Weekend teams and predictions

Beast and Flip back for the Boks, Read and Fekitoa get a run for the AB’s while Lancaster makes 8 changes to the Poms. All the teams, times, refs, odds, SuperBru picks and Tank’s predictions.

Sensational – Afternoon rugby is back! I really do not like those 19h00 kickoffs, especially on a Saturday. Instead the Boks kickoff at a braai and coolerbox inducing 15h00 in Nelspruit.

And with the Aussies doing the same, we get to take in our SANZAR neighbours over a coffee or on a spin bike in the morning, and there might even be some time to pop out to a school game before getting back for the second Bok hammering of the Welsh.

Here’s hoping that game in Sydney is more like the 1st Test than the turgid crap on offer last week! Then the game of the day is without doubt the 09h30 third test between the Kiwis and the Poms. Kieren Read is back (unlike Bauden Barrett, amazingly), while Malakai Fekitoa vs Manu Tuilagi might well get me into the coolerbox a little earlier than planned! It really has been a magnificent series, and good on the Poms for taking it to the slightly less than mighty All Blacks!

The Welsh will not be as hopeless as they were last week, so I see it being a little closer at what will be a pretty empty Mbombela stadium. And we cannot blame the cities for poor crowds any more. Too much rugby, expensive tickets, Wales not being a massive draw, TV with coolerbox and braai offering a better experience, very few new faces in the Bok side just make it tough for the venues to compete for our entertainment rands!

Willie le Roux was simply sensational last week though, so hopefully more of the same from him. Perhaps a little more aiming at spaces rather than faces from Jan Serfontein, and the Boks should have far too much in the tank for the coal miners. Seems an opportunity lost with Wynand Olivier on the bench ahead of Sithole or Jordaan, though, but then that is the HM way.

To the weekend then …

Friday 20 June

21h10 – Argentina v Scotland (Estadio Cordoba, Cordoba)

Referee: John Lacey (Ire)

AR’s: Pascal Gauzère (Fra), Lourens van der Merwe (SA)

TMO: Deon van Blommenstein (SA)

Prediction: ARGENTINA to beat Scotland by 3

Superbru community pick: ARGENTINA (56%) to draw with SCOTLAND

OddsChecker: ARGENTINA (3/10) to beat Scotland (10/11)

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Kieran Low, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Grant Gilchrist (c), 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Al Dickinson.

Bench: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Dougie Fife.


Saturday 21 June

07h00 – Japan v Italy (Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo)

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

AR’s: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Prediction: JAPAN to beat Italy by 2

Superbru community pick: ITALY (76%) to beat Japan by 6


07h00 – Australia v France (Allianz Stadium, Sydney)

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

AR’s: Wayne Barnes (England), George Clancy (Ireland)

TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Prediction: AUSTRALIA to beat France by 16

Superbru community pick: AUSTRALIA (92%) to beat France by 8

OddsChecker: AUSTRALIA (2/11) to beat France (5/1)

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.

Bench: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 James Horwill, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Rob Horne.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Hugo Bonneval 10 Remi Tales, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini.

Bench: 16 Christophe Tolofua, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Bernard Le Roux, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Yannick Nyanga, 22 Maxime Machenaud, 23 Remi Lamerat.


09h35 – New Zealand v England (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton)

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)

AR’s: Nigel Owens (Wales), James Leckie (Australia)

TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Prediction: NEW ZEALAND to beat England by 9

Superbru community pick: NEW ZEALAND (90%) to beat England by 8

OddsChecker: NEW ZEALAND (2/9) to beat England (4/1)

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Bench: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Liam Messam, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ryan Crotty

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 David Wilson, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.

Bench: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Luther Burrell.


15h00 – South Africa v Wales (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

AR’s: Romain Poite (France), Francesco Pastrana (Argentina)

TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Prediction: SOUTH AFRICA to beat Wales by 9

Superbru community pick: SOUTH AFRICA (99%) to beat Wales by 14

OddsChecker: SOUTH AFRICA (1/10) to beat Wales (8/1)

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Flip van der Merwe ,3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Bench: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Lwazi Mvovo

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins

Bench: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 James Hook, 23 Matthew Morgan