Huge weekend of rugby
Big test match action this weekend. All Blacks host England. The new Deans-era starts for the Wallabies, hosting Ireland; and Wales face the Springboks in their second test. Line-up details below. Be sure to check all the links (box - upper-right) for more action -- this weekend is heavy with Pacific Cup, Nations Cup, Churchill Cup and IRB World Under 20s Championship. The amount of rugby I'm seeing on Setanta right now is incredible, there's hardly any time to watch it all, let alone blog about it. (Add the NRL, Super League and State of Origin, and it's overkill!) I'll be up in the wee hours watching much of it tonight.
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Anthony Tuitavake, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Rodney So'oialo, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Neemia Tialata. Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 John Schwalger, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Sione Lauaki, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Leon MacDonald.
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Tom Rees, 6 James Haskell, 5 Steve Borthwick (c), 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Andrew Sheridan. Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Ben Kay, 19 Joe Worsley, 20 Danny Care, 21 Jamie Noon, 22 Mathew Tait.
Date: Saturday, June 14
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 (08:35 BST) 3:30 AM SATURDAY EASTERN TIME (NEW YORK, TORONTO)
Weather: Cloudy but dry, Northerly breeze, 10°C
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Touch judges: Stuart Dickinson (Australia), Paul Marks (Australia)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Stuart Beissel (New Zealand)
Rugby Planet NZ v ENG preview, click here.
Rugby Heaven NZ v ENG preview, click here.
Australia: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Peter Hynes, 13 Stirling Mortlock (c), 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 George Smith, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill, 3 Matt Dunning, 2 Stephen Moore,1 Benn Robinson. Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 Phil Waugh, 20 Sam Cordingley, 21 Ryan Cross, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Ireland: 15 Robert Kearney, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Tommy Bowe, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Denis Leamy, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 John Hayes, 2 Rory Best, 1 Marcus Horan. Replacements: 16 Jerry Flannery, 17 Tony Buckley, 18 Mick O'Driscoll, 19 Stephen Ferris, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Geordan Murphy, 22 Girvan Dempsey.
Date: Saturday, June 14
Venue: Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Kick-off: 20:05 (11:05 BST, 10:05 GMT)
Weather: Floods, hurricanes and hail the size of golf balls. But hey, it doesn't matter because the roof will be closed!
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
Touch judges: Chris White (England), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Television match official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Assessor: Andrew Cole (Australia)
Rugby Planet AUS v IRE preview, click here.
South Africa: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Tonderai Chavanga, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Luke Watson, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Francois Steyn, 22 Percy Montgomery.
Wales: 15 James Hook, 14 Mark Jones, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Jonathan Thomas, 6 Ryan Jones (c), 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins. Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Ian Evans, 19 Dafydd Jones, 20 Warren Fury, 21 Andrew Bishop, 22 Tom James.
Date: Saturday 14 June, 2008
Kick-off: 15:00 (13:00 GMT)
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Weather: Clear skies and sunshine all day, highs of 20°C with a slight north-west wind
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Dave Pearson (England), Stuart Terheege (England)
Television match official: Geoff Warren (England)
Assessor: Patrick Robin (France)
Rugby Planet SA v WAL preview, click here.
Check Mediazone and Setanta links for broadcast times and options in North America.