Friday 22 November 2019

Compiled by Ruaidhri O'Connor

Speight urges caution over residency rules

The murky issue of rugby's residency laws continues to lurk barely beneath the surface as the World Cup nears its end. Australia boast nine players who were born outside the country, from captain Stephen Moore who was born in Dubai and spent part of his childhood in Galway to David Pocock, whose parents left Zimbabwe when he was a child.

Henry Speight is the subject of particular gnashing of teeth. Born in Fiji, the winger qualifies for the Wallabies through residency, having lived in Australia since 2011.

"I see no reason why someone should have that right stripped away if he has proven (himself). In my case, calling Australia home for more than three years and committing to staying in Australia, being willing to put his body on the line for the country," Speight told Sydney's Morning Herald.

Matfield leads Boks on

final appearance

Legendary second-row Victor Matfield will lead South Africa in his final appearance for his country tomorrow night as they go for bronze at the Olympic Stadium.

The 2007 World Cup winner will not wear the Springbok jersey again, but at least gets a chance to say goodbye, unlike the injured Fourie du Preez, who is replaced by Ruan Pienaar for the meeting with Argentina.

The Pumas, meanwhile, include Munster-bound full-back Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino as Daniel Hourcade makes nine changes.

South Africa - W Le Roux; JP Pietersen, J Kriel, D De Allende, B Habana; H Pollard, R Pienaar; T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, F Malherbe; E Etzebeth, V Matfield (capt). F Louw, S Burger, D Vermeulen. Reps: A Strauss, T Nyakane, J du Plessis, L de Jager, W Alberts, R Paige, P Lambie, J Serfontein.

Argentina - L Gonzalez Amorosino; S Cordero, M Moroni, J De La Fuente, H Agulla; N Sanchez (capt), T Cubelli; M Ayerza, J Montoya, R Herrerra; M Alemanno, T Lavanini; J Ortega Desio, JM Fernandez Lobbe, JM Leguizamon. Reps: L Noguera, JP Orlandi, J Figallo, G Petti, F Isa, M Landajo, S Gonzalez Iglesias, JP Socino.

Pichot appointment

adds to Puma power

The rise of Argentinian rugby continues with news that former scrum-half and passionate advocate of the Pumas, Augustin Pichot, has been appointed to World Rugby's executive.

His place at the top table is reward for his work on behalf of South American rugby and should ensure that those aspiring to join rugby's elite have a voice in the corridors of power.

"I am looking forward to playing my full part in promoting and protecting rugby across all nations during my mandate," he said.

Quote of the day

"You have to be crazy and love people to do this job and I'm totally crazy." - Heyneke Meyer on his desire to remain with the Springboks after the World Cup.

Number of the day

1 Both teams competing in tomorrow's Bronze final have finished third in the world once each, South Africa in 1999 and Argentina in 2007

Compiled by Ruaidhri O'Connor

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