RWC teams week 2: Hansen back as Irish go strong for Tonga, ex-Wallaby star in for Samoa, Boks pick FOUR No.9s – The Roar

Hosts France kick off the second week of the Rugby World Cup against Uruguay with a much-changed team after beating the All Blacks.

Australia will name their side to face Fiji on Friday at 6pm AEST.

Join us here for all the team news as it’s announced.

France vs. Uruguay, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (5am Friday AEST)

France made 12 changes to the starting team that conquered the Kiwis, while Uruguay are making their first appearance in the competition.

Lock Cameron Woki, centre Yoram Moefana and winger Gabin Villiere are the only survivors from the week one starting XV.

The hosts welcome back No.8 Anthony Jelonch for the first time since February when he suffered an injured knee during the Six Nations.

Jelonch will start alongside Paul Boudehent and Sekou Macalou in the backrow while Maxime Lucu takes over from Antoine Dupont at halfback and Antoine Hastoy replaces Matthieu Jalibert at five-eighth.

Marika Koroibete tackles Anthony Jelonch. Getty Images.

Melvyn Jaminet, who scored France’s last try against three-time champions New Zealand, starts at fullback and electric young winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey has an opportunity to shine on the right wing.

“We’re trying to have everyone involved,” assistant coach William Servat said.

“So when the big matches arrive, all our players will be at their peak.”

Uruguay halfback Santiago Arata has recovered from a broken hand to start in a team with 11 survivors from the 2019 World Cup.

France (15-1): Melvyn Jaminet, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Arthur Vincent, Yoram Moefana, Gabin Villiere, Antoine Hastoy, Maxime Lucu, Anthony Jelonch (captain), Sekou Macalou, Paul Boudehent, Romain Taofifenua, Cameron Woki, Dorian Aldegheri, Pierre Bourgarit, Jean-Baptiste Gros.

Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Bastien Chalureau, Thibaud Flament, François Cros, Baptiste Couilloud, Thomas Ramos.

Uruguay (15-1): Baltazar Amaya, Bautista Basso, Tomas Inciarte, Andres Vilaseca (captain), Nicolas Freitas, Felipe Etcheverry, Santiago Arata, Manuel Diana, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Ardao, Manuel Leindekar, Felipe Aliaga, Ignacio Peculo, Guillermo Pujadas, Mateo Sanguinetti.

Replacements: Felipe Berchesi, Agustin Ormaechea, Carlos Deus, Lucas Bianchi, Ignacio Dotti, Reinaldo Piussi, Matias Benitez, Facundo Gattas.

New Zealand vs. Namibia, Stadium de Toulouse (5am Saturday AEST)

There are nine changes to the starting line-up from New Zealand’s opening loss to France with Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea, Beauden Barrett and Anton Lienert-Brown retaining their places.

Lock Samuel Whitelock has been named for what will be his 148th All Blacks Test, equalling Richie McCaw as the most-capped player in the team’s history. Joined in the second row by Brodie Retallick, the pair will extend their world record as a starting lock combination to 66 Tests.

Meanwhile, halfback Cam Roigard will also celebrate a special milestone after being given the nod to make his first start in an All Blacks jersey. Roigard will don the No. 9 jersey with 120-Test veteran Aaron Smith picked on the bench. roviding halfback cover.

Second-five eighths David Havili, who made his first appearance of the season as a reserve in Paris last week, has been named in the number 12 jersey alongside midfield partner Anton Lienert-Brown. Damien McKenzie will start at No.10.

“We are expecting a very tough Namibian side to test us on Friday,” said All Blacks coach Ian Foster. “Whilst we were disappointed with the result in the first round, it hasn’t moved our focus from what we need to do to in our pool games. This game is vital for us to grow and we can’t wait to get to Toulouse and test ourselves.”

Namibia coach Allister Coetzee, meanwhile, has made only three changes to in his starting XV from their last game against Italy, handing Jason Benade and Prince Gaoseb a start in the forward pack, and Le Roux Malan in the backline.

New Zealand (1-15): Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea (c), Cam Roigard, Damian McKenzie, Leicester Fainga’anuku, David Havili, Anton Lienert-Brown, Caleb Clarke, Beauden Barrett.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane .

Namibia (1-15): Jason Benade, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Johan Retief, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Prince Gaoseb, Richard Hardwick, Damian Stevens, Tiaan Swanepoel, Divan Rossouw, Le Roux Malan, Johan Deysel (c), Gerswin Mouton, Cliven Loubser.

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

Samoa vs. Chile, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux (11pm Saturday AEST)

Tonga Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua has named nine survivors from RWC 2019 in his match-day team including Australia’s top points scorer from the last World Cup, Christian Leali’ifano. The team also features two former All Blacks – Steven Luatua and Lima Sopoaga.

Seven players in this team play their club rugby in France: Paul Alo-Emile for Stade Français, Seilala Lam for Perpignan, Fritz Lee for Clermont, Tumau Manu for Pau, Duncan Paia’aua for Toulon, Ulupano Junior Seuteni for La Rochelle and Sa Jordan Taufua for Lyon.

Chile coach Pablo Lemoine has made four changes to his starting XV from their loss to Japan in Toulouse, with Tomás Dussaillant coming in at hooker, a new second-row pairing of Santiago Pedrero and Pabo Huete, and José Ignacio Larenas starting on the left wing.

Dussaillant will make his Rugby World Cup debut seven years after making his international debut for Chile against Brazil in 2016.

Samoa (1-15): James Lay, Seilala Lam, Michael Alaalatoa (c), Chris Vui, Theo McFarland, Taleni Junior Agaese Seu, Fritz Lee, Steven Luatua, Jonathan Taumateine, Christian Leali’ifano, Nigel Ah-Wong, Tumua Manu, Ulupano Junior Seuteni, Danny Toala, Duncan Paia’aua.

Replacements: Sama Malolo, Jordan Lay, Paul Alo-Emile, Sam Slade, Sa Jordan Taufua, Ereatara Enari, Lima Sopoaga, Ed Fidow.

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

Replacements: Diego Escobar, Salvador Lues, Esteban Inostroza, Javier Eissmann, Alfonso Escobar, Ignacio Silva, Benjamin Videla, Pablo Casas.

Wales vs. Portugal, Stade de Nice, Nice (1:45am Sunday AEST)

Head coach Warren Gatland has made 13 changes to his starting XV following their six-point victory over Fiji with only Taulupe Falatau and Louis Rees-Zammit retaining their places in the run-on side.

Dewi Lake has been named captain for only the second time in his career in his third Test as a starter.

Leigh Halfpenny will play his third Rugby World Cup after 2011 and 2019 having played only 15 of Wales’ 43 Tests since the start of 2020, including just 165 minutes across three appearances in 2023.

At age 34 years, eight months and 26 days, he becomes the oldest backline player to play a Rugby World Cup game for Wales, surpassing Shane Williams who was 34 years, seven months and 26 days against the Wallabies in Auckland.

There are 19 survivors in Portugal’s 23 from the side which secured their place at RWC 2023 with a 16-16 draw against USA in Dubai last November, with seven players in the starting XV aged 30 or older.

Thirteen players in the starting team play their club rugby in France, but hooker Mike Tadjer is the only player who plays in the Top 14, for Perpignan.

Wales (1-15): Nicky Smith, Dewi Lake, Dillon Lewis, Christ Tshiunza, Dafydd Jenkins, Dan Lydiate, Tommy Reffell, Taulupe Faletau, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Rio Dyer, Johnny Williams, Mason Grady, Louis Rees-Zammit, Leigh Halfpenny.

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Corey Domachowski, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Taine Basham, Gareth Davies, Sam Costelow, Josh Adams.

Portugal (1-15): Francisco Fernandes, Mike Tadjer, Anthony Alves, José Madeira, Steevy Cerqueira, João Granate, Nicolas Martins, Rafael Simões, Samuel Marques, Jerónimo Portela, Rodrigo Marta, Tomás Appleton (c), José Lima, Vincent Pinto, Nuno Sousa Guedes.

Replacements: David Costa, Lionel Campergue, Diogo Hasse Ferreira, Martim Belo, David Wallis, Pedro Lucas, Joris Moura, Raffaele Storti.

Ireland vs. Tonga, Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes (5am Sunday AEST)

Andy Farrell has made four changes of personnel and two positional switches to the side which beat Romania 82-8 in their opener.

Conor Murray replaces Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half while Aussie-raised Mack Hansen returns to the right wing ahead of Keith Earls.

In the pack, Rob Herring makes way for Ronan Kelleher at hooker, while World Rugby Player of the Year 2022 Josh van der Flier returns at openside flanker, with Peter O’Mahony reverting to blindside and Tadhg Beirne moving into the second row. Joe McCarthy makes way.

Having surpassed Ronan O’Gara as Ireland’s record Rugby World Cup points scorer with 24 against Romania, Johnny Sexton is now just nine points adrift of O’Gara’s overall Irish Test record of 1,083 points.

Toutai Kefu has included four former All Blacks in Tonga’s starting XV: full-back Salesi (Charles) Piutau, centre Malakai Fekitoa, scrum-half Augustine Pulu and number eight Vaea Fifita.

“They’ve had a massive input already, both on and off the field,” said Kefu. “The biggest difference is off-the-field stuff – mindset, professionalism, a really good attitude, so that’s been refreshing and the younger players have observed that. They’ve raised the level of standard and expectation of all the players.”

Ireland (1-15): Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton (c), James Lowe, Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose, Mack Hansen, Hugo Keenan.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Ryan Baird, Craig Casey, Ross Byrne, Robbie Henshaw.

Tonga (1-15): Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Paula Ngauamo, Ben Tameifuna (c), Sam Lousi, Halaleva Fifita, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Talitui, Vaea Fifita, Augustine Pulu, William Havili, Solomone Kata, Pita Ahki, Malakai Fekitoa, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Salesi Piutau.

Replacements: Sam Moli, Tau Koloamatangi, Sosefo Apikotoa, Semisi Paea, Solomone Funaki, Sione Vailanu, Sonatane Takulua, Fine Inisi.

South Africa vs. Romania, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux (11pm Sunday AEST)

South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber made 14 starting changes from the side which won their opening Pool B match against Scotland for their next game against Romania in Bordeaux on Sunday. 

Damian Willemse, who switches from fullback to flyhalf, is the only player who starts again, while prop Vincent Koch makes his first Test start since Rugby World Cup 2019, having made 28 consecutive appearances as a replacement.  

Nienaber, who recently went into a Test with a 7-1 bench split, pulled another unusual gambit for this Test, naming four recognised halfbacks in his 23 with Faf de Klerk also covering No.10 off the bench.

Cobus Reinach starts in the No.9 shirt with Grant Williams being promoted from the bench to the right wing in 14.

Jaden Hendrikse joins de Klerk on the bench.

Referee Paul Williams talks to Faf de Klerk of the Springboks. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“People were surprised when we picked four scrum-halves in the squad but we knew they offered us the skills and versatility to provide backline options to manage the challenges that tournament rugby gives you,” head coach Jacques Nienaber said in an SA Rugby statement.

“We have been rotating and testing players in different positions since last season to put us in the fortunate position to have a group of 33 players in France that are closely matched in terms of their quality of play and skills,” he added.

South Africa (1-15): Ox Nche, Mbongeni Mbonambi (c), Vincent Koch, Jean Kleyn, Marvin Orie, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen, Cobus Reinach, Damian Willemse, Makazole Mapimpi, Andre Esterhuizen, Canan Moodie, Grant Williams, Willie Le Roux.

Replacements: Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane, RG Snyman, Jasper Wiese, Jaden Hendrikse, Faf de Klerk, Jesse Kriel.

Romania: TBC

Australia vs. Fiji, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne (1:45am AEST)

Australia: Team to be named 6.30pm AEST Friday.

Fiji: TBC

England vs. Japan, Stade de Nice, Nice (5am Monday AEST)

England: TBC

Japan: TBC

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