, Gerswin Mouton, Cliven Loubser.

Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, Desiderius Sethie, Haitembu Shifuka, PJ Van Lill, Max Katjijeko, Adriaan Booysen, Jacques Theron, Andre van der Bergh.

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Japan vs. Samoa, Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse (5am AEST, Friday)

Samoa head coach Seilala Mapusua has made four changes to his side for their Pool D match against Japan, with Taleni Seu and Sa Jordan Taufua coming into the back-row, Ed Fidow starting on the right-wing and Alai D’Angelo Leuila coming in at centre.

Japan (1-15): Keita Inagaki, Shota Horie, Jiwon Gu, Jack Cornelsen, Amato Fakatava, Michael Leitch, Pieter Labuschagne, Kazuki Himeno (c), Yutaka Nagare, Rikiya Matsuda, Jone Naikabula, Ryoto Nakamura, Dylan Riley, Kotaro Matsushima, Lomano Lemeki.

Replacements: Atsushi Sakate, Craig Millar, Asaeli Ai Valu, Warner Dearns, Kanji Shimokawa, Naoto Saito, Seungsin Lee.
23 Tomoki Osada.

Samoa (1-15): James Lay, Seilala Lam, Paul Alo-Emile, Chris Vui (c), Theo McFarland, Taleni Junior Agaese Seu, Fritz Lee, Sa Jordan Taufua, Jonathan Taumateine, Christian Leali’ifano, Ben Lam, Alai D’Angelo Leuila, Tumua Manu, Ed Fidow, Duncan Paia’aua.

Replacements: Sama Malolo, Jordan Lay, Michael Alaalatoa, Steven Luatua, Alamanda Motuga, Melani Matavao, Neria Fomai, Danny Toala.

Ian Foster has brought regular captain Sam Cane back via the bench. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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New Zealand vs. Italy, OL Stadium, Lyon (5am AEST, Saturday)

The troops are back, with Ian Foster naming a strong side, including three playmakers in his matchday squad, to take on Italy at OL Stadium in Lyon on Friday.

Richie Mo’unga will start at fly-half, with Beauden Barrett once again named at fullback. Damian McKenzie will come off the bench.

Regular captain Sam Cane has been named on the bench, with Shannon Frizell, Dalton Papali’i and Ardie Savea to start in the back-row.

Brodie Retallick starts alongside Scott Barrett in the second-row, with Sam Whitelock offering experience off the bench.

Nepo Laulala starts at tight-head prop, with Tyrel Lomax making his return via the bench.

Italy head coach Kieran Crowley has added Dino Lamb, Stephen Varney and Luca Morisi to his starting XV as he named his match-day 23 for the Pool A game against New Zealand

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Niccolo Cannone moves to the bench with Alessandro Garbisi and Lorenzo Pani dropping out of the squad.

New Zealand: Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulaua, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea (c), Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Mark Telea, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan, Beauden Barrett

Replacements: Dane Coles, Tamaiti Williams, Tyrel Lomax, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Cam Roigard, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown

Italy (1-15): Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni, Dino Lamb, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (c), Lorenzo Cannone, Stephen Varney, Paolo Garbisi, Montanna Ioane, Luca Morisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Ange Capuozzo, Tommaso Allan.

Replacements: Hame Faiva, Ivan Nemer, Simone Ferrari, Niccolo Cannone, Manuel Zuliani, Toa Halafihi, Martin Page-Relo, Paolo Odogwu.

Argentina vs. Chile, Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes (11pm AEST, Saturday)

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Michael Cheika has made 11 changes to his starting XV from the team that defeated Samoa 19-10 in their previous match, with Marcos Kremer, Guido Petti, Eduardo Bello and Juan Martin González the only four players retaining their places in the run-on team.

Kremer and González will become the only two Los Pumas players to start in all three games at RWC 2023 with Kremer having played every minute of their campaign so far.

While four players could make their RWC debut, Cheika has named three of Argentina’s five most capped players of all-time in his starting XV in Agustín Creevy, Nicolás Sánchez and Tomás Cubelli.

Chile coach Pablo Lemoine has made eight changes to his starting 15, including the return of Javier Carrasco in the front row.

Argentina (1-15): Joel Sclavi, Agustín Creevy, Eduardo Bello, Guido Petti Pagadizabal, Pedro Rubiolo, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Marcos Kremer, Facundo Isa, Tomas Cubelli, Nicolas Sanchez, Juan Imhoff, Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), Lucio Cinti, Rodrigo Isgro, Martín Bogado.

Replacements: Ignacio Ruiz, Mayco Vivas, Francisco Gómez Kodela, Matias Alemanno, Joaquín Oviedo, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Santiago Carreras, Juan Cruz Mallia.

Chile (1-15): Javier Carrasco, Augusto Bohme, Matias Dittus, Santiago Pedrero, Javier Eissmann, Martín Sigren (c), Clemente Saavedra, Raimundo Martínez, Marcelo Torrealba, Rodrigo Fernandez, José Ignacio Larenas, Matias Garafulic, Domingo Saavedra, Santiago Videla, Inaki Ayarza.

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Replacements: Tomas Dussaillant, Salvador Lues, Esteban Inostroza, Augusto Sarmiento, Alfonso Escobar, Ignacio Silva, Nicolas Herreros, Francisco Urroz.

Fiji vs. Georgia, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux (1.45am AEST, Sunday)

Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui has kept faith with the team that beat Australia in their last Rugby World Cup outing for Saturday’s Pool C clash against Georgia in Bordeaux, making just one change to his starting side.

Selestino Ravutaumada, who started Fiji’s dramatic opening loss to Wales, returns on the right wing in place of Jiuta Wainiqolo.

The Flying Fijians have one further match in hand against Portugal but can ensure their progression to the quarter-finals at Australia’s expense early if they beat Georgia and collect a four-try bonus point.

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Simione Kuruvoli, who converted five place-kicks from five attempts in the upset of the Wallabies, retains the starting scrumhalf position with Fiji no doubt hoping he will replicate his accuracy from the tee.

In one other change to the bench, Samu Tawake replaces Mesaki Doge as back-up tighthead prop.

While Georgia held Fiji to a 15-15 draw in the last meeting between the sides in 2021, the Pacific islanders were convincing 45-10 winners in the pool stage at the 2019 World Cup.

Georgia head coach Levan Maisashviki has made seven changes to his starting 15, including the half-back pairing with scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze and fly-half Luka Matkava in for Gela Aprasidze and Tedo Abzhandadze respectively.

Fiji (1-15): Eroni Mawi, Samuel Matavesi, Luke Tagi, Isoa Nasilasila, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Lekima Tagitagivalu, Levani Botia, Viliame Mata, Simione Kuruvoli, Teti Tela, Semi Radradra, Josua Tuisova, Waisea Nayacalevu (c), Selesitino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese.

Replacements: Tevita Ikanivere, Peni Ravai, Samu Tawake, Temo Mayanavanua, Albert Tuisue, Frank Lomani, Vilimoni Botitu, Vinaya Habosi.

Georgia (1-15): Mikheil Nariashvili (c), Tengizi Zamtaradze, Beka Gigashvili, Lasha Jaiani, Konstantine Mikautadze, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Beka Saginadze, Tornike Jalagonia, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Luka Matkava, Davit Niniashvili, Giorgi Kveseladze, Demur Tapladze, Akaki Tabutsadze, Miriani Modebadze.

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Replacements: Luka Nioradze, Nika Abuladze, Irakli Aptsiauri, Nodar Cheishvili, Luka Ivanishvili, Gela Aprasidze, Tedo Abzhandadze, Tornike Kakhoidze.

Scotland vs. Romania, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille (6am AEST, Sunday)

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has made wholesale changes to his side for their Pool B clash against Romania, with outside-centre Chris Harris and winger Kyle Steyn the only players retaining their spots from the Tonga win.

Only five players remain in Romania’s starting line-up from the team beaten 76-0 by South Africa. Adrian Motoc and captain Cristian Chirica will maintain their ever-present record in the second row and at No.8, while there are three survivors in the backs in scrum-half Gabriel Rupanu, outside-centre Jason Tomane and full-back Marius Simionescu.

Head coach Eugen Apjok has handed a Rugby World Cup debut to former Tonga sevens international Taliauli Sikuea, who replaces Onutu on the left wing.

Scotland (1-15): Jamie Bhatti, Ewan Ashman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Grant Gilchrist (c), Luke Crosbie, Hamish Watson, Matt Fagerson, Ali Price, Ben Healy, Kyle Steyn, Cameron Redpath, Chris Harris, Darcy Graham, Ollie Smith

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Replacements: Johnny Matthews, Rory Sutherland, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, George Horne, Blair Kinghorn, Huw Jones

Romania (1-15): Alexandru Savin, Robert Irimescu, Gheorghe Gajion, Adrian Motoc, Stefan Iancu, Florian Rosu, Dragos Ser, Cristian Chirica (c), Gabriel Rupanu, Alin Conache, Taliauli Sikuea, Fonovai Tangimana, Jason Tomane, Sioeli Lama, Marius Simionescu.

Replacements: Florin Bardasu, Iulian Hartig, Costel Burtila, Marius Iftimiciuc, Damian Stratila, Florin Surugiu, Tudor Boldor, Nicholas Onutu.

Australia vs. Portugal, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne (2.45am AEDT, Monday)

Eddie Jones made three changes to his team to play Portugal with a new midfield partnership of Izaia Perese and Lalakai Foketi and Fraser McReight back into the backrow. James Slipper will become the Wallaby with the most Rugby World Cup appearances as he surpasses George Gregan with 21.

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Portugal coach Patrice Lagisquet made four changes, all in the forward pack, to his starting XV that drew 18-18 with Georgia last game.

David Costa earns his first start of RWC 2023, replacing Francisco Fernandes at loose-head. He has averaged only 26 minutes of game time at this tournament.

Martim Belo returns to partner Jose Madeira in the second row after playing 14 minutes off the bench last week.
There are two new faces in the back row with David Wallis and Thibault de Freitas joining Nicolas Martins in the starting XV for the first time at RWC 2023.

There are 18 survivors in the match-day team from their 30-17 loss against Australia A on 26 August, including 13 in the starting XV.

Australia (1-15): Angus Bell, David Porecki (c), James Slipper, Nick Frost, Richard Arnold, Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini, Tate McDermott, Ben Donaldson, Marika Koroibete, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Andrew Kellaway.

Replacements: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Pone Fa’amausili, Rob Leota, Josh Kemeny, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Carter Gordon, Suli Vunivalu.

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Portugal (1-15): David Costa, Mike Tadjer, Diogo Hasse Ferreira, José Madeira, Martim Belo, David Wallis, Nicolas Martins, Thibault de Freitas, Samuel Marques, Jerónimo Portela, Rodrigo Marta, Tomás Appleton (c), Pedro Bettencourt, Raffaele Storti, Nuno Sousa Guedes.

Replacements: Francisco Fernandes, Duarte Diniz, Francisco Bruno, Steevy Cerqueira, Rafael Simões, João Belo, Joris Moura, Manuel Cardoso Pinto.

South Africa vs. Tonga, Stade de Marseille, Marseille (6am AEDT, Monday)

Handré Pollard will play his first match for South Africa since the 25-17 defeat by Australia in Adelaide in August 2022, having missed their last 16 Tests. He comes into the side at the expense of Manie Libbok, who drops to the bench.

Pollard, 29, missed out on selection for the original RWC squad after picking up a calf injury in May but was called up as a replacement when hooker Malcolm Marx was injured.

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The flyhalf, who kicked 22 points in the Rugby World Cup 2019 final win over England and is South Africa’s record RWC points scorer with 162, made a 30-minute comeback appearance for Leicester Tigers against Sale on 15 September.

Pollard’s inclusion is one of 12 changes to the Springboks’ starting line-up after their defeat by Ireland, with second-row Eben Etzebeth, captain Siya Kolisi and number eight Jasper Wiese the only players to retain their spots in the pack, while the whole backline has changed.

For Tonga, Semisi Paea is starting at number eight in place of the suspended Vaea Fifita, following his four-match ban.  There are changes on the wings, with Anzelo Tuitavuki coming in for his Rugby World Cup debut on the left flank and Fine Inisi starting on the right.

South Africa (1-15): Ox Nche, Deon Fourie, Vincent Koch, Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie, Siya Kolisi (c), Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Cobus Reinach, Handre Pollard, Makazole Mapimpi, Andre Esterhuizen, Canan Moodie, Grant Williams, Willie Le Roux.

Replacements: Marco van Staden, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Jaden Hendrikse, Manie Libbok, Jesse Kriel.

Tonga (1-15): Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Paula Ngauamo, Ben Tameifuna (c), Halaleva Fifita, Sam Lousi, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Talitui, Semisi Paea, Augustine Pulu, William Havili, Anzelo Tuitavuki, Pita Ahki, Malakai Fekitoa, Fine Inisi, Salesi Piutau,

Replacements: Sam Moli, Tau Koloamatangi, Sosefo Apikotoa, Adam Coleman, Sione Vailanu, Sonatane Takulua, Patrick Pellegrini, Afusipa Taumoepeau.

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