Sunday, December 26, 2010

RUGBY AFRICA CUP: Tournament is Off

The Africa Rugby Cup final tournament has been abandoned. Morocco, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Cameroun were due to participate in this the top prize for rugby among African nations.

Article here explains all.

RUGBY IN DISTANT PADDOCKS: Congo Kinshasa

The Cameroun Rugby Federation has been assisting with technical development of the game in Central Africa through Pierre Nomo. http://www.fecarugby.org/actualites/3/128.html The link gives the full article as it appears on Cameroun rugby web site. What astonished me was the spread of the game in the Central African republic.

"We must remember that the Congolese Federation of Rugby has 25 years of age. The rugby was there primarily supported by mining companies and when they went bankrupt rugby has somewhat disappeared. And civil war that has gripped the country for several years has not helped matters.
Rugby Congolese being reborn from the ashes mainly north of the country where it was 24 clubs in the city of Kinshasa, in the south there are 1-2 clubs in town including Kolwezi, Lubumbashi, which each carry two LIKASHI clubs.
There are 2 clubs in the East in Maniema Province, as well as Muanda in the province of Bas-Congo.
A total of nearly 45 clubs throughout the country and trying to work somehow, despite the lack of funds.
On the technical level of play is average and there is plenty to do. The first generation is aging and the Federation is working to form the new, younger in order to align it with modern techniques of the game."

45 clubs!! Amazing. Sadly the Congo Republic were due to play in Kigali, Rwanda, along with the host nation and Burundi, but did not turn up. It would have been the Congo's international rugby debut.

2010-training
Training session in Kinshasa. Image thanks to http://www.fecarugby.org/actualites/3/128.html

The Cameroun is also working, according to the article, on the game in neighbouring Gabon, with the aim of forming a federation there, and for Gabon to eventually being admitted to CAR

Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

images

TO ALL RUGBYINTERNATIONAL BLOG VIEWERS

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Saturday, December 18, 2010

RUGBY TEST MATCH CANCELLED


Because of heavy snow, the Netherlands v Hong Kong rugby test match has been cancelled.

Friday, December 17, 2010

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Final Game for Hong Kong

17.12.2010
Hong Kong v Netherlands in Amsterdam

Venue: National Rugby Centre

Referee:

2010.12.17-poster-hk-ned

Preview
This game has been brought forwards to Friday instead of Saturday due to weather forecasts indicate poor weather over Europe Saturday.

This is the third game in Hong Kong's 2010 European tour. They began with a 13-34 loss to Germany last Saturday and then a 56-17 win over Norway Wednesday.

Previous Encounter
19.12.2009 Netherlands 25-10 in Amsterdam

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Netherlands 26th, Hong Kong 29th

IRB Ranking Points
Hong Kong 51.57, Netherlands 48.63

Prediction: Netherlands by 12 points

Teams

Hong Kong Squad
Timothy Alexander (Valley Rugby Club)
Ross Armour (Valley Rugby Club)
Renaud Chavanis (Valley Rugby Club)
Chik, Alvin Man Hon (Valley Rugby Club)
Charles French (Hong Kong Football Club)
Mark Goosen (Kowloon RFC)
Alexander Harris (Kowloon RFC)
Anthony Haynes (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Nicholas Hewson (Valley Rugby Club)
Hong, Pak To CWB Sharks RFC)
Kenneth Hsieh (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Lee Jones (Valley Rugby Club)
Oliver Jones (Hong Kong Football Club)
Phil Leung (DeA Rugby Club)
Andrew Li (Kowloon RFC)
Thomas McColl (Kowloon RFC)
Ng, Alex Wai Shing (Valley Rugby Club)
Matthew Nuttall (DeA Rugby Club)
Matthew Price (DeA Rugby Club)
Adam Raby (Hong Kong Football Club)
Carl Rojens (Valley Rugby Club)
Niall Rowark (Valley Rugby Club)
Simon Smith (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Pale Tauti (DeA Rugby Club)
Wei, Hon Sum (University of Surrey RFC, England)
Yiu, Salom Kam Shing (Valley Rugby Club)
Head Coach: Dai Rees

Adapted from http://www.hkrugby.com/en/node/1406

Netherlands Squad not available

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TEST RUGBY RESULT: Hong Kong win Easily in Norway

15.12.2010
Hong Kong 59, Norway 17 in Stavanger

Halftime-33-3

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

EUROPEAN RUGBY TOUR: Hong Kong Start Against Germany

11.12.2010
Hong Kong v Germany in Heidelberg

Venue: Fritz-Grunebaum-Sportpark

Referee: Radu Petrescu (Romania)

2010.12.11-poster_hk_germany

Preview
This is Hong Kong's second tour of Europe, the first being at this time last year. I can't work out why the tour is in December and not November.

Both sides are not fielding their top sides.For Germany their France and Italian-based players have not been called upon along with former captain Jens Schmidt.

The side about to begin its European tour is without a number of key players. "I see Mark Wright and one other player who is at Toyota Shokki aren`t in the touring party. As TS are struggling in their first year in the TL and it`s outside the IRBs club release period I`m sure the reason is that they refused to release him. I saw that he started in their game last weekend which started the TL`s 2nd half of its regular season after a month long hiatus due to international XVs and the Asian Games where Wright did play. Keith Robertson and Rowan Varty are also missing. I think one of them is the other player at TS. In fact lots of regulars missing. this is more like a HKG A side so with the conditions and their inexperience they may struggle v Germany and mightn't be such a mismatch v Norway". View expressed by 'Yamaha Kiwi' at http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3643 who has lived previously for some time in Japan.

Other previews
http://www.hkrugby.com/en/node/1406

Previous Encounter
12.12.2009 Germany 24-14 in Heidelberg

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Germany 25th, Hong Kong 29th

IRB Ranking Points
Germany 53.34, Hong Kong 52.49

Prediction: Germany by 13 points

Teams

32[1]

Hong Kong Squad
Timothy Alexander (Valley Rugby Club)
Ross Armour (Valley Rugby Club)
Renaud Chavanis (Valley Rugby Club)
Chik, Alvin Man Hon (Valley Rugby Club)
Charles French (Hong Kong Football Club)
Mark Goosen (Kowloon RFC)
Alexander Harris (Kowloon RFC)
Anthony Haynes (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Nicholas Hewson (Valley Rugby Club)
Hong, Pak To CWB Sharks RFC)
Kenneth Hsieh (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Lee Jones (Valley Rugby Club)
Oliver Jones (Hong Kong Football Club)
Phil Leung (DeA Rugby Club)
Andrew Li (Kowloon RFC)
Thomas McColl (Kowloon RFC)
Ng, Alex Wai Shing (Valley Rugby Club)
Matthew Nuttall (DeA Rugby Club)
Matthew Price (DeA Rugby Club)
Adam Raby (Hong Kong Football Club)
Carl Rojens (Valley Rugby Club)
Niall Rowark (Valley Rugby Club)
Simon Smith (Hong Kong Cricket Club)
Pale Tauti (DeA Rugby Club)
Wei, Hon Sum (University of Surrey RFC, England)
Yiu, Salom Kam Shing (Valley Rugby Club)
Head Coach: Dai Rees

Adapted from http://www.hkrugby.com/en/node/1406

14[1]

Germany Squad
Kehoma Brenner (Heidelberger RK)
Anjo Buckman (Heidelberger RK)
Mustafa Güngör (RG Heidelberg)
Alexander Hauck (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Fabian Heimpel (RG Heidelberg)
Sam Henderson (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Bastian Himmer (RG Heidelberg)
Lukas Hinds-Johnson (RK 03 Berlin)
Alexander Hug (TSV Handschuhsheim)
Tim Kasten (Heidelberger RK)
Jimmy Keinhorst (Otley RUFC, England)
Benjamin Krause (DSV Hannover 78)
Jannis Läpple (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Steffen Liebig (Heidelberger RK)
Tim Menzel (US Colomiers, France)
Rafael Pyrasch (Heidelberger RK)
James Reid (Peterborough RUFC, England)
Patrick Schliwa (Heidelberger RK)
Benjamin Simm (DSV Hannover 78)
Marten Strauch (SC Neuenheim)
Sven-Uwe Wetzel (TSV Handschuhsheim)
Alexander Widiker (Heidelberger RK)
Arthur Zeiler (Heidelberger RK)
Head Coach: Torsten Schippe

http://www.totalrugby.de/

Friday, December 3, 2010

2011 Rugby World Cup Finals: The Pools

The 2011 Rugby World Cup will be held in New Zealand. In defeating Uruguay 39-12 in Bucharest last weekend (with the first leg drawn 21-21), Romania filled the final position at the finals.

Pool A
New Zealand
France
Tonga
Canada
Japan

Pool B
Argentina
England
Scotland
Georgia
Romania

Pool C
Australia
Ireland
Italy
Russia
United States

Pool D
South Africa
Wales
Fiji
Samoa
Namibia

Over the next week I will have a look at each pool and the teams in each. How does the team stand at present and what holds for that team leading up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Monday, November 29, 2010

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY TEST RESULT: Ireland Too Good For Argentina

29.11.2010
Ireland 29, Argentina 9 in Dublin

Briefly
Ireland ended their Autumn international rugby programme with a convincing but hard-fought win over Argentina. Argentina now has a problem with its ageing players. With just 9 months away from the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the Argies will need to quickly blood some new players.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

RUGBY TEST: The Final Test Match in November

28.11.2010
Argentina v Ireland in Dublin

Venue: Aviva Stadium

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

Preview
There has been more upsets than I can ever recall in these November tests. South Africa defeating England, Scotland defeating South Africa, Fiji's 16-16 draw with Wales, Australia's amazing 59-16 thrashing of France, not to mention all the upsets in the European Nations Cup. So if there is to be another upset, will it happen at Aviva Stadium.

Well frankly no. Nobody will be surprised if either Ireland or Ireland win. Neither has really fired this November and probably neither actually deserves to win on Sunday.

Ireland has had a forgettable November window. They have missed three key players all November in Fitzgerald, Kearney and Paul O'Connell. They just haven't fired, except perhaps in the game against New Zealand. So there is promise but the World Cup is less than 9 months away and you really couldn't, on their latest form, consider Ireland a serious contender.

Argentina keeps on selecting an ageing front row and a number of other players and getting a bit long in the tooth. Will these players (hooker Ledesma will be 38 if he gets to the World Cup) be over the hill by that time? Where is the new blood for Argentina?

Last Five Encounters
22.11.2008 Ireland 17-3 in Dublin
30.09.2007 Argentina 30-15 in Paris (World Cup, Pool D)
02.06.2007 Argentina 16-0 in Buenos Aires
26.05.2007 Argentina 22-20 in Santa Fe
27.11.2004 Ireland 21-19 in Dublin

Argentina has never won against Ireland in Dublin.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Argentina 7th, Ireland 8th

IRB Ranking Points
Ireland 80.90, Argentina 79.87

Prediction: A draw

Teams

1[1]

Ireland
15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll, Capt. 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Peter Stringer , 8 James Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Michael O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Anthony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements
16 Damien Varley, 17 Thomas Court, 18 Devin Toner, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Eoin Reddan , 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Keith Earls.
Head Coach: Declan Kidney

13[1]

Argentina
15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Marcelo Bosch, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Felipe Contepomi, Capt. 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Julio Farias Cabello, 6 Genaro Fessia, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Mariano Galarza, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements
16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Santiago Guzman, 20 Alvaro Galindo, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Lucas Borges.

Head Coach: Santiago Phelan

TEST RUGBY RESULTS 27 November 2010

27.11.2010
New Zealand 37, Wales 25 in Cardiff
South Africa 21, England 11 at Twickenham
France v Australia in Paris 13-13 HT
Italy 24, Fiji 16 in Modena
Scotland 19, Samoa 16 at Murrayfield
Romania 39, Uruguay 12 in Bucharest (WCQ Repechage, Final, 2nd leg)
Georgia 19, United States 17 in Tblissi
Canada 23, Portugal 20 in Lisbon
Spain 33, Namibia 20 in Palma de Mallorca
Germany 29, Netherlands 10 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)

Briefly
South Africa caused the international rugby sensation of the weekend by defeating England 21-11. England, the heroes of the month are now back to the beginning after losing to a team that has been struggling all month. Congratulations South Africa. This results shows that consistency is going to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Neither of these two teams are up there yet.

New Zealand has been the most consistent team so far. Their 37-25 win over Wales hands them another Grand Slam. It wasn't a perfect display by the Kiwis. The Welsh fought as if their lives were at risk and worried the AB's throughout the game. So far, the New Zealanders are the most consistent side.

Elsewhere, France and Australia are locked together with Australia 20-16 ahead at the latest. Italy finally won a test match whilst Scotland scrambled past Samoa.

Romania are the final team to go to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. They brushed Uruguay aside 39-12 in Bucharest. The USA lost by 2 points to Georgia whilst Canada ended their tour with a win over Portugal. Spain's new look side got it right this weekend with a good win over Namibia.

Germany won easily over a young Netherlands team 29-10, whilst Rwanda were too strong for neighbours Burundi and won their test series 2-0.

Now December is nearly here and sadly the international window closes. Keep posted as we explore the year that was and look forwards to 2011, the BIG year. Hong Kong tours Europe also in December, so keep coming back for more.

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: CAR Trophy Central Zone

Looks Democratic Republic of Congo did not turn up for this tournament. Results is two test matches between hosts and neighbour.

24.11.2010
Rwanda 39, Burundi 13 in Kigali

26.11.2010
Rwanda 19, Burundi 6 in Kigali

Review
Rwanda too strong for their neighbours.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY TEST MATCH: New Zealanders Seek Grand Slam

27.11.2010
New Zealand v Wales in Cardiff

Venue: Millennium Stadium

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

Preview
New Zealand is on the brink of achieving their second successive Grand Slam as this decade is about to run out. Facing them is a Welsh side reeling from a 16-16 draw against Fiji last weekend.

New Zealand just has to keep on doing all the right things they have been doing. They are a very clinical side. They ruthlessly punish any mistakes, they absorb pressure and can score against the run of play.

Daniel Carter will surely become the world's most prolific point scorer and overtake Jonny Wilkinson's record points haul

What can Wales do to turn around from a 16-16 against Fiji.I just can't see it happening. They've sacked their captain so at best the side is now rebuilding towards the 6 Nations Championship, 2011.

Last Five Encounters
26.06.2010 New Zealand 29-10 in Hamilton
19.06.2010 New Zealand 42-9 in Dunedin
07.11.2009 New Zealand 19-12 in Cardiff
22.11.2008 New Zealand 29-9 in Cardiff
25.11.2006 New Zealand 45-10 in Cardiff

Wales last defeated New Zealand in 1953, winning 13-8 in Cardiff.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-New Zealand 3rd, Wales 9th

IRB Ranking Points
New Zealand 93.19, Wales 77.67

Prediction: New Zealand by 23 points

Teams

3[1]

Wales
15 Lee Byrne, 14 George North, 13 Thomas Shanklin, 12 James Hook, 11 Thomas James, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Michael Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Samuel Warburton, 6 Daniel Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees, Capt. 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements
16 Huw Bennett, 17 Paul James, 18 Jonathan Thomas, 19 Andrew Powell, 20 Martyn Williams, 21 Ricard Rees, 22 Andrew Bishop.
Head Coach: Warren Gatland

8[1]

New Zealand
15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 James Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, Capt. 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Bradley Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements
16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Andrew Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Ma'a Nonu.
Head Coach: Graham Henry

TEST RUGBY: South Africans Need A Win

27.11.2010
South Africa v England at Twickenham

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Preview
I'm picking this test match to be the game of the weekend. For both sides it looks like crossroads has been reached. England going up, South Africa?..Well..I don't know.

This is worrying times for south Africa. Their loss to Scotland last weekend was nothing short of a disaster. If the coaching staff thought they were under the hammer just after the Tri Nations series, they must now surely be facing a gun! Where do they go from here. This is a huge game for South Africa. A win will pick them up again and hopefully heading in the right direction for next years Rugby World Cup finals. A loss, and the World Champions will have hit rock bottom with nowhere to go, let alone up.

England, on the other hand, a warming up nicely ahead of next year. It would appear that Martin Johnson has finally got it right. His team is firing and looking a grand prospect for the World Cup finals.

Last Five Encounters
22.11.2008 South Africa 42-6 at Twickenham
20.10.2007 South Africa 15-6 in Paris (World Cup Final)
14.09.2007 South Africa 36-0 in Paris
02.06.2007 South Africa 55-22 in Pretoria
16.05.2007 South Africa 58-10 in Bloemfontein

The World Cup Final apart, South Africa has dished out some serious beatings to England in the past few years. England last defeated South Africa at Twickenham, in November 2006, 23-21.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-England 1st, South Africa 5th.

IRB Ranking Points
South Africa 85.31, England 83.61

Prediction: England by 20 points

Teams

2[1]

England
15 Benjamin Foden, 14 Christopher Ashton, 13 Michael Tindall, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Tobias Flood, 9 Benjamin Youngs, 8 Nicholas Easter, 7 Lewis Moody, Capt. 6 Thomas Croft, 5 Thomas Palmer, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Daniel Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements
16 Steven Thompson, 17 David Wilson, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Hendre Fourie, 20 Daniel Care, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Matthew Banahan.
Head Coach: Martin Johnson

South Africa
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Jean De Villiers, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, Capt. 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements
16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 CJ Van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Adi Jacobs.
Head Coach: Pieter de Villiers

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: French Take on Australians

27.11.2010
Australia v France in Paris

Venue: Stade de France

Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

Preview
There is so much resting on the result of this match for both teams. Australia will be looking to pick this tour up off the ground after defeats against England and then a wobbly win over Italy, has dumped this side to rock bottom in confidence. Questions are still being asked about their front five who have struggled on this tour.

France is looking to round off their November series 3-0 going into the 6 Nations Championship in February. Building combinations has been the French coaches aim and, unusually, he has made only a few changes from the side that overcame Argentina last weekend. Bad news for them is the last withdrawl of Lionel Nallett with a back injury.

For Australia it's time to step up and dominate a game as they did against the All Blacks in Hong Kong. They can do it!

The weather forecast is very cold and for light snow.

Last Five Encounters
27.06.2009 Australia 22-6 in Sydney
22.11.2008 Australia 18-13 in Paris
05.07.2008 Australia 40-10 in Brisbane
28.06.2008 Australia 34-13 in Sydney
05.11.2005 France 26-16 in Paris

France has not defeated Australia since 2005, four encounters ago.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 2nd, France 6th

IRB Rugby Ranking Points
Australia 85.90, France 83.21

Prediction: Very close, Australia by 4 points.

Teams

5[1]

France
15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Damien Traille, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, Capt. 5 Jerome Thion, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Jerome Schuster, 18 Romain Millo-Chluski, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Dimitri Yachvili, 21 Fabrice Estebanez, 22 Marc Andreu.
Head Coach: Marc Lievremont

7[1]

Australia
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements:16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Mark Chisholm, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Matt Giteau, 22 Lachie Turner.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans

TEST MATCH RUGBY: Italians Face Fijians

27.11.2010
Fiji v Italy in Modena

Venue: Stadio Braglia

Referee: Dave Pearson (England)

Preview
Fiji has a wonderful opportunity to come away from its European tour with a win. They have been together as a team now for three weeks and the continuity and combinations began to be seen in their 16-16 with Wales. That result is just what Fijian rugby needed and I can see this team winning against Italy. Can they defeat Italy?

Italy has just had two international rugby test wins since 2008. This is not a good record. They played out a dour 14-32 loss to a struggling Australian side last weekend. They desperately need this win. This will be a most interesting contest.

Last Five Encounters
17.06.2006 Fiji 29-18 in Suva
26.11.2005 Italy 23-8 in Milan
10.11.2001 Italy 66-10 in Treviso
15.07.2000 Fiji 43-9 in Suva
28.08.1999 Fiji 50-32 in L'aquila (L'aquilla Tournament)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Fiji 10th, Italy 11th

IRB Ranking Points
Fiji 74.39, Italy 72.35

Prediction: A close test match, Fiji by 3 points

Teams

6[1]

Italy
15 Luke McLean, 14 Andrea Masi, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse, Capt. 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements
16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Santiago Dellape, 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Pablo Canavosio, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Tommaso Benvenuti.
Head Coach: Nik Mallett

30[1]

Fiji
15 Norman Ligairi, 14 Vereniki Goneva , 13 Albert Vulivuli, 12 Gabriele Lovobalavu, 11 Napolioni Nalaga , 10 Seremaia Baï, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Semisi Saukawa, 5 Jone Qovu, 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Deacon Manu, Capt. 2 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements
16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Vesi Rarawa, 18 Sekonaia Kalou, 19 Jimilai Naikadawa, 20 Seveci Taka, 21 Seru Rabeni, 22 Taniela Rawaqa.
Head Coach: Samoni Domoni

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Samoans in Scotland

27.11.2010
Samoa v Scotland in Aberdeen

Venue: Pittodrie Stadium

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

Preview
Scotland has dragged the Samoans well into the north for this the final international rugby test match of the November series. The Islanders trained yesterday in snow and for or some of the Samoans it was their first experience of snow.

This will be an interesting rugby test. Samoa are without a win so far on tour but they have come close. They pushed Ireland in their first test match and then performed very well against the mighty English. A test win today will boost their efforts leading up to next years Rugby World Cup.

For Scotland they are in a strange position. They have everything to lose after defeating World Champions South Africa last weekend. Another win, and it needs to be a good win, will help erase the nightmare of the result against New Zealand.

Alan Jacobson and Sean Lamont will both play their 50th test for Scotland.

Other Previews
http://www.samoaobserver.ws/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29751:manu-needs&catid=34:sports&Itemid=54

Last Five Encounters
20.11.2005 Scotland 18-11 at Murrayfield
04.06.2004 Scotland 38-3 in Wellington
18.11.2000 Scotland 31-8 at Murrayfield
20.10.1999 Scotland 35-20 at Murrayfield
18.11.1995 Drawn 15-15 at Murrayfield

Samoa has never defeated Scotland at Murrayfield.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Scotland 4th, Samoa 12th

IRB Ranking Points
Scotland 81.20, Samoa 74.02

Prediction: Scotland by 10 points

Teams

4[1]

Scotland
15 Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais, France) 56 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
14 Nikki Walker (Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales) 17 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
13 Joseph Ansbro (Northampton Saints, England) 1 cap
12 Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors) 27 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
11 Sean Lamont (Llanelly Scarlets) 49 caps, 7 tries, 35 points
10 Daniel Parks (Cardiff Blues, Wales) 55 caps, 4 tries, 10 conv., 40 pen., 12 dg, 196 points
9 Rory Lawson, Capt. (Gloucester, England) 21 caps
8 Richard Vernon (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 22 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
6 Kelly Brown (Saracens, England) 39 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
5 Richard Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps
4 Nathan Hines (Leinster, Ireland) 66 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Euan Murray (Northampton Saints, England) 34 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh) 42 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh) 49 caps
Replacements
16 Douglas Hall (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps
17 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps
18 James Hamilton (Gloucester, England) 30 caps, 1 try, 5 points
19 Ross Rennie (Edinburgh) 3 caps
20 Michael Blair (Edinburgh) 65 caps, 5 tries, 25 points
21 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap
22 Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors) 14 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
Head Coach: Andy Robinson

Adapted from http://www.scotlandrugbyteam.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2143&Itemid=9

15[1]

Samoa Rugby Squad not available

RUGBY WORLD CUP 2011: Last Chance to Qualify

27.11.2010
Uruguay v Romania in Bucharest (WCQ Repechage, Final, 2nd leg)

Venue: Stadium Arc de Triomphe

Referee:

Preview
In an amazing match in Montevideo two weeks ago Uruguay, against the odds, held on to a 21-21 draw in the first leg against Romania. The big test will come Saturday when they take on Romania at home. They are in with a chance but again the odds are for Romania to take the match and head to the Rugby World Cup Finals, New Zealand, 2011.

If the game remains a draw after 80 minutes of play, the following scenarios will be played out.

'tie breakers
http://frr.ro/2010/11/24/meciul-romania-uruguay-ar-putea-ajunge-in-prelungiri-in-cazul-unui-rezultat-de-egalitate/
1. two 10 min extra periods, with 5 min interval before them (BETWEEN according to source)
2. sudden death play for a 10 min period
3. kicking comp: 5 guys from team, from 22m, from in front, left, right (in ROTATION)'

Thanks to 'FLIDTA RISXVA'.

The weather forecast is for rain.

Previous Encounters
13.11.2010 Drawn 21-21 in Montevideo (WCQ Repechage, Final, 1st Leg)
12.06.2009 Romania 17-11 in Bucharest (IRB Nations Cup)
11.06.2008 Romania 10-6 in Bucharest (IRB Nations Cup)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Romania 20th, Uruguay 21st

IRB Ranking Points
Romania 65.03, Uruguay 61.45

Prediction: Romania by 8 and off they go the World Cup Finals.

Teams
86[1]
Romania Squad
Bogdan Balan (Lyon, France)
Stelian Burcea (Arad)
Valentin Calafeteanu (Arad)
Daniel Carpo (Farul Constanta)
Petre Cristian (Saint Etienne, France)
Dragos Dima (Blagnac, France)
Ionut Dimofte (Baia Mare)
Danut Dumbrava (Steaua Bucaresti)
Iulian Dumitras (Lourdes, France)
Catalin Fercu (Arad)
Csaba Gal (Baia Mare)
Mihai Lazar (Aix En Provence, France)
Madalin Lemnaru (Arad)
Alexandru Manta (Lyon, France)
Cezar Popescu (Macon, France)
Andrei Radoi (Baia Mare)
Lucian Sirbu (Millau, France)
Sorin Socol, Capt. (Lourdes, France)
Marius Tincu (Perpignan, France)
Ovidiu Tonita (Perpignan, France)
Valentin Ursache (Baia Mare)
Florin Vlaicu (Steaua Bucaresti)

Added to the squad
Mihai Macovei (Baia Mare)
Daniel Ianus (Steaua)
Gabriel Conache (Timisoara)
Robert Dascalu (Steaua)
Ionut Botezatu (Baia Mare)

Sorin Socol has injured his knee as is in some doubt
Marius Sirbe (Tarbes, France) has been called in,
as has Valentin Popirlan (CS Dinamo)
Head Coach: Steve McDowall

http://frr.ro/2010/11/20/marius-sirbe-intareste-linia-a-doua-a-nationalei/

24[1]

Uruguay Squad
1-Arboleya, Carlos (Trébol)
2-Arocena, Matias (Old Christian's)
3-Badano, Nicolas (Old Boys)
4-Benitez, Edgardo (Trébol)
5-Braun, Mathias (PSG)
6-Caffera, Emiliano (Champagnat)
7-Corral, Alejo (San Isidro Club - Argentina)
8-Crosa, Martin (Old Boys)
9-de Freitas, Juan (Champagnat)
10-Dugonjic, Ivo (PSG)
11-Espiga, Martin (Old Christian's)
12-Etcheverry, Jeronimo (Carrasco Polo Club)
13-Fonseca, Matias (Los Cuervos)
14-Gaminara, Juan Manuel (Old Boys)
15-Horta, Juan Pablo (Old Christian's)
16-Leivas, Leandro (Old Christian's)
17-Magno, Diego (MVCC)
18-Martinez, Manuel (Old Christian's)
19-Mieres, Gaston (Lobos)
20-Morales, Nicolas (Trébol)
21-Rombys, Juan Pedro (Trébol)
22-Vilaseca, Santiago (Old Boys)
23-Lemoine, Pablo (Valence D’Agen, France)
24-Sagario, Mario (Dax - Francia)
Head Coach: Gonzalo Camardón

http://www.uru.org.uy/noticias/610/rumbo_a_rumania

INTERNATIONAL TEST RUGBY: USA in Georgia

27.11.2010
United States v Georgia in Tblissi

Venue: National Stadium

Referee:

Preview
The Canadians ruled the North American rugby roost in 2010 but the USA team has been more successful in their European tour to date. Take out the 0-25 loss to Scotland A, with the USA fielding very much their second-string side, and the USA has done very well. Their 22-17 win over a strong Portuguese side two weeks ago argues well for a good performance against Georgia. A win would give the USA a 2-0 test success on this tour. But just how will they do against Georgia?

Georgia defeated Canada 22-15 last weekend but critics say the Georgian backs are too slow and the USA will really test the Georgian backline. They also feel the USA's strength is in the loose play. It's in the front five that Georgia will dominate the visitors and this could be where the game is won or lost. All but four of Georgia's 22 are based in France.

Previous Encounter
21.06.2009 United States 31-13 in Denver (Churchill Cup, Playoff 5th-6th)

The Georgian team for the above test was very much a development side and contained few of Georgia's top 20 twenty players at the time.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Georgia 15th, United States 17th

IRB Ranking Points
United States 68.50, Georgia 67.40

Prediction: This could go either way! USA by 1 point

Teams

54[1]

Georgia
15 Bessik Khamashuridze (Aia Kutaissi)
14 Irakli Machkhaneli (Macon, France)
13 Irakli Chkhikvadze (Aia Kutaissi)
12 Tedo Zibzibadze (Perigueux, France)
11 Lexo Gugava (Lelo)
10 Lasha Malaghuradze (Beziers, France)
9 Irakli Abusseridze, Capt.Auxerre, France)
8 Besso Udessiani (Macon, France)
7 George Chkhaidze (Montpellier, France)
6 Simon Maissuradze (Villeurbane, France)
5 Levan Datunashvili (Figeac, France)
4 Shalva Sutiashvili (Massy, France)
3 David Kubriashvili (Toulon, France)
2 Akvsent Guiorgadze (Castres, France)
1 Goderdzi Shvelidze (Montpellier, France)
Replacements
16 Irakli Natriashvili (Farul Constanta, Romania)
17 David Zirakashvili (Clermont-Auvergne, France)
18 George Nemsadze (Montauban, France)
19 Vito Kolelishvili (Lelo)
20 Bidzina Samkharadze (Farul Constanta, Romania)
21 David Katcharava (Nice, France)
22 Merab Kvirikashvili (Figeac, France)
Head Coach: Richie Dixon

Adapted from http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3640

12[1]

United States
15 Christopher Wyles (Saracens, England)
14 Ngwenya Takudzwa (Biarritz, France)
13 Paul Emerick (Ulster, Ireland)
12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)
11 Kevin Swiryn (Agen, France)
10 Valenese Malifa (Glendale)
9 Timothy Usasz (Nottingham, England)
8 Inaki Basauri (L’aquila, Italy)
7 Todd Clever, Capt. (Suntory, Japan)
6 Louis Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy)
5 Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
4 Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate)
3 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England)
2 Philip Thiel (Life University)
1 Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93, France)
Replacements
16 Christopher Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
17 Michael MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie, England)
18 Scott Lavalla (Dublin University, Ireland)
19 Nicholas Johnson (Denver Barbarians)
20 Michael Petri (Sale, England)
21 Taivalu Enosa (Belmont Shore)
22 Setareki Tuilevuka (Montpellier, France)
Head Coach: Eddie O'Sullivan

Adapted from http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3640

RUGBY TEST: Canadians Face Portugal in Last Test on Tour

27.11.2010
Canada v Portugal in Lisbon

Venue: Estádio Universitário de Lisboa

Referee:

Preview
Last weekend Canada stumbled 15-22 against Georgia in Tblissi whilst Portugal downed Namibia 24-12. This could be a very even contest.

Portugal has had to make a few changes from the successful rugby test match v Namibia. They will find the Canadians a tougher proposition as they have now had three weeks together to build combinations. The Portuguese have a very experienced line up.

Experienced Canadian fly half Ander Munro returns from injury for his first game on tour. He will be playing his 23rd test cap for Canada and brings stability to the pivotal position. Canada has been forced to use a different fly half for each of their tests so far.

Crowley is looking for a win to give his side a creditable 3-1 account on this tour. It is a crucial step towards the build up for the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals.

Portugal is out of the World Cup Finals so New Zealander Brains' focus is now on the European Nations Cup top division tournament that begins in February.

Other previews
http://www.rugbycanada.ca/leagues/newsletter.cfm?page=48707&clientID=3817&leagueID=0

Previous Encounters
01.11.2008 Canada 21-13 in Lisbon
18.08.2007 Canada 42-12 in Toronto

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Canada 15th, Portugal 18th

IRB Ranking Points
Canada 68.59, Portugal 61.53

Prediction: Canada by 10 points

Teams

33[1]

Portugal
15- Pedro Leal (GD Direito) 43 tests
14- Gonçalo Foro (CD University Lisboa) 24
13- Frederico Oliveira (CD University Lisboa) 7
12- Pedro Silva (CF Belenenses) 17
11- Antonio Aguilar (GD Direito) 59
10- Joseph Gardner (Aubenas) 7
9- Jose Pinto,V. Capt. (GD Direito) 51
8- Tiago Girão (CD University Lisboa) 28
7- Julien Bardy (Clermont Auvergne, France)
6- Vasco Uva (GD Direito) 65
5- Gonçalo Uva (Montpellier FC, France) 50
4- Rui D'Orey (GD Direito) 4
3- Cristian Spachuk (Colomiers Rugby, France) 30
2- Joao Correia, Capt. (GD Direito) 55
1- Fernando Fernandes (Tyrosse, France) 6
Replacements
16- Bernardo Duarte (AEISAgronomia) 9
17- João Junior (CD University Lisboa) 13
18- Eduardo Acosta (GD Direito) 16
19- Laurent Balangué (Colomiers Rugby, France) 2
20- Pedro Cabral (CD University Lisboa) 30
21- Francisco Mira (AEISAgronomia) 9
22- Bernardo Silveira (CD University Lisboa) new cap
Head Coach: Errol Brain

http://www.fpr.pt/noticias/index.asp?opm=1&id=8473&id2=1

‘Cristian returns with no 3 and Anthony Alves has to get back to his club.
Juan Segurado is not available, Rui d'Orey comes in the team and Acosta seats on the bench
Young José Lima is not in the group and Gonçalo Foro dress shirt no 14

Cristian brings some more consistency to the front row, Rui d'Orey is no under Juan Severino level, and Acosta on the bench is a safe choice.
In the backs, Gonçalo will take a great experience to the line, and that will be very important to Frederico Oliveira which is still adapting to the outside center position’. Thanks to 'mestre' From http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3639

11[1]

Canada
15. James Pritchard (Bedford RFC, England)
14. Ciaran Hearn (The Rock)
13. Phillip Mackenzie (Esher RFC, England)
12. Nick Blevins (Prairie Wolf Pack)
11. Justin Mensah-coker (Unattached)
10. Ander Monro (Ontario Blues)
9. Sean White (BC Bears)
8. Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion, England)
7. Adam Kleeberger (Unattached)
6. Sean Michael Stephen (Plymouth Albion, England)
5. Tyler Hotson (Plymouth Albion, England)
4. Jebb Sinclair (The Rock)
3. Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack)
2. Pat Riordan, Capt. (BC Bears)
1. Tom Dolezel (Prairie Wolf Pack)
Replacements:
16. Jason Marshall (BC Bears)
17. Dan Pletch (Ontario Blues)
18. Jon Phelan (The Rock)
19. Chauncey O’Toole (The Rock)
20. Connor Braid (BC Bears)
21. Jamie Mackenzie (Ontario Blues)
22. Taylor Paris (Ontario Blues)
Head Coach: Kieran Crowley

Adapted from http://www.rugbycanada.ca/leagues/newsletter.cfm?clientID=3817&leagueID=0&page=48705

TEST RUGBY: Namibians in Spain

27.11.2010
Namibia v Spain in Palma de Mallorca

2010.spain-namibia-poster

Venue: Estadio Principes de Espana

Referee: Joao Mounnha (Portugal)

Preview
The IRB is continuing its ambitious programme of cross-continental international rugby amoung tier 2 and 3 nations. Namibia, Canada and the USA are currently touring Europe.

These two teams have never meet before in international test rugby 15s.

New Spanish coach has made a number of changes from the 22-60 loss to Canada two weeks ago. I suspect he is still trying out new players as he seems to have well and truly swept the cupboard out. Lots of new combinations to be created so I guess it is experimental time before the serious business of the European Nations Cup come February.

Namibia were well short of the mark against Portugal. More time together as a team both socially and in training will improve them. They may still catch the Spanish under prepared

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Namibia 19th, Spain 32nd

IRB Ranking Points
Namibia 62.69, Spain 57.51

Prediction: Namibia by 7 points

Teams

17[1]

Spain
15. Mathieu Peluchon (FC Auch, France)
14. Diego Gorosito Álvarez (VRAC Quesos Entrepinares)
13. Javier Canosa (CRC Madrid)
12. Bruno Angulo (Club Aubenas Vals, France)
11. Sergi Aubanell (ASM Clermont Auvergne, France)
10. Martín Heredia (Costa del Sol)
9. Sebastien Rouet (FC Lourdais, France)
8. Matthew Cook (La Vila)
7. Martín Aceña (La Vila)
6. Gauthier Gibouin (Bourdeaus Begles, France)
5. Federico Negrillo (Bizkaia Gernika)
4. Jesús Recuerda (Lille Metropole, France)
3. Jesús Moreno (Leeds Carnegie, England)
2. Benat Auzqui (US Tyrosse, France)
1. Ion Insausti (St Jean de Luz, France)
Replacements
16. Rodrigo Martínez (La Vila)
17. Stephan Vitalla (FC Oloron, France)
18. Victor Acevedo (U.E. Santboiana)
19. Alejandro Ortega (CR Ciencias )
20. Hernan Quirelli (CR La Vila)
21. Andoni Jorajuria (Biarritz Olympique, France)
22. Remi Delgardo (?)
Head Coach: Regis Sonnes

http://www.ferugby.com/index_n.php?maqueta=NTCA&id_noticia=2838&imagen_cab=img/tt_noticias.jpg

Not Selected from Squad
Victor Gomez (CRC Madrid)
Ignacio Gutiérrez Muller (VRAC Quesos Entrepinares)

Not selected from squad v Canada
Mattin Auzqui (US Dax, France)
David Barrera (Stade Montois, France)
Pierre Belzunce (US Colomiers, France)
Mathieu Cidre (US Carcassonne, France)
Damien Elgoyhen (Saint Medard, France)
Santiago Fernández (Alcobendas)

78[1]

Namibia Squad
Morné Blom (United)
Jacques Bock (Reho Falcons)
Chrysander Botha (Kurdus)
Jacques Burger, Capt. (Saracens RFC, England)
Collin de Koe (Reho Falcons)
Daryl de la Harpe (Western Suburbs)
Ryan de la Harpe (Mosely RFC, England)
Sergio de la Harpe (Western Suburbs)
Adriaan du Plessis (Reho Falcon)
Tinus du Plessis (?)
Jané du Toit (Villagers RFC, South Africa)
Nico Esterhuizen (Boland, South Africa)
Shaun Esterhuizen (United)
Eugene Jantjies (Western Suburbs)
Antony Jevu (Rehoboth)
Rohan Kistoff (Griqualand West, South Africa)
Heinz Koll (Wanderers)
Conrad Marais (Pumas, South Africa)
Jacques Nieuwenhuis (Stade Aurillac, France)
Egbartus O’Callaghan (North West University RFC, South Africa)
Johnnes Redelinghuys (Wanderers)
PJ van Lill (Wanderers)
McGrath van Wyk (Western Suburbs)
Russel van Wyk (Reho Falcons)
Willem Van Zyl (Burgoin, France)
Marius Visser (Border, South Africa)
Casper Viviers (Agen, France)
Godwin Walters (Western Suburbs)
Head Coach: Johan Diergaardt

www.ferugby.com

EUROPEAN NATIONS CUP: Bottom of the Table Clash in Division 1B

27.11.2010
Germany v Netherlands in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)

Venue: National Rugby Centre

Referee: S.Marrama (Italy)

Preview
Both these teams are at the bottom of the points table in this competition. Both suffered losses last weekend; Netherlands 13-25 to Czech Republic, and Germany a shock 17-22 loss to Poland. Whilst the relegation decisions won't be made until next season both teams will want to steer their side away from the bottom of the table.

Germany has made a number of changes to the side that lost to Poland last weekend. Notably, former captain Jens Schmidt returns to the side to bolster the scrum.

2010-jens-schmidt2
Veteran Schmidt returns to the German side. Image thanks to www.rugby-journal.de

Can't comment on the Dutch side as the team list is not available. My understanding is that they will stick with the squad that lost to Czech Republic. This is a young team as the focus is on rebuilding the side.

Last Five Encounters
26.04.2008 Germany 27-17 in Amsterdam (ENC 2A)
28.04.2007 Germany 21-12 in Hanover (ENC 2A)
10.04.2004 Germany 14-13 in Amsterdam (ENC 2A)
09.03.2003 Germany 15-3 in Hanover (ENC 2A)
28.03.1998 Netherlands 38-24 in Amsterdam (Friendly)

These two nations have a long international test rugby history. They played their first game back in December 1933, Germany winning 23-0.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Germany 24th, Netherlands 26th
Europe Table-Germany 13th, Netherlands 21st

IRB Ranking Points
Netherlands 51.67, Germany 51.56

Prediction: Germany by 3 points.

Teams

14[1]

Germany Squad
Kehoma Brenner (Heidelberger RK)
Fabian Heimpel (RG Heidelberg)
Sam Henderson (SC Frankfurt 1880)
Alexander Hug (TSV Handschuhsheim)
Pieter Jordaan (Heidelberger RK)
Nico Kanning (AC Bobigny, France)
Tim Kasten (Heidelberger RK)
James Keinhorst (Moseley RFC, England)
Benjamin Krause (DSV Hannover 78)
Steffen Liebig (Heidelberger RK)
Tim Menzel (US Colomiers, France)
Gilles Pagnon (RC Carqueiranne-Hyéres, France)
Michael Poppmeier (Rugby Catania, Italy)
Rafael Pyrasch (Heidelberger RK)
Patrick Schliwa (Heidelberger RK)
Jens Schmidt (TSV Handschuhsheim)
Benjamin Simm (DSV Hannover 78)
Marten Strauch (SC Neuenheim)
Clemens von Grumbkow (I Cavalieri Prato, Italy)
Sven-Uwe Wetzel (TSV Handschuhsheim)
Alexander Widiker (Heidelberger RK)
Arthur Zeiler (Heidelberger RK)
Head Coach: Torsten Schippe

On Standby: Alexander Biskupek (Heidelberger RK), Lukas Hinds-Johnson (RK 03 Berlin)

http://www.rugby-journal.de/index.php/basis/meldung/drv_xv_kader_fuer_spiel_in_amsterdam/

16[1]

Netherlands Squad not yet available

Friday, November 26, 2010

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Tonga Face Barbarians

26.11.2010
Tonga v French Barbarians in Grenoble

Preview
The Tongan rugby side ends its 2010 European tour with a fixture against a strong French Barbarian side. Not test caps for Tonga as the French Barbarian side is not a national representative side. Fair enough.

Prediction: Barbarians by 20 points

Teams

BARBARIAN FRENCH:
Heymans (Stade Toulousain) - Clerc (Stade Toulousain), Mermoz (Perpignan), Bastareaud (Stade French), Caucaunibuca (Stade Toulousain) - (o), Elissalde (Stade Toulousain entr.), (m) Kelleher (Stade Toulousain ) - Maso (Castres), Picamoles (Stade Toulousain), Smith (Toulon) - E. Lund (Biarritz), Thion (Biarritz) - Hayman (Toulon), Kayser (Castres), Marconnet (Biarritz)

Replacements: Cabello (Brive), Poux (Stade Toulousain), Faure (Clermont), Martin (Bayonne), Tchale-Watchou (Perpignan), Fillol (Racing-Metro), Baby (Clermont), Fall (Racing)

http://www.ffr.fr/index.php/ffr/historique/2010/barbarians_francais__1

20[1]

Tonga Lineup not available

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: CAR Trophy, Central Zone

November 23th, Rwanda Vs DR Congo
November 25th, Burundi Vs DR Congo
November 27th, Rwanda Vs Burundi

INTERNATIONAL TEST RUGBY THIS WEEKEND: 27-28 Nov.2010

Another huge weekend of international rugby. By the time you have watched rugby test matches live, and then all the replays, are you getting any sleep?

26.11.2010
Tonga v French Barbarians in Grenoble

27.11.2010
New Zealand v Wales in Cardiff
South Africa v England at Twickenham
France v Australia in Paris
Fiji v Italy in Modena
Samoa v Scotland at Murrayfield
Uruguay v Romania in Bucharest
United States v Georgia in Tblissi
Canada v Portugal in Lisbon
Namibia v Spain in Palma de Mallorca
Germany v Netherlands in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
Rwanda v Burundi in Bujimburi (CAR Trophy Central)

28.11.2010
Argentina v Ireland in Dublin

Briefly
What an enthralling weekend of test rugby it's going to be. They'll be battling it out for international rugby honours from the big guns like New Zealand all the way across Africa to Burundi and Rwanda.

Questions
Can New Zealand take the Grand Slam and win against Wales?
Will England be able to continue it's rise in world rugby? Can South Africa bounce back after their horror run against Scotland?
What can Australia do against France? The Aussies have a lot of work to do to get back to where they were late October, early November.
Can Fiji continue their rise after the draw with Wales?
How will Scotland fare against a rising Samoan side?
Can Uruguay pull off the great upset by knocking Romania out of the World Cup Finals?
Can the USA win against the odds against Georgia?
Can Canada end its European tour with a win?
Will Namibia salvage something from its tour with a win against the new-look Spanish side?
Can Argentina win its second game on tour?

Lots of questions. What a weekend of rugby.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

TEST RUGBY RESULTS" Saturday 20 November

20.11.2010
New Zealand 38, Ireland 18 in Dublin
France 15, Argentina 9 in Montpellier
Scotland 21, South Africa 17 at Murrayfield
England 26, Samoa 13 at Twickenham
Australia 32, Italy 14 in Florence
Georgia 22, Canada 15 in Tblissi
Portugal 24, Namibia 12 in Lisbon
Poland 22, Germany 17 in Frankfurt (ENC 1B)
Czech Republic 25, Netherlands 13 in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
Serbia 18, Switzerland 15 in Belgrade (ENC 2B)
Cyprus v Greece in Athens (ENC 2D)-result not yet in

Briefly
It would appear we had a huge weekend of international test rugby marred by some ho-hum play with some inspiring upsets thrown in.

Scotland kicked off the upsets with a goal-feast 21-17 win over South Africa. The World Champions were defeated this weekend by a team that lost 3-49 last weekend. What a turn around for Scotland!

In other upset results, Georgia defeated Canada in Tblissi. Although not a shock win, a win it was against the odds. Portugal tumbled Namibia who were higher on the IRB rankings, but some of the major upsets occurred lower down in the pecking order.

New Zealand are heading towards a grand slam after defeating Ireland, France finally won against Argentina, England cruised past Samoa but without the heroics of last weekend, whilst Australia and Italy played a dull error-ridden test match that saw Australia win.

Poland upset Germany 22-17 in Frankfurt, continuing the topsy-turvy nature of the European Nations Cup. The Czech Republic bounced back from their loss to Belgium last week to win over newly promoted Netherlands, a test match I thought the home side would win. Serbia also bounced back from a 3-33 thrashing by Slovenia last month to defeat the previously undefeated Swiss, 18-15. All we need now, to cap all these upsets off, is for Cyprus to win in Athens!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

RUGBY TEST MATCHES THIS WEEKEND 20 November

Unfortunately, due to work commitments, I will not be able to cover most of this weekend's rugby test matches. I'm working towards the day when this blog and my web site will be my full time work.

I have below made my predictions

New Zealand by 20 points v Ireland. I just can't see the Kiwis losing this one.

On their form v Italy I can't see Argentina repeating their big win against France in Buenos Aires in June. The game v Italy will have ironed out a few bugs though so I'd expect them to get close. France by 7 points.

South Africa will walk all over Scotland and win by 25 points.

England will have too much grunt for the Samoans, unless they slip back into their ho-hum ways. Samoa is gaining strength the longer they are together as a team so I'm not expecting a walkover. England by 10 points.

Australia dear oh dear! They are suddenly struggling after looking so good against the All Blacks and then Wales. Where to now? Providing their confidence hasn't suffered they could bounce back and give Italy a good spanking. The Italians aren't doing so well either. I'd say Australia by 10 points.

Canada v Georgia. Possibly the most interesting game of the weekend. Canada has had the advantage of being together and playing matches. Georgia has a home advantage and probably one of the most physical of packs. Then again so has Canada. It'll be a cracker. Canada by 3 points.

Namibia v Portugal. Another very interesting contest. The Portuguese have the advantage of already playing a test whilst Namibia made this trip only after some last minute sponsorship. Not an ideal preparation. Portugal just, by 2 points.

An final Poland v Germany (I have managed to preview below the other ENC rugby test matches)
Poland are struggling and Germany is new to this level having been relegated from ENC 1A at the end of 2008-10 competition. Germany will be too good at home and win by 15 points.

That's it. Results tomorrow morning.

Cheers. I'm back to work.

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY RESULTS: Friday 19 November

19.11.2010
Wales 16, Fiji 16 in Cardiff
Tonga 16, Italy 'A' 9 in Biela
Scotland 'A' 25, USA 0 in Galashiels

Briefly
Wales were 'awful' according to a forum member http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3549&p=35052#p35052
Well done Fiji, they almost did again what they did 3 years ago!

Just a score from an Italian rugby forum but looks like a win to Tonga. Another plus for Pacific Island rugby. That Italian 'A' side looked very handy. Sadly I can't obtain a Tongan squad from any source!

Scotland 'A' won against a sort of second string USA side. USA has full sights on Georgia next weekend

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Netherlands take on Czechs

20.11.2010
Czech Republic v Netherlands in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)

Venue: National Rugby Centrum

Referee: I. Gallastegi (Spain)

Preview
Martin Kafka has made a number of changes to his squad for this match following his team's disappointing 12-24 loss to Belgium last weekend. This will be a tough ask to make changes and then try to win away. The Czechs defeated Poland at home in early October so this will be their third competition match so far.

This will be the first outing for the Netherlands. They were promoted to this division at the end of 2008-10 competition. They have the home advantage. This Dutch team is on the rise. They have a new coach Frenchman Jean Bidal.

Last Five Encounters
19.0.2002 Czech Republic 54-12 in Amsterdam (WCQ Europe R3, Pool A)
19.04.1997 Czech Republic 19-18 in Prague (FIRA Playoff 9th-12th)
30.03.1996 Netherlands 26-3 in Prague (FIRA B1)
15.05.1994 Netherlands 38-9 in Brescia (WCQ Europe, Central C)
31.10.1993 Netherlands 42-6 in Den Haag (WCQ Europe, Central B)

It's been eight years since these two teams have meet, so not a lot of relevancy here.
Data supplied by www.rugbyinternational.net

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table- Netherlands 23rd, Czech Republic 25th
Europe Table-Czech Republic 14th, Netherlands 21st

IRB Ranking Points
Czech Republic 52.04, Netherlands 51.67

Prediction: Netherlands by 6 points

Teams

logo-csru[1]

Czech Republic
15 Jan Rohlík (RC Říčany)
14 Michal Jirman (RC Slavia Praha)
13 Jan Kolář (RC Slavia Praha)
12 Irakli Sulamanidze (RC Sparta Praha)
11 Michal Schlanger (RC Říčany)
10 Pavel Vokrouhlík (RC Sparta Praha)
9 Vachtang Pailodze (RC Sparta Praha)
8 Karel Opravil (RC Říčany)
7 Jiří Černý (RC Tatra Smíchov)
6 Martin Wognitsch (Oyonnax, France)
5 Robert Voves (Narbonne, France)
4 Tomáš Holovský (St. Rafael, France)
3 Pavel Hocke (Tatra Smíchov)
2 Michal Průša (RC Tatra Smíchov)
1 Jan Benda (Sparta Praha)
Replacements
16 Radim Fajkus (RC Havířov)
17 Pavel Indrák (RC Havířov)
18 Jiří Buryánek (RC Dragon Brno)
19 Vojtěch Havel (RC Tatra Smíchov)
20 Milan Jirman (RC Slavia Praha)
21 Petr Čížek (RC Praga)
22 Tomáš Forst (RC Praga)
Head Coach: Martin Kafka

Czech Republic squad from http://www.ragby.cz/no-name7

16[1]

Netherlands Squad not yet available

Friday, November 19, 2010

TEST RUGBY: Swiss Out For Two in a Row

20.11.2010
Switzerland v Serbia in Belgrade (ENC 2B)

Venue: Stadion Republičkog zavoda za sport, Košutnjak

Referee: Sarkhan (Latvia)

2010-serbia-switz-bilbord

Preview
Switzerland will be going for two wins in a row but will have to face a difficult away game in order to achieve that. With none of the other teams in this competition stamping their mark Switzerland could take a handy, if early, lead.

Serbia started the season with a shock 3-33 loss to Slovenia in Ljubliana. Already on the back foot in the competition they will need to lift and win this crucial home match against Switzerland.

The Swiss began their season with a home win against Armenia who, in turn, won their home game against Andorra. Switzerland look as though they could win the vital away game. If so, they would take the lead in the competition.

Serbia has won the last two games against Switzerland, both home and away, so their record of recent is very good against the visitors. The Serbs were undermanned against Slovenia with many injuries affecting the squad. I'd expect a much stronger showing at home.

Last Five Encounters
24.10.2009 Serbia 13-8 in Belgrade (ENC 3A)
04.04.2009 Serbia 12-6 in Nyon (WCQ Europe R1; ENC 3A)
24.11.2007 Switzerland 13-5 in Belgrade (ENC 3A)
07.10.2006 Switzerland 30-9 in Nyon (ENC 3A)
19.03.2005 Drawn 11-11 in Belgrade (WCQ Europe R2, Pool B)

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Switzerland 24th, Serbia 28th

IRB Ranking Points
Switzerland 42.19, Serbia 40.85

Prediction: A close struggle, with the Swiss just getting there. Switzerland by 5 points

Teams

21[1]

Switzerland Squad
Schelte Betten (GC Zürich)
Darron Bjornson (GC Zürich)
Thomas Brossard (RC Annemasse, France)
Alfredo Burgener (RC Nyon)
Cyril Coulot (RC Yverdon)
Andreas Dahinden (Stade Lausanne RC)
Jacky Dervey (Stade Lausanne RC)
Benjamin Faudot (RC Nyon)
Gabriel Fox (RC Fribourg)
Mathieu Guyou-Kreis (RCA Cergy-Pontoise, France)
Johannes Küng (GC Zürich)
Sébastien Leu (Hermance RRC)
Cyril Lin (CA Lannemezan, France)
Ismael Meyer (Stade Lausanne RC)
Ghislain Montiel (Peyrehorade SR, France)
David Mossière (Union Sigean PLN, France)
Steve Pascucci (RC Genève PLO)
Aymeric Pont (RC Avusy)
Loïc Reffet (RC Yverdon)
Franz Ruegsegger (RC Bern)
Matthieu Schnell (RC Bern)
Lukas Steiger (RC Bern)
Head Coach: Philippe Filiatre

http://www.suisserugby.com/news/suisse-serbie-comme-un-air-de-revanche/264.html

29[1]

Serbia Squad
Acimovic (RK Partizan)*
Pavle Andjelic (RK Partizan)
Uroš Babić (RK Pobednik)
Vedran Brkić (KBRK Belgrade)
Danilo Bulatovic (Krakow, Poland)*
Igor Dejanovic (RK Partizan)*
V.Dejanovic (RK Partizan)*
Aleksandar Djordjevic (KBRK Belgrade)
Vladimir Djukic (RK Pobednik)
Danilo Dumic (RK Partizan)*
Andrija Jankovic (KBRK)*
Vladimir Jelinek (Jesi, Italy)
Nikola Jerkovic (RK Partizan)*
Miloš Joksimović (RK Partizan)
Marko Kapor (RK Pobednik)
Lukic (Vienna Celtic, Austria)*
Boris Martic (KBRK)*
Nenad Matejić (RK Partizan)
Milan (RK Partizan)*
Marko Milosavljević (RK Partizan)
Milan Orlović (RK Pobednik)
Marko Petrović (Châteaurenard RC, France)
Ivan Pirkovič (RK Pobednik)*
Milan Rastovac (RK Pobednik)
Marko Ristic (RK Pobednik)*
Nemanja Simonović (RK Pobednik)
Nikola Simonovic (RK Pobednik)
Vlastimir Sretenović (KBRK Belgrade)
Dejan Tasic (RK Partizan)*
Goran Vuković (RK Pobednik)
Miladin Živanov (RK Pobednik)
* New into squad this match
Head Coach: Savic Nedeljko

www.rugbyserbia.org.rs/

Out from v Slovenia
Jovan Bajić (RK Partizan)
Vladimir Dumić (RK Partizan)
Sedrik Jovanović (Rone Sportif, France)
Blagoje Jovanovski (RK Partizan)
Andrija Jovanović (KBRK Belgrade)
Nenad Mićić (KBRK Belgrade)
Branko Vojvodić (KBRK Belgrade)
Marko Vuković (RK Pobednik)

RUGBY TEST MATCH: Rivals Cyprus and Greece Clash

20.10.2010
Cyprus v Greece in Athens (ENC 2D)

Venue: Aigaleo Municipal Stadium
"Aigaleo is a new rugby club formed this year and taking part in its first Greek Championship, so a bit of an honour to host an international game. The stadium is the home of Aegaleo FC and holds 8,217 seated though record attendence is over 17 000". Thanks to 'Quentin' at http://www.fira-aer-rugby.com/forum2007/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3632

2010-aegaleo-stadium1th

Referee: Bartolic (Croatia) added 20.11.2010

Preview
You know what it's like when brothers have a good rivalry and it's a family reunion. Sparks fly but in the end, well..they are brothers after all. This is the relationship between Greeks and Cypriots. They are related by race and by language. So we have a grand rivalry. Perhaps a bit like New Zealanders and their cousins the Aussie across the Tasman.

These two teams have only played each other once before in an international rugby test match. That was back in 2007. At the time it was Greece's sixth test match whilst it was Cyprus' first. The Greeks arrived in Paphos to teach the locals (younger brothers you see) all about the game of rugby. What a shock when at the end of the game younger brother had won 39-3! It may not have been Greece's strongest side but it was still their national side.

Cyprus v Greece 1st international
Cyprus v Greece, March 2007. A 39-3 win for Cyprus.

Since that day in March 2007, Cyprus has joined the European Nations Cup tournament, joining at the lowest level. Since then they have only lost one test match, against Israel in September 2008. This was a promotion playoff to see who would rise up a level. Israel won this home game for them and Cyprus stayed behind for 2008-10 competition.

In that competition Cyprus remained undefeated and rose into the new ENC 2D. And who should also be in that competition? Non other than big brother Greece!

Greece were promoted to ENC 3C for 2008-10 in May 2007. They lost twice to Israel and once to Bulgaria, the last match in April this year. Israel was promoted and Greece stayed behind. Ironically their new coach was Cyprus' coach on that day back in 2007. He has brought in nine new players into the squad after injuries, unavailability and poor form from the team that by 3 points to Bulgaria two weeks ago.

So at last these two teams of Greeks from the Mediterranean clash. This time it is in Athens and I don't think younger brother will catch his older sibling as unawares this time round. I would love to be in Athens for this one. I reckon it'll be a cracker!

Another preview here http://www.sportingreece.com/kb/article.asp?fIndex=4776

GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table-Greece 35th, Cyprus 38th

IRB Rankings do not apply.

Prediction: Greece will have too much grunt, especially with the South Africans in the side. Greece by 20 points.

Teams

logo

Greece Squad (Updated 20.11.2010)
Dimitri Amaris (Imperial College London, England)
Michael Artemis (Dendermonde, Belgium)
Dean Bertos (Merewether Carlton, Australia)
James Bertos (Merewether Carlton, Australia)
Nikos Christodoulakis (Wits University, South Africa)
Jason Dagdelinis (Iraklis)
Antonis Demertis (Athens Spartans)
Tony Divaris (Wits University, South Africa)
Marios Goumagias (Iraklis)
Mikele Jorgo (Wits University, South Africa)
Kostas Karandreas (Athens)
Dimitris Katsafrakis (Athens)
George Kouroumixakis (Iraklis)
Demosthenis Kyriazis (Athens)
Mark Martin (Athens)
William Martin (Bath University, England)
Ioannis Papacostopoulos (Athens Spartans)
Stathis Papadopoulos (Iraklis)
Nick Penna (Melbourne Broncos, Australia)
Nicholas Revelas (Wits University, South Africa)
Jeremy Raftos, Capt. (Eastern Suburbs RFC, Australia)
George Tsatsaronis (Athens)
Head Coach: Nial Doherty

http://www.hellasrugbyunion.com/

Out from v Bulgaria
Alex Gounari (Vincennes, France)
Giorgos Soilemezidis (Iraklis)
Kostas Raftopoulos (Athens Spartans)
Thomas Mamakopoulos (Massy, France)
Evangelos Tsakalidis (Thessaloniki Lions)
Nathan Courcelle (Attica Springboks)
Chris Evangelidis (Windsor RFC, England)
Marios Goumagias (Iraklis)
Alex Ferentinos (Shelford RFC, England)

senior58[1]

Cyprus Squad not yet available

TEST RUGBY: Can Fiji Upset Wales Again?

19.11.2010
Fiji v Wales in Cardiff

Venue: Millennium Stadium

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)

Preview
If you want a game of rugby worth showing to a newcomer to the game, then the 2007 Rugby World Cup game Fiji 38, Wales 34, in Nantes, would be a good start. What a cracker of a game that was. It had everything.

Can Fiji do the same again? Six players from that famous win in Nantes remain.Domoni has made eight changes to the side that lost to France in the rain last weekend. Two players centre Seru Rabeni and Sale lock Wame Lewaravu could not travel from France to Wales due to visa difficulties. You would think such managerial issues would have been sorted before hand! Unpredictability will be Fiji's main hope. They will struggle to contain a powerful Welsh front five.

Wales has now lost five rugby tests in a row. Warren Gatland might just be feeling a touch nervy at this stage as coach of Wales. A good win is needed by Wales to keep the critics quiet. He has had to make changes to the side that lost to South Africa. Out injured are Shane Williams, Gethin Jenkins, Andy Powell and Sam Warburton. Gatland has selected a number of young players to fill the gaps on the wing and at fly half.

Last Five Encounters
29.09.2007 Fiji 38, Wales 34 in Nantes (World Cup, Pool B)
11.11.2005 Wales 11-10 in Cardiff
09.11.2002 Wales 58-15
11.11.1995 Wales 19-15 in Cardiff
18.06.1994 Wales 23-8 in Suva

Fiji has never won in Cardiff, going back to the first game there, in 1964 on Fiji's first tour to Europe, where a Welsh XV won 28-22

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Wales 9th, Fiji 12th

IRB Rankings
Wales 77.69 (9th), Fiji 74.39 (10th)

Prediction: It will be close. Wales by 3 points

Teams

3[1]

Wales
15 Lee Byrne, 14 George North, 13 James Hook, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Daniel Biggar, 9 Richard Rees,8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Daniel Lydiate, 6 Ryan Jones, Capt. 5 Deiniol Jones, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Paul James.
Replacements
16 Richard Hibbard, 17 John Yapp, 18 Bradley Davies, 19 Tobias Faletau, 20 Michael Phillips, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Thomas Shanklin.
Head Coach: Warren Gatland

30[1]

Fiji
15 Joshua Matavesi, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Albert Vulivuli, 12 Gabriele Lovobalavu, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Seremaia Baï, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Semisi Saukawa, 5 Jone Qovu, 4 Ifereimi Rawaqa,3 Deacon Manu, Capt. 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements
16 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 17 Graham Dewes, 18 Sekonaia Kalou, 19 Akapusi Qera , 20 Seveci Taka, 21 Ropate Ratu, 22 Taniela Rawaqa.
Head Coach: Samuela Domoni

RUGBY MATCH: USA In Scotland

19.11.2010
United States v Scotland 'A' in Galashiels

Venue: Netherdale Stadium

Referee:

Preview
This is not an official test match.

The USA come into this game with a timely 22-17 win over Portugal. They step up a notch to play Scotland 'A'. As expected a number of fringe players get a run ahead of the all important rugby test match next weekend against Georgia in Tblissi

This is an important match for the Scottish players. After the top side's 3-49 thumping by New Zealand last weekend, there is every opportunity today for players to force their way into the Scotland rugby team for future test matches.

There will be plenty to play for for all players on the paddock.

Prediction: I expect Scotland 'A' to just have more experience. Scotland 'A' by 14 points.

Teams

4[1]

Scotland 'A'
15 James Thompson (Edinburgh)
14 Joe Ansbro (Northampton Saints, England)
13 Ben Cairns (Edinburgh)
12 Alex Grove (Edinburgh)
11 Lee Jones (Edinburgh)
10 David Blair (Edinburgh)
9 Mark McMillan (Bath, England)
8 Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)
7 Roddy Grant (Edinburgh)
6 Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors)
5 Al Kellock, Capt. (Glasgow Warriors)
4 Fraser McKenzie (Edinburgh)
3 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh)
2 Scott Lawson (Gloucester, England)
1 Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors)
Replacements
16 Steven Lawrie (Doncaster Knights, England)
17 Kyle Traynor (Edinburgh)
18 Tom Ryder (Saracens, England)
19 David Denton (Edinburgh)
20 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors)
21 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)
22 Jack Cuthbert (Bath, England)
Head Coach: Nick Scrivenor

Adapted from http://www.scotlandrugbyteam.org/content/view/2123/57/

12[1]

United States
15 Colin Hawley (Unattached)
14 Alipate Tuilevuka (Old Puget Sound Beach)
13 Paul Emerick (Ulster, Ireland)
12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)
11 Zachary Test (Loughborough University, England)
10 Taivalu Enosa (Belmont Shore)
9 Mike Petri, Capt. (Sale, England)
8 Jonathon Gaganio (Eastern Province, South Africa)
7 Inaki Basauri (L’aquila, Italy)
6 Patrick Danahy (Life University)
5 Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
4 Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate)
3 Eric Fry (Unattached)
2 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
1 Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93, France)
Replacements
16 Phil Thiel (Life University)
17 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England)
18 Scott Lavalla (Dublin University, Ireland)
19 Louis Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy
20 Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England)
21 Nese Malifa (Glendale)
22 Chris Wyles (Saracens, England)
Head Coach: Eddie O’Sullivan

Adapted from http://www.usarugby.org

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY: Tongans in Italy

19.11.2010
Tonga v Italy 'A' in Biella

Venue: Vittorio Pozzo

Referee:

Preview
Sadly no test caps for Tonga in this match. The Italian 'A' side has a good record over the last few seasons. They have a number of test players in the side including 84 test veteran Bortolami.

Tonga will be struggling to hold the Italians and compete in the forwards. Tonga's unpredictability and individualism in the backs will be the main worry for this Italian side.

Tonga's most famous encounter with an Italian side was the 28-25 victory over the full side at Leicester at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

Prediction: Italy 'A' by 14 points

Teams

6[1]

Italy 'A'
15 Andrea MARCATO (Benetton Treviso, 16 caps)
14 Matteo PRATICHETTI (Aironi Rugby, 22 caps)
13 Andrea PRATICHETTI (Benetton Treviso)*
12 Gonzalo GARCIA (Benetton Treviso, 18 caps)
11 Michele SEPE (Benetton Treviso, 3 caps)
10 Kristopher BURTON (Benetton Treviso, 5 caps)
9 Fabio SEMENZATO (Benetton Treviso)
8 Valerio BERNABO’ (Benetton Treviso, 15 caps)
7 Simone FAVARO (Aironi Rugby, 6 caps)*
6 Francesco MINTO (Benetton Treviso)
5 Marco BORTOLAMI (Aironi Rugby, 84 caps)
4 Antonio PAVANELLO (Benetton Treviso, 5 caps) - capitano
3 Ignacio ROUYET (Benetton Treviso, 7 caps)
2 Franco SBARAGLINI (Benetton Treviso, 5 caps)
1 Matias AGUERO (Aironi Rugby, 17 caps)
a disposizione
16 Andrea MANICI (HBS GranDucato Parma)*
17 Alberto DE MARCHI (Aironi Rugby)
18 Massimiliano RAVALLE (Femi-CZ Rovigo)*
19 Gabriele CICCHINELLI (Futura Park Rugby Roma)*
20 Luca PETILLO (Estra I Cavalieri Prato)*
21 Tito TEBALDI (Aironi Rugby, 14 caps)
22 Giulio RUBINI (Aironi Rugby, 4 caps)
Coaches: Gianluca Guidi and Giampiero De Carli

*è/è stato membro dell’Accademia FIR “Ivan Francescato”

http://www.federugby.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2110:italia-a-un-xv-da-magners-league-per-il-match-contro-tonga&catid=110:italia-a&Itemid=416

20[1]

Tonga squad not available

TEST MATCH RUGBY THIS WEEKEND: 19-20 November

Another huge weekend of international rugby. I don't get much sleep.

19.11.2010
Fiji v Wales in Cardiff
Tonga v Italy 'A' in Bietta
USA v Scotland 'A' in Galashiels

20.11.2010
New Zealand v Ireland in Dublin
France v Argentina in Montpellier
South Africa v Scotland at Murrayfield
Samoa v England at Twickenham
Australia v Italy in Florence
Canada v Georgia in Tblissi
Namibia v Portugal in Lisbon
Poland v Germany in Frankfurt (ENC 1B)
Czech Republic v Netherlands in Amsterdam (ENC 1B)
Switzerland v Serbia in Belgrade (ENC 2B)
Cyprus v Greece in Athens (ENC 2D)