Autumn Nations Series Week 3: Everything you need to know for this weekend’s rugby

Sports

The Autumn Nations Series certainly delivered over the weekend, with gripping contests played out in Dublin, Paris and London.

And did the All Blacks finally turn the corner of their topsy-turvy season in a runaway victory over Wales in Cardiff?

Perhaps Scotland can halt New Zealand’s mini resurgence this weekend in Edinburgh?

Read on for all the line-ups and key team news as it comes to hand, plus our match previews and odds.

Ireland vs. Fiji | Italy vs. Australia | England vs. Japan | Wales vs. Argentina | France vs. South Africa | Scotland vs. New Zealand

Saturday, November 12

Ireland vs. Fiji, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 1pm GMT [12am Sun, AEDT]

Ireland: Jimmy O’Brien, Robert Baloucoune, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart McCloskey, Mack Hansen, Joey Carbery, Jamison Gibson Park, Jeremy Loughman, Rob Herring, Tadhg Furlong, Kieran Treadwell, Tadhg Beirne, Caelan Doris, Nick Timoney, Jack Conan. Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Tom O’Toole, Cian Prendergast, Max Deegan, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Garry Ringrose.

Fiji:

Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only] N/A

Preview: Ireland made nine changes to the side that beat South Africa last weekend for Saturday’s visit of Fiji, with centre Robbie Henshaw fit again, Jeremy Loughman handed a debut and fellow prop Tadhg Furlong captaining the side for the first time.

With their final November Test against Australia next week, coach Andy Farrell was always likely to make wholesale changes but still named a team with plenty of experience and players likely headed to next year’s World Cup.

After an injury ruled Henshaw out the day before the 19-16 win over South Africa, the Leinster man gets a run out ahead of the Wallabies test and will partner Stuart McCloskey, whose impressive start last week was cut short by a first half knock.

Jimmy O’Brien, who made an assured debut off the bench in place of McCloskey in Saturday’s bruising encounter, makes his first start at fullback while Leinster teammate Joey Carbery comes in at fly-half with Johnny Sexton rested.

The sole debut goes to Munster loosehead Loughman, who was called up to last year’s Six Nations squad and travelled on the recent tour to New Zealand. Ulster’s Kieran Treadwell and Nick Timoney are also given the chance to impress in an otherwise well seasoned pack.

Italy vs. Australia, Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, 2pm [1pm GMT; 12am Sun AEDT]

Italy: Ange Capuozzo, Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Montanna Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney, Lorenzo Cannone, Michele Lamaro (captain), Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza, Niccolo Cannone, Simone Ferrari, Giacomo Nicotera, Danilo Fischetti. Replacements: Giacomo Nicotera, Ivan Nemer, Pietro Ceccarelli, David Sisi, Toa Halafihi, Alessandro Garbisi, Tommaso Allan, Tommaso Menoncello.

Australia: Jock Campbell, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Tom Wright, Noah Lolesio, Jake Gordon, Pete Samu, Fraser McReight, Ned Hanigan, Will Skelton, Nick Frost, Allan Alaalatoa (captain), Folau Fainga’a, Matt Gibbon. Replacements: Lachlan Lonergan, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Darcy Swain, Langi Gleeson, Tate McDermott, Ben Donaldson, Jordan Petaia

Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only] Italy $5.70, +16.5 $1.85; Australia $1.12, -16.5 $1.90

Preview: Allan Alaalatoa will captain Australia in their Test against Italy in Florence on Saturday as coach Dave Rennie on Thursday made 11 changes to his starting lineup for the third test of their European tour.

Alaalatoa was injured for last weekend’s one-point loss to France in Paris but returns in a heavily altered team as several Wallaby regulars are given a rest after the Tests against Scotland and France over the last fortnight.

“Allan’s a great man and an exceptional leader. There was a massive roar in the team room when he was named captain this week and that shows the respect and standing he has within the group,” Rennie said.

Mark Nawaqanitawase will win his first cap on the right wing, while Noah Lolesio returns at flyhalf, having lost his place to veteran Bernard Foley during the Rugby Championship in September.

Lolesio will combine with scrumhalf Jake Gordon with Hunter Paisami the other change in the backline, having come on early against France last Saturday when Lalakai Foketi was injured.

Meanwhile, Italy return experienced loose forward Sebastian Negri and fullback Ange Capuozzo to their lineup.

There are three changes from last week’s win over Samoa with French-based Capuozzo taking over from Tommaso Allan with Negri in for Manuel Zuliani on the side of the scrum. Niccolo Cannone replaces David Sisi in the second row in the other change for the Test in Florence.

England vs. Japan, Twickenham, London, 3:15pm GMT [2.15am Sun AEDT]

England: Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet, Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, David Ribbans, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Tom Curry, Sam Simmonds. Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Alex Coles, Billy Vunipola, Ben Youngs, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi.

Japan:

Odds: [tab.com.au, Aus only] N/A

Preview: England boss Eddie Jones has shaken up the side that suffered defeat at the hands of Argentina last weekend, with five changes made for this weekend’s clash with Japan.

Leicester’s Guy Porter getting the nod at outside centre while Northampton lock David Ribbans will make his Test debut. Jones is starting Jack van Poortvliet at scrum-half while Sam Simmonds is in at No.8 and Jonny May returns on the wing.

The partnership of Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell at fly-half and centre will continue, while Manu Tuilagi, Billy Vunipola and Joe Cokanasiga move to the bench.

“We’ve worked hard this week to improve on last week’s performance,” Jones said. “We’ve taken a good look at our preparation and we are happy with our position going into the game.

Wales vs. Argentina, Principality Stadium, Cardiff, 5.30pm GMT [4.30am AEDT]

Wales:

Argentina:

Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only] Wales $1.80, -1.5 $1.95; Argentina $1.95, +1.5 $1.80

Preview:

France vs. South Africa, Stade Velodrome, Marseille, 9pm [8pm GMT; 7am AEDT]

France: Thomas Ramos, Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Yoram Moefana, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont, Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Anthony Jelonch, Thibaud Flament, Cameron Woki, Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille. Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Bastien Chalureau, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Matthieu Jalibert.

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willemse, Faf de Klerk, Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche. Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Marvin Orie, Kwagga Smith, Cobus Reinach, Manie Libbok, Makazole Mapimpi.

Odds: [tab.com.au Aus only] France $1.48, -4.5 $1.87; South Africa $2.55, +4.5 $1.87

Preview: South Africa have recalled the experienced duo of fullback Willie le Roux and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk for their autumn international against France in Marseille on Saturday, while they have also added some goal-kicking insurance on the bench.

Le Roux comes into the side in the No.15 jersey, with Cheslin Kolbe moving to the wing in the place of Makazole Mapimpi, and De Klerk taking over from Jaden Hendrikse.

“We opted to make a few tactical personnel changes for the challenge that we expect France to pose,” Nienaber said.

“We know what each of the players in this squad can do, and we thought these combinations fit this specific game.”

Sunday, November 13

Scotland vs. New Zealand, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, 2.15pm GMT [1.15am Mon, AEDT]

Scotland:

New Zealand:

Odds: [tab.com.au Australia only] Scotland $5.70, +14.5 1.90; New Zealand $1.12, -14.5 $1.85

Preview:

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