Rugby score predictions and teams for Saturday 2 July 2022

Rugby score predictions and teams for Saturday 2 July 2022

International rugby is back with a bang as all eyes fall on the Southern Hemisphere for a set of five mouthwatering fixtures.

Enemies collide in Perth as Australia meet England, right after New Zealand host Ireland at Eden Park and Japan test their mettle at home to dangerous France.

South Africa’s World Cup-winning Springboks have a full house to look forward to at long last in Pretoria as Wales visit, before Scotland kick off their tour to Argentina.

Japan vs France

France kick off the build up to their home Rugby World Cup in 2023 with a match against 2019 hosts Japan on Saturday.

Thomas Jolmes and Yoan Tanga both make test debuts in the pack for coach Fabien Galthie, who is also able to welcome back Charles Ollivon as captain for Les Bleus.

Brave Blