Category Archives: International Rugby

Eddie Jones names England squad to face Argentina

By Thomas Branston

Dylan Hartley captains the side in their first test against Argentina. 

Eddie Jones has named his 23-man squad to face Argentina in San Juan on Saturday and the Australian will hand debuts to Tom Curry, Alex Lozowski, Harry Williams and Mark Wilson.

Dylan Hartley will make his 85th cap for England as he captains an altered side for the first of two tests against the Pumas.

Jones has also named seven uncapped players on the bench including Northampton Saints new signing Piers Francis, who joined up with the squad on Monday evening from Auckland, and Denny Solomona, who has recovered from his foot injury that almost ended his chance of touring.

Other uncapped players include Worcester’s Jack Singleton, Will Collier, Saracens lock Nick Isiekwe, and Exeter Chiefs pair Don Armand and Jack Maunder.

England side to face Argentina | 15. Mike Brown, (VC), 14. Marland Yarde, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Alex Lozowski, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford (VC), 9. Danny Care (VC); 1. Ellis Genge, 2. Dylan Hartley (C), 3. Harry Williams, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Charlie Ewels, 6. Mark Wilson, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Nathan Hughes

Replacements | 16. Jack Singleton, 17. Matt Mullan, 18. Will Collier, 19. Nick Isiekwe, 20. Don Armand, 21. Jack Maunder, 22. Piers Francis, 23. Denny Solomona


All Blacks reveal 33-man squad to face the British and Irish Lions

By Thomas Branston

Steve Hansen names his 33-man test squad ready for the challenge of the British and Irish Lions.

New Zealand Head Coach Steve Hansen has unveiled the 33-man All Blacks squad to take on The British & Irish Lions in the 2017 Test series that will be venue at Eden Park and Westpac Stadium.

Kieran Read will captain the side for the series and Hansen names two uncapped All Blacks that have impressed so far this season.

Hurricanes duo Jordie Barrett and Ngani Laumape have both been included and will look to stake a claim for a stating place during the Lions visit.

Barrett joins his two older brothers Beauden and Scott in the squad, this is the first time three brothers have been named in an All Blacks squad in their long illustrious history.

Both Sonny Bill Williams and Rieko Ioane have been included in the squad after their impressive performances against the British and Irish Lions yesterday at Eden Park.

New Zealand will face Samoa next week in a warm-up test ahead of the series and Steve Hansen’s men can expect a tough challenge against the south pacific Islanders.

New Zealand squad to face the British and Irish Lions in the 2017 test series:

Dane Coles (Wellington, 49)
Codie Taylor (Canterbury, 15)
Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty, 4)
Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 58)
Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 46)
Owen Franks (Canterbury, 90)
Joe Moody (Canterbury, 24)
Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland, 4)
Scott Barrett (Taranaki, 4)
Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay, 60)
Luke Romano (Canterbury, 26)
Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 84)
Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 40)
Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 74)
Kieran Read, captain (Counties Manukau, 97)
Ardie Savea (Wellington, 12)
Liam Squire (Tasman, 8)

Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Waikato, 25)
TJ Perenara (Wellington, 29)
Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 58)
Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 49)
Aaron Cruden (Manawatu, 47)
Lima Sopoaga (Southland, 6)
Ryan Crotty (Canterbury, 26)
Ngani Laumape (Manawatu, uncapped)
Anton Leinert-Brown (Waikato, 9)
Sonny Bill Williams (Counties Manukau, 33)
Jordie Barrett (Taranaki, uncapped)
Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay, 61)
Rieko Ioane (Auckland, 2)
Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, 12)
Julian Savea (Wellington, 52)
Ben Smith (Otago, 60)

England handed ‘Group of Death’ at Rugby World Cup draw

By Thomas Branston


Eddie Jones was present at the Kyoto State Guest House, Japan, where England were handed another ‘group of death’ in the Pool stages for a second consecutive World Cup.

England will face France, Argentina and the winner of Americas 1 and Oceania 1. Just two years ago at the 2015 World Cup, England were grouped with Australia and Wales and failed to reach the knockout stages.

The likely opponents could be USA Rugby and Samoa, both would add to the pressure Jones’ side already face.

Eddie Jones said: “We want to win the World Cup in 2019, and to win it, we need to be ready to play and beat anyone.

“Our pool will be highly competitive and full of intensity, as a World Cup group should be.

“History shows that you need to win seven games to win the tournament and we will greatly respect every team we play.”

In other Pools, the hosts Japan will face up against Ireland and Scotland and the winner of Europe 1 and Play-Off Winner.

Meanwhile, Wales have drawn Australia for the second successive World Cup. Georgia are also in Pool D, with the most likely opponents qualifying through Oceania 1 being Fiji accompanied by Americas 2 which could be Uruguay or Canada.

Pool B offers a mouthwatering clash between holders New Zealand and their fellow twice world champions South Africa, whilst Italy make up that group so far.


Eddie Jones: They have to get on with it

By Thomas Branston


England Rugby boss Eddie Jones revealed that his star players that were omitted from the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand this summer need to “get on with it” and claims their England future is at stake.

The Australian has recently revealed the England squad that will tour Argentina this summer with a mixture of experience and youth, including the likes of Dylan Hartley, George Ford, Joe Launchbury, Mike Brown and James Haskell.

He said: “We will have a quick chat but they have to get on with it. They have their English careers at stake.

“If they don’t perform for England then they wont be included in the squad so you don’t want them to be unhappy twice.

“They’ve got to knuckle down and work hard, do their best for England and make sure we win in Argentina.”

The 57-year-old remains upbeat about England’s chances this summer despite overseeing his side on the wrong end of a 13-9 scoreline against Ireland in the RBS Six Nations to end a record-equalling run of 18 consecutive wins.

He said: “We are confident but it’s going to be tough, they were semi-finalists at the World Cup in 2015 and we are playing in their back yard.

“Its a very small place with a fairly raucous crowd so we are going to have to be at our best.”

Jones expressed how proud and happy he is seeing 16 England players included in the Lions squad but threw caution into the wind stating players need to perform in the red jersey.

He continued: “It’s fantastic and obviously there were two or three others that feel a little bit aggrieved that they haven’t been included.

“Everyone’s got a reason not to be selected, so we are proud of having the 16 English players that have been included in the Lions squad.

“The really important thing now is that they go down to New Zealand and beat them, it’s not good enough to just be in the Lions squad, it’s about what you do when you get in the jersey.”

Eddie Jones’s side will face Argentina in a two-test tour of Argentina this summer beginning at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan on Saturday 10 June and then play at the Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez, Sante Fe, a week later on 17 June.

Eddie Jones reveals England Squad to Tour Argentina during Summer

By Thomas Branston


England boss Eddie Jones has announced a modified squad that will tour Argentina over two tests this summer during June and the Australian names 15 uncapped players in the 31-man squad.

Dylan Hartley will lead the side, despite missing out on what could be his final chance of making the British and Irish Lions squad on their tour to New Zealand this summer. However his inclusion in Jones’ plans will rule out the hooker’s chances of being available on a reserves list for the Lions.

The side includes controversial rugby league convert Denny Solomana, who, was born in New Zealand and has represented Samoa in rugby league. However, Solomana qualifies through residency rules and has had a storming first season in the Aviva Premiership with strugglers Sale Sharks. The 23-year-old has scored 9 tries in 11 appearances this season.

Cross-code convert Denny Solomana included in two-test Tour to Argentina.

Jones includes an uncapped contingent of 15 who will look to impress, with 16 first team regulars missing due to the Lions tour of New Zealand. Will Collier, Ben Curry, Tom Curry, Nick Isiekwe, Harry Mallinder, Sam Underhill, Harry Williams, Joe Cokanasiga, Nathan Earle, Piers Francis, Sam James, Joe Marchant, Jack Maunder and Denny Solomana are those that will look to implement a regular place in Jones’ squad leading up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Will Collier – 25 yo – Tighthead Prop – 15 appearances for Harlequins this season.

Ben Curry – 18 yo – Blindside Flanker – 15 appearances for Sale Sarks this season.

Tom Curry – 18 yo – Openside Flanker – 13 appearances for Sale Sharks this season.

Nick Isiekwe – 19yo – Lock – 1 appearance for Saracens this season.

Harry Mallinder – 20 yo – Fly Half – 19 appearances for Northampton Saints this season.

Sam Underhill – 20 yo – Openside Flanker – 10 appearances for Ospreys this season.

Harry Williams – 25 yo – Loosehead Prop – 16 appearances for Exeter Chiefs this season

Joe Cokanasiga – 19 yo – Right Wing – 11 appearances for London Irish this season

Nathan Earle – 21 yo  – Left Wing – 0 appearances for parent club Saracens this season on loan to Canterbury (New Zealand – 10 appearances).

Piers Francis – 26 yo – Fly Half – 19 appearances for Auckland Blues this season.

Sam James – 22 y0 – Inside Centre – 24 appearances for Sale Sharks this season.

Joe Marchant – 20 yo – Outside Centre – 18 appearances for Harlequins this season.

Jack Maunder – 20 yo – Scrum Half – 8 appearances for Exeter Chiefs this season.

Wasps Lock Joe Lauchbury misses out on Warren Gatland’s Lions squad.

Alongside the 15 uncapped players Jones has also called on the experience in the side with Lions casualties, Joe Launchbury, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown, who were all left out of Warren Gatland’s squad.

Flanker Sam Underhill and fly-half Piers Francis who will join Bath and Northampton respectively will tour this summer before they have joined their new clubs.

There was no place for the Aviva Premiership’s top try-scorer Christian Wade nor Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni with the pairs exclusion being particularly bizarre, however the mixture of youth Jones has chosen is inviting.

The squad will play two Tests on the tour, beginning at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan on Saturday 10 June  and Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez, Sante Fe, a week later on 17 June.

England Squad

Forwards | Will Collier (Harlequins, uncapped), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap), Dylan Hartley (c)(Northampton Saints, 84 caps), James Haskell (Wasps, 75 caps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints, 5 caps), Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 8 caps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, uncapped), Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 42 caps), Matt Mullan (Wasps, 15 caps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 55 caps), Sam Underhill (Ospreys/Bath Rugby, uncapped), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 50 caps)

Backs |  Mike Brown – (vc )(Harlequins, 60 caps), Danny Care – (vc) (Harlequins, 71 caps), Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish, uncapped), Nathan Earle (Saracens, uncapped), George Ford – (vc) (Bath Rugby, 35 caps), Piers Francis (Auckland Blues/Northampton Saints, uncapped), Sam James (Sale Sharks, uncapped), Alex Lozowski (Saracens, uncapped), Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, uncapped), Joe Marchant (Harlequins, uncapped), Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 25 caps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), Denny Solomona (Sale Sharks, uncapped)