HomeSportRugbyRugby Championship 2023 Preview: Round 1

Rugby Championship 2023 Preview: Round 1

Rugby Championship 2023 Preview: Round 1

International Test Match rugby in the Southern Hemisphere begins this weekend as the Rugby Championship begins. New Zealand kick-off their season in Mendoza Argentina, as they take on Argentina. While South Africa hosts Australia in Pretoria.

In a Rugby World Cup year, this year’s tournament has once-off fixtures between the nations leaving no room for error. The Wallabies welcome the return of Eddie Jones at the helm after replacing Dave Rennie. And New Zealand head coach Ian Foster manages the All Blacks for the last time in the Rugby Championship. As Scott Robinson is set to take over after the World Cup in November. Argentina and South Africa continue with the same management and will look to capitalize on home-ground advantage first up.

Having named 7 debutants in the Wallabies squad. Eddie Jones will look to call on his wealth of experience and will look to capitalize on a seemingly weakened Springbok team. The Boks will be without Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe, Makazole Mapimpi, and Damian de Allende who have headed to New Zealand first up to prepare for round 2 of the Championship.

“Our plan from the outset was to select a squad that we believe has what it takes to beat Australia while at the same time selecting a group of players that could travel to New Zealand to give us the best possible chance to do well in both matches.” Explained Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber.

New Zealand will be without Will Jordan and Leicester Fainganuku who have been ruled out through injury. But will look to start their year on a promising note.

Available Squads

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Manie Libbok, Cobus Reinach; Duane Vermeulen (captain), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marco van Staden, Marvin Orie, Jean Kleyn, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche. Reserves: Joseph Dweba, Thomas du Toit, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Evan Roos, Deon Fourie, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse.

Australia: James Slipper (co-captain), David Porecki, Allan Alaalatoa, Nick Frost, Will Skelton, Tom Hooper, Michael Hooper (co-captain), Rob Valetini, Nic White, Quade Cooper, Marika Koroibete, Reece Hodge, Len Ikitau, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tom Wright. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Matt Gibbon, Zane Nonggorr, Richie Arnold, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Samu Kerevi, Carter Gordon

Jusbanter picks:

Argentina vs New Zealand – New Zealand win

South Africa vs Australia – Australia win

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