After the Crusaders locked yet another Super Rugby trophy away in their cabinet, we can now turn our attention to the Test season.
Stan Sport has you covered with all the major series’ in July as the leading northern hemisphere nations venture south and next year’s Rugby World Cup fast approaches.
Stan also has the rights to the Pacific Nations Cup, which features the return of Australia A against Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. Here’s everything you need to know.
Watch every match of the July Test series on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. Kicks off on July 2 with Wallabies vs England live in 4K plus All Blacks vs Ireland, Springboks vs Wales and much more. All streaming ad free, live and on demand only on Stan Sport
AUSTRALIA vs ENGLAND
England’s canny Australian coach Eddie Jones is again in the thick of things as he warned his side could expect “abusive crowds” Down Under.
Jones is under pressure after finishing fifth in the Six Nations but his coaching credentials are unquestionable.
As is his mastery of media mind games, so much so that combative Wallabies halfback Nic White – not usually short of a word – was steering clear of a tit for tat.
“If there’s one guy I definitely won’t be getting into a battle with it’s Eddie Jones,” White said.
“You know they ask you that question, who would you love to have dinner with? He pops to mind straight away – to pick his brains, he’s obviously a mastermind.
“We love our sport. You know, the Aussie vs England rivalry in all sports, let alone rugby, is huge. We do love to get up for that series. And we will be up for this series and hopefully be dragging all of Australia along with us. Hopefully we get a chance to to get vocal and, he’s right, we are very vocal over here.”
NEW PODCAST: Sean Maloney and Andrew Mehrtens welcome back Morgan Turinui to review the Super Rugby Pacific final and are joined by the legendary HG Nelson to talk ‘The Cream,’ Michael Cheika and Wallabies vs England
July 2: First Test, 7.55pm AEST kickoff at Perth’s Optus Stadium
July 9: Second Test, 7.55pm AEST kickoff at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium
July 16: Third Test, 7.55pm AEST kickoff at the Sydney Cricket Ground
Australia: Michael Hooper (c), Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Quade Cooper, Pone Fa’amausili, Folau Fainga’a, Nick Frost, Jake Gordon, Jed Holloway, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Rob Leota, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan, Tate McDermott, Cadeyrn Neville, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Izaia Perese, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, David Porecki, Pete Samu, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Darcy Swain, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Suliasi Vunivalu, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Tom Wright
England: Owen Farrell (c), Ollie Chessum, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Bevan Rodd, Patrick Schickerling, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis, Henry Arundell, Danny Care, Joe Cokanasiga, Fraser Dingwall, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Will Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Harry Randall, Jack van Poortvliet, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward
NEW ZEALAND vs IRELAND
New Zealand’s considerable rugby ego was badly bruised last year as the All Blacks crashed to back-to-back losses against Ireland and France.
The Irish played superb rugby at Lansdowne Road, with supreme ball handling and continuity not usually seen from their forwards in a 29-20 upset win.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster is under immense pressure and has named NRL convert Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in his squad.
But the bigger question is whether the All Blacks are capable of still fielding a forward pack to frighten top opposition and lay a sufficient platform for their dangerous backs.
“There are huge question marks,” former All Blacks enforcer Richard Loe said.
“Look at, for example, the front row – some of the props shouldn’t be there. They’ve got a World Cup coming up very soon, but most of the players who got beaten so badly by Ireland and France last year are re-selected and they’re well into their 30s.”
July 2: First Test, 5.05pm AEST kickoff at Auckland’s Eden Park
July 9: Second Test, 5.05pm AEST kickoff at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium
July 16: Third Test, 5.05pm AEST kickoff at Wellington’s Sky Stadium
New Zealand: Sam Cane (c), Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Aidan Ross, George Bower, Nepo Laulala, Ofa Tuungafasi, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Angus Ta’avao, Samuel Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Pita Gus Sowakula, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Akira Ioane, Hoskins Sotutu, Folau Fakatava, Aaron Smith, Finlay Christie, Stephen Perofeta, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Quinn Tupaea, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan, Caleb Clarke, Sevu Reece
Ireland: Jonathan Sexton (c), Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Nick Timoney, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier, Bundee Aki, Harry Byrne, Joey Carbery, Craig Casey, Keith Earls, Ciaran Frawley, Jamison Gibson Park, Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, James Hume, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Michael Lowry, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose
SOUTH AFRICA vs WALES
The world champion Springboks will play Tests in front of a home crowd for the first time in 35 months against Wales.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with the game in South Africa and coach Jacques Nienaber is understandably excited.
“We have never performed in our country for our country as world champions,” Nienaber said.
“The last time we played in South Africa was against Argentina at Loftus before we went to the World Cup, so it is going to be massive for us. And the same for the players from Wales, there was a big contingent of them on the Lions tour and it will be awesome.
“Touch wood, nothing happens going forward and things stay as almost back to normal.”
South African clubs continue to perform strongly in Europe with the Stormers beating the Bulls in the final of the United Rugby Championship.
July 3: First Test, 1.05am AEST kickoff at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium
July 10: Second Test, 1.05am AEST kickoff at Bloemfontein’s Toyota Stadium
July 17: Third Test, 1.05am AEST at Cape Town’s DHL Stadium
South Africa: Siya Kolisi (c), Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Salmaan Moerat, Ruan Nortje, Marvin Orie, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, Elrigh Louw, Evan Roos, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert, Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Grant Williams, Johan Goosen, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Jesse Kriel, Aphelele Fassi, Warrick Gelant, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willemse
Wales: Dan Biggar (c), Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Sam Parry, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Ben Carter, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, James Ratti, Tommy Reffell, Harri O’Connor, Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Patchell, George North, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert, Louis Rees-Zammit, Liam Williams
ARGENTINA vs SCOTLAND
THE STORY LINE
It’s all about Michael Cheika, as the multi-tasking Australian coach prepares for his first series in charge of Argentina.
The former Wallabies boss is also the coach of the Lebanon league team and the director of rugby at the NEC Green Rockets in Japan.
“While it is good to say I am doing all three and all of that, it’s no good doing all three poorly,” Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“You have to do all three well. That’s a non-negotiable.”
A key man for Cheika’s Pumas will be world class flanker Pablo Matera, who was instrumental in the Crusaders upsetting the Blues in the Super Rugby Pacific final.
Cheika also gave Matera a cautious green light to continue his kicking exploits in the Test arena.
July 3: First Test, 5.10am AEST at San Salvador de Jujuy’s Estadio 23 de Agosto
July 10: Second Test: 5.10am AEST at Salta’s Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena
July 17: Third Test: 5.10am AEST at Estadio Unico de Santiago del Estero
Argentina: Julian Montoya (c), Matias Alemanno, Lautaro Bazan Velez, Emiliano Boffelli, Rodrigo Bruni, Santiago Carreras, Santiago Chocobares, Lucio Cinti, Santiago Cordero, Agustin Creevy, Tomas Cubelli, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Bautista Delguy, Thomas Gallo, Gonzalo Garcia, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Santiago Grondona, Juan Imhoff, Facundo Isa, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Cruz Mallia, Pablo Matera, Matias Orlando, Lucas Paulos, Guido Petti, Ignacio Ruiz, Nicolas Sanchez, Joel Sclavi, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Mayco Vivas
Scotland: Grant Gilchrist (c), Ewan Ashman, Jamie Bhatti, Magnus Bradbury, Dave Cherry, Andy Christie, Luke Crosbie, Scott Cummings, Rory Darge, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Jonny Gray, Jamie Hodgson, Ben Muncaster, Pierre Schoeman, Javan Sebastian, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, George Turner, Murphy Walker, Hamish Watson, Glen Young, Mark Bennett, Matt Currie, Darcy Graham, Adam Hastings, George Horne, Damian Hoyland, Rory Hutchinson, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Rufus McLean, Ali Price, Kyle Rowe, Ollie Smith, Ross Thompson, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Ben White
PACIFIC NATIONS CUP
THE STORY LINE
There are no shortage of talking points or familiar faces in this year’s tournament.
Top of the list is former Wallabies star Israel Folau, who is set to make his debut for Tonga against Fiji in Suva.
Tonga coach Toutai Kefu has also welcomed in former All Blacks Salesi (Charles) Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa for the first time following a change in World Rugby eligibility laws.
Similarly, Fiji have called up former All Black Setareki Tamanivalu and Samoa have named fringe Wallaby Duncan Paia’aua.
A powerful Australia A side will also feature in the tournament and give Wallabies coach Dave Rennie plenty of selection food for thought.
The team includes Reds Fraser McReight and Jock Campbell, discarded Rebels utility Reece Hodge and rising Waratahs No.8 Will Harris.
July 2: Australia A vs Samoa, 11am AEST at Suva’s ANZ Stadium
July 2: Fiji vs Tonga, 1.30pm AEST at Suva’s ANZ Stadium
July 9: Samoa vs Tonga, 10am AEST at Lautoka’s Churchill Park
July 9: Fiji vs Australia A, 1.30pm AEST at Lautoka’s Churchill Park
July 16: Tonga vs Australia A, 10am AEST at Lautoka’s Churchill Park
July 16: Fiji vs Samoa, 1.30pm AEST at Lautoka’s Churchill Park
Australia A: Tim Anstee, Jock Campbell, Filipo Daugunu, Ben Donaldson, Tane Edmed, Matt Faessler, Lalakai Foketi, Feao Fotuaika, Matt Gibbon, Langi Gleeson, Ned Hanigan, Will Harris, Reece Hodge, Harry Hoopert, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Feleti Kaitu’u, Ryan Lonergan, Ryan McCauley, Fraser McReight, Andy Muirhead, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Dylan Pietsch, Billy Pollard, Jackson Pugh, Tom Robertson, Ryan Smith, Hamish Stewart, Jake Strachan, Seru Uru
Fiji: Levani Botia (c), Haereiti Hetet, Eroni Mawi, Sam Matavesi, Tevita Ikanivere, Mesulame Dolokoto, Luke Tagi, Mesake Doge, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Ratuva, Temo Mayanavanua, Isoa Nasilasila, Ratu Leone Rotusolia, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Albert Tuisue, Mesulame Kunavula, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Rusiate Nasove, Frank Lomani, Simione Kuruvoli, Peni Matawalu, Ben Volavola, Teti Tela, Setareki Tamanivalu, Vilimoni Botitu, Apisalome Vota, Waisea Nayacalevu, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Josua Tuisova, Vinaya Habosi, Manasa Mataele, Setareki Tuicuvu, Ilaisa Droasese
Samoa: Michael Alaalatoa (c), Seilala Lam, Ray Niuia, Andrew Tuala, Sef Fa’agase, Marco Fepulea’i, Aki Seiuli, Kalolo Tuiloma, Michael Curry, Theo McFarland, Sam Slade, Chris Vui, Jack Lam, Fritz Lee, Alamanda Motuga, Henry Time-Stowers, Jordan Taufua, Ereatara Enari, Auvasa Faleali’i, Jonathan Taumateine, AJ Alatimu, Rodney Iona, D’Angelo Leiula, Nigel Ah Wong, Duncan Paia’aua, Henry Taefu, Danny Toala, Ed Fidow, Neria Foma’i, Lolagi Visinia
Tonga: Sonatane Takulua (c), Samiuela Moli, Siua Maile, Jay Fonokalafi, Sigfried Fisi’ihoi, Tau Kolomatangi, David Lolohea, Siate Tokolahi, Ben Tameifuna, Sosefo Apikotoa, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Viliami Taulani, Lotu Inisi, Solomone Funaki, Sione Tu’ipulotu, Sione Havili Talitui, Samuela Lousi, Halaleva Fifita, Veikoso Poloniati, Sonatane Takulua, Augustine Pulu, Manu Paea, William Havili, James Faiva, Malakai Fekitoa, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Fetuli Paea, Fine Inisi, Solomone Kata, Salesi Piutau, Tima Fainga’anuku, Israel Folau, Anzelo Tuitavuki
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