The squads have been announced for a busy schedule of November Internationals in 2012. The Southern Hemisphere teams of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga have embarked on their annual End of Year tours. There will also be matches played by Uruguay, Portugal, Chile, Romania, Japan, Georgia, Canada, USA and Russia. Non test teams, the Ireland XV, France Barbarians, a Basque Selection, Gloucester and the Maori All Blacks will also play against international teams.
The 2012 November tests take on extra importance due to the seeding for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Following the November Internationals the seeding for the next World Cup will be confirmed. The seeding is based on the IRB World Rankings. The top four ranked teams are siphoned into the four pools, along with a team ranked four to eight. This makes the race to be ranked in the top four or top eight pivotal. The team ranked ninth will have to be in a pool with two top tier teams.
You can find most of the squad announcements for the November internationals below, click the shortcut link to go straight to the team. To go straight to the End of Year Tour fixtures, click the shortcut here.
|Northern Hemisphere Teams|
|Southern Hemisphere Teams|
Argentina Los Pumas
Looking to cement their top tier status on the back of their inaugural Rugby Championship, Argentina will play Wales, France and Ireland on their End of Year Tour. Despite being unable to secure a victory in the tournament, the Pumas impressed with the competitiveness of their matches. Since the Rugby Championship, Argentina have lost Rodrigo Roncero to retirement and Martin Rodriguez to injury.
Argentina currently sits precariously in the top eight. However, with all three of their November tests against teams above them, they have the potential to make some serious inroads up the world rankings.
Los Pumas Squad:
Forwards: Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon, captain), Leonardo Senatore (Gimnasia Rosario), Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Lyon), Tomas Leonardi (SIC), Julio Farias Cabello (Tucuman), Tomas de la Vega (CUBA), Patricio Albacete (Toulouse), Manuel Carizza (Jockey Club Rosario), Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers), Agustin Creevy (Montpellier), Juan Figallo (Montpellier), Eusebio Guinazu (unaffiliated), Bruno Postiglioni (La Plata), Francisco Gomez Codela (Biarritz)
Backs: Joaquin Tuculet (Grenoble), Santiago Cordero (Regatas Bella Vista), Horacio Agulla (Bath), Juan Jose Imhoff (Racing Metro), Manuel Montero (Pucara), Gonzalo Camacho (Exeter), Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz), Gonzalo Tiesi (SIC), Juan Martin Hernandez (Racing Metro), Nicolas Sanchez (Bordeaux-Begles), Nicolas Vergallo (Toulouse), Martin Landajo (CASI), Tomas Cubelli (Belgrano Athletic)
The Wallabies rugby team welcomes back a number of injured veterans for their 2012 End of Year Tour. David Pocock and Stephen Moore have been named to tour, although it remains to be seen whether they will be fit to play in the first test against France on Saturday, November 10. Captain James Horwill, however, remains on the injured list. Stand-in Nathan Sharpe has agreed to go another round, delaying his retirement once again to play one more tour.
Scott Higginbotham has paid the price for his reckless targeting of All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw in Brisbane. The resulting two week suspension effectively ruled him out of the touring squad.
Australia play matches against France, England, Italy and Wales on this tour, and will have a close eye on the world rankings. Seeding for the 2015 Rugby World Cup will be determine following the November Internationals.
Forwards: Benn Robinson, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Ben Alexander, Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Stephen Moore, James Hanson, Nathan Sharpe (captain), Sitaleki Timani, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Dave Dennis, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Liam Gill, Wycliff Palu, Radike Samo.
Backs: Nick Phipps, Brett Sheehan, Kurtley Beale, Berrick Barnes, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Digby Ioane, Nick Cummins, Drew Mitchell, Mike Harris.
England faces a tough November International series. They open their series against Fiji, and then go onto play the top three ranked teams in the world, Wallabies, Springboks and All Blacks, in successive weeks. It’s a tough schedule for a team precariously holding onto the fourth ranked spot. Any loss could see them drop from the coveted top four position.
