Tonga v Fiji in Lautoka (World Cup Warm-up)
New Zealand v South Africa in Port Elizabeth (Tri Nations)
France v Ireland in Dublin (World cup Warm-up)
Argentina v Wales in Cardiff (World cup Warm-up)
Italy v Scotland at Murrayfield (World Cup Warm up)
United States v Japan in Tokyo (World Cup Warm-up)
Romania v Ukraine in Kiev (ENC 1A)
Costa Rica v Peru in Lima (CONSUR B)
Colombia v Venezuela in Lima (CONSUR B)
Monday 22 August is the deadline for the twenty nations to announce their 2011 Rugby World Cup squads. This weekend will almost the last round of matches and last chances for players to stake a claim for a place in their team.
Tonga and Fiji clash for the third time in two months. Fiji won easily last Saturday. Is Tonga holding back something special for the World Cup opening game against the All Blacks?
France and Ireland clash again this time in Dublin. France announced last weekend that they would field an almost new team for this game.
We see Argentina for the first time in full regalia this season. For Wales it will be am opportunity to show their win against England last weekend was not a fluke.
One of the really interesting games this weekend will be the clash between Italy and Scotland. Italy has been Scotland’s nemesis since 2000. In the 6 Nations competition they have defeated Scotland regularly. Often this clash has been an arm-wrestle to see who avoids the 6 Nations wooden spoon.
Japan host the USA in their final run before the World Cup. The USA will be looking for a win after two straight losses to Canada in the last two weeks.
And finally something that has nothing to do with the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Four Latin American nations will tussle for the honour of winning the CONSUR B competition to be held in Lima, Peru. Peru won the competition last year and being the host are favourites to take the title again. CONSUR has been looking at ways of bridging the gap between the ‘A’ and ‘B’ competitions. It looks like a promotion-relegation system will be looked at in 2012 and hopefully some more nations become active and we can have a CONSUR C competition. At this stage likely candidates could come from Bolivia, Panama, Nicaragua and Ecuador. These four nations have a senior competition of sorts.