Rugby Union Today: Teams named for the weekend

Date published: June 14 2018

Another busy day in the rugby union game as most of the international sides named their squads for the upcoming games on Saturday.

What’s on the site

Read about Brad Shields’ inclusion in the England XV as Chris Robshaw was dropped from the squad. Joe Launchbury also starts after recovering from injury while Mark Wilson and Danny Cipriani are named on the bench.

For South Africa, they also made two alterations to the starting line-up with Frans Malherbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit replacing Wilco Louw, who is rested, and Jean-Luc du Preez respectively.

The other big games this weekend – New Zealand v France and Australia v Ireland – have also seen the head coaches select their sides for the encounters.

What’s in the news

There were a couple of big stories in the club game with La Rochelle confirming the appointment of Jono Gibbes as their new director of rugby. Interestingly, Gibbes was supposed to return home to New Zealand and take up a position with Waikato, having left Ulster due to “family reasons,” but he will now link up with the Top 14 outfit.

In the Premiership, Graham Rowntree has gone as Harlequins’ forwards coach due to “personal reasons” as they attempt to rebuild under Paul Gustard’s stewardship.

Finally, the Crusaders have announced that coach Ronan O’Gara has re-signed with the franchise. The ex-Ireland international joined ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season and has impressed, with the New Zealanders once again in title contention.

What’s on social media

Tendai Mtawarira will win his 100th South Africa cap when he takes to the field against England in the second game of the three-Test series and tributes were made to the loosehead prop.

What’s on TV

It is the second full weekend of the June Tests and Sky Sports are once again showing the big encounters as New Zealand host France, Australia face Ireland and South Africa go head-to-head with England.

Channel 4 has Wales’ second Test against Argentina and Scotland’s clash away in the USA is on the BBC. Meanwhile, the U20 World Rugby Championship comes to a conclusion this week and ITV 4 is showing the final between France and England live.