The selection of new cap Mako Vunipola has caused some criticism from Fiji coach Inoke Male, accusing England and other countries of poaching Island players. Mako Vunipola is a New Zealand-born prop and currently plays for the Saracens prop. He is the son of former Tongan international Fe’ao Vunipola.
Flanker Chris Robshaw will continue to captain the England team.
Since the announcement England have also added Gloucester players Billy Twelvetrees and Freddie Burns.
Forwards: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Dan Cole (Leicester), Phil Dowson (Northampton),
Dylan Hartley (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), Tom Johnson (Exeter), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Tom Palmer (Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester), David Wilson (Bath), Tom Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester).
Backs: Anthony Allen (Leicester), Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester),
Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester).
Fiji have named their 30 man squad for their end of year tour matches against England, Gloucester, an Ireland XV and Georgia. In what could be a grueling tour, Fiji have also named a number of non travelling reserves, should injury arise. These include Vesi Rarawa, Campese Ma’afu, Waqabaca Kotobalavu, Sireli Naqelevuki and Aisea Natoga. Fiji’s match against Gloucester is only two days after the England test. They are yet to name a team captain, but according to coach Inoke Male, the choice is likely to come from veterans Leone Nakarawa, Setefano Somoca or Deacon Manu. The team includes 16 uncapped players.
Fiji are currently ranked 14th on the IRB World rankings. Their final match will be against Georgia, wo are one place behind them at 15th.
Setefano Somoca, Deacon Manu, Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Manasa Saulo, Seremaia Naureure, Viliame Veikoso, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Leone Nakarawa, Apisai Naikatini, Sokonaia Kalou, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Iliesa Ratuva, Malakai Volau, Malakai Ravulo, Jone Qovu, Jovili Domolailai, Nemani Nagusa, Nikola Matawalu, Nemia Kenatale, Metuisela Talebula, Jonetani Ralulu, Josh Matavesi, Kelemedi Bola, Vereniki Goneva, Josaia Lotawa, Ravai Fatiaki, Samu Wara, Watisoni Votu, Waisea Nayacalevu, Simeli Koniferedi.
France coach Philippe Saint-Andre named a 33 man squad ahead of his team’s November Internationals. Thierry Dusautoir was originally named to captain the team. However, he has been ruled out of at least two of the matches with a knee injury. Veteran lock and vice captain Pascal Pape is likely to lead in his absence. Since the initial squad naming, France then called up Alexandre Lapandry to replace injured flanker Wenceslas Lauret and Jean Marc Doussain to cover for injured scrum-half Morgan Parra.The squad originally included the promising Toulouse centre Gaël Fickou, who is only 18 years old. However, the squad was then trimmed to 23 players.
Currently ranked fifth, France will have their eyes set on a top four position. Their schedule includes matches against Australia, Argentina and Samoa.
Forwards: Thomas Domingo (Clermont), Yannick Forestier (Castres), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing-Metro), Vincent Debaty (Clermont), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse, Pascal Pape (capt, Stade Francais), Jocelino Suta (Toulon), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse)
Backs: Maxime Machenaud (Racing-Metro), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Frederic Michalak (Toulon), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse), Brice Dulin (Castres), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Florian Fritz (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon)
The Ireland squad originally named to contest the November internationals has since had a number of high profile injury withdrawals. The most significant withdrawal is that of captain Brian O’Driscoll. Hooker Rory Best will also miss all three games. The squad has four uncapped players, Luke Marshall, Iain Henderson, David Kilcoyne and Richardt Strauss. South African-born hooker Strauss has just completed his Ireland residency requirements. Against South Africa Ireland will showcase their new black alternative playing strip. The jerseys black on the front, back and sleeves, with some green lining.
Ireland will host matches against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina. Currently ranked 7th will need three good performances to stay in the top 8.
Rory Best (Ulster), Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Darren Cave (Ulster), Tom Court (Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Chris Henry (Ulster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), John Muldoon (Connacht), Conor Murray (Munster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster – Captain), Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster).
Two new caps have been named in the 30 man Italy squad announced by coach Jacques Brunel. Those two new caps are Benetton Treviso players Francesco Minto and Tommaso Iannone. Italy’s schedule consists of matches against Tonga, New Zealand and Australia. Their match against Tonga will be of extra importance, with Italy ranked just one place above them, at 11th. However, good performances could see Italy overtake Samoa, who are only 0.2 points ahead of them.
Forwards: Robert Barbieri, Mauro Bergamasco, Martin Castrogiovanni, Lorenzo Cittadini, Alberto De Marchi, Paul Derbyshire, Simone Favaro, Joshua Furno, Quintin Geldenhuys, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Davide Giazzon, Andrea Lo Cicero, Francesco Minto, Sergio Parisse, Antonio Pavanello, Michele Rizzo, Alessandro Zanni.
Backs: Tommaso Benvenuti, Mirco Bergamasco, Tobias Botes, Kristopher Burton, Gonzalo Canale, Edoardo Gori, Tommaso Iannone, Andrea Masi, Luke McLean, Luca Morisi, Luciano Orquera, Alberto Sgarbi, Giovanbattista Venditti.
Click here for a full preview of New Zealand’s End of Year Tour Squad.
All Blacks Squad:
Forwards: Keven Mealamu, Andrew Hore, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Wyatt Crockett, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Ali Williams, Richie McCaw (captain), Sam Cane, Kieran Read, Liam Messam, Victor Vito, Adam Thomson.
Backs: Aaron Smith, Piri Weepu, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Dan Carter, Aaron Cruden, Beauden Barrett, Ma’a Nonu, Tamati Ellison, Conrad Smith, Ben Smith, Cory Jane, Hosea Gear, Julian Savea, Israel Dagg.
The 29 man Samoa squad contains six players looking to make their test debut. The new caps are Filo Paulo, Setaimata Sa, Robert Lilomaiava, Tivani Foma’i, Viliamu Afatia and Auvasa Faleali’I. However, Sa has played rugby league for New Zealand and Lilomaiava has played sevens for Samoa. The team will be captained by winger David Lemi.
Samoa’s schedule includes matches against Canada, Wales and France. They are currently tenth on the IRB World Rankings.
Sakaria Taulafo, Logovi’i Mulipola, Census Johnston, Viliamu Afatia, Ti’i Paulo, Ole Avei, Daniel Leo, Fa’atiga Lemalu, Joe Tekori, Filo Paulo, Taiasina Tuifu’a, Ofisa Treviranus, Maurie Fa’asavalu, Tivani Foma’I, Kane Thompson, Kahn Fotuali’i, Jeremy Su’a, Auvasa Faleali’i, Tusi Pisi, Ki Anufe, Setaimata Sa, Seilala Mapusua, Paul Williams, Robert Lilomaiava, David Lemi (captain), Reupenna Levasa, Paul Perez, Fa’atoina Autagavaia, Alesana Tuilagi, one to be added.
A 34 man Scotland squad has been named to play a tough round of matches against New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga. The squad includes seven players looking to make their test debuts, Henry Pyrgos, Alex Dunbar, Grant Gilchrist, Stuart McInally, Peter Horne, Peter Murchie and Tommy Seymour. The team will be captained by flanker Kelly Brown, who takes over from hooker Ross Ford.
Scotland are currently ranked ninth, so an upset over New Zealand or South Africa, and victory of Tonga could see them sneak into the top eight.
Mike Blair (Brive),Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne and Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones, Greig Laidlaw (both Edinburgh), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (both Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Edinburgh), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford and Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (London Irish), Stuart McInally and Ross Rennie (both Edinburgh), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Kyle Traynor (Bristol).
Tonga manager Dr Viliami Fukofuka has named a 35 man squad to play a grueling series of November tests. Tonga will play Italy, the Newcastle club team, the USA Eagles and Scotland. The game against the USA will be at Colwyn Bay, Wales, while the match against Newcastle will be at Kingston Park in England.
Tonga are ranked 12th on the IRB World Rankings, just one place behind Italy. However, they will need to accrue nearly two points to be able to overtake them.
Forwards: Sona Taumalolo, Soane Tonga’uiha, Alani’Aulika, Tevita Mailau, Taufa’ao Filise, Elevisi Taione, Ilaisa Ma’asi, Aleki Lutui, S. Sakalia, Joe Tu’ineau, Joshua Afu, Sione Timani, Tukulua Lokotui, Samisoni Fifita Masima, Hale T-Pole, Sitiveni Mafi, Nili Latu, Sione Vaiomo’unga, Paula Kaho, Viliami Ma’afu, Uamano Fono.
Backs: Taniela Moa, Samisoni Fisilau, Fangatapu ‘Apikotoa, Adney Mosese Uasila’a, Sione Piukala, Sukanaivalu Hufanga, Hudson Tonga’uiha, Viliami Helu, Viliami ‘Iongi, Mateo Malupo, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Vunga Koto Lilo, Sitaleki Lu’au, ‘Apakuki Ma’afu.
South Africa Springboks
The injury plagued Springbok team has ushered in five uncapped players for their 2012 End of Year Tour. These players include teenage winger Raymond Rhule, utility Lionel Mapoe, halfback Jano Vermaak, loose forward Arno Botha and lock Franco van der Merwe. Unavailable South Africa stalwarts include Francois Steyn, Johan Goosen, Bismarck du Plessis, Schalk Burger and Pierre Spies. Former Springboks currently plying their trade in Europe have also been placed on standby should more injuries arise. The Springboks November tests include matches against Ireland, Scotland and England.
South Africa are currently ranked number three on the IRB rankings.
Forwards: Willem Alberts, Arno Botha, Schalk Brits, Pat Cilliers, Marcell Coetzee, Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, CJ van der Linde, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Gurthro Steenkamp, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen
Backs: Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (capt), Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Pienaar, JP Pietersen, Raymond Rhule, Morne Steyn, Jaco Taute, Jano Vermaak
Only one new cap, Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis, has broken into the 35-man Wales squad to play matches against Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand. Inside centre Jamie Roberts makes a welcome return to the team, having missed their recent down under. Wales is being coached by assistant Rob Howley while Warren Gatland prepares for next year’s Lions tour, although Gatland may return to assist in the buildup to the New Zealand match.
Since the squad announcement, pivotal prop Adam Jones has been ruled out through injury and there is a cloud over stalwart number 8 Ryan Jones.
Wales are currently ranked sixth, but less than a point separates them and England and France above them.
Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon),
Adam Jones (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain).
Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Scarlets), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).
2012 November Internationals / End of Year Tour Fixtures:
Saturday, November 10
Italy v Tonga at Stadio Mario Rigamonti, Brescia
England v Fiji at Twickenham Stadium, London
Ireland v South Africa at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Wales v Argentina at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Romania v Japan in Bucharest
France v Australia at Stade de France, Paris
Sunday, November 11
Scotland v New Zealand at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Uruguay v Portugal in Montevideo
Tuesday, November 13
Gloucester v Fiji at Kingsholm, Gloucester
Newcastle v Tonga at Kingston Park, Newcastle
Friday, November 16
Wales v Samoa at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday, November 17
Italy v New Zealand at Stadio Olimpico, Rome
England v Australia at Twickenham Stadium, London
Ireland XV v Fiji at Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick
Scotland v South Africa at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Canada v Russia at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Wales
Tonga v USA at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Wales
Georgia v Japan in Tbilisi, Georgia
France v Argentina at Grand Stade Lille Métropole, Lille
Chile v Portugal in Santiago, Chile
Wednesday, November 21
Basque Selection v Japan at Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastian, Spain
Friday, November 23
Canada v Maori All Blacks at Iffley Road, Oxford, England
Saturday, November 24
Italy v Australia at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
England v South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, London
Ireland v Argentina at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Wales v New Zealand at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Scotland v Tonga at Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Georgia v Fiji in Tbilisi, Georgia
France v Samoa at Stade de France, Paris
Sunday, November 25
France Barbarians v Japan at Stadium Oceane, Le Havre
Saturday December 1
England v New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium, London
Wales v Australia at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff