Russia vs Italy : the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool C game between Italy and Russia at Trafalgar Park, Nelson on Tuesday Sept 20, kick-off 08.30 BST. The match between Italy and Arsenal at the 2019 Netball World Cup Finals is nowhere nearly as innocuous as some might think. Argentina has failed to win their previous six matches and were given the wooden spoon in spite of winning against Arsenal vs Russia in last year’s tournament.
But this year they would want to perform better and prepare well for the World Cup which is not far. The Pumas have never won against the All Blacks in any international match before.
It was the first time that Wales lost a match in 15 games, and came something of a surprise given it was a full-strength side at Twickenham.But as George North has explained, calm heads prevailed over any sense of panic.So Warren Gatland decides to stick with the bulk of the squad that couldn’t quite get it done last weekend, but makes changes to the trio who picked up injuries.
England’s Pool is particularly tricky having been drawn in C with Argentina and France. It means one of rugby’s ‘big fish’ will suffer the ignominy of going home early.They have selected strong starting lineup and made just two changes from the team that was defeated in the Super Rugby finals by the Crusaders early in July.
New Zealand have been victorious in five of their six matches in the Rugby Championship last year. They lost to South Africa with a score of 34-36 and this year they will be the favorites again to win the championship. New Zealand has named four debutants in their extended All Blacks team. The team selection is suggestive of a side with one eye on the World Cup.
Of course we know about Gareth Anscombe’s knee ligament injury, which has cruelly ruled him out of the Rugby World Cup completely, though Gatland decides against givein one of Jarrod Evans and Rhys Patchell a start by promoting Dan Biggar from the bench,Adam Beard picked up a blow to his wrist so he is left out this weekend with Jake Ball promoted to the starting XV, and Justin Tipuric is left out due to rolling his ankle last Sunday.
With the flanker absent, Jamie Davies comes into the back-row to mean that he starts a Test alongside brother Jonathan for the first time.Evans is named on the bench to fill the gap left by Biggar’s promotion, while there is a welcome return for Josh Navidi – one of the form players during the Six Nations – to fill the forwards.”This weekend is another opportunity for us to take the field, test ourselves and continue our preparation for Japan,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
“It is a little over five weeks until we kick off our campaign in Toyota against Georgia and it is important we are fully prepared and rugby-ready by then.”We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front a of a packed Principality Stadium.”The squad are looking forward to getting back out there, taking another step towards the RWC and putting in a big performance.”
The Kiwi is clearly targeting these two matches to perfect his strongest XV, with just Cory Hill and Rob Evans left to come back into the side. However, the risk is what happened to Anscombe repeats itself this weekend, as injury can strike at any moment.
With Anscombe and Taulupe Falteu already ruled out, Wales have lost two first-choice players for the World Cup, and although Gatland has done well to discover their strenght in depth over the last two years, they cannot afford to lose many more of their starters.On top of that, their next two matches are against Ireland – not much easier by all accounts – so if he is going to experiment, doing so on home soil might have been a smart move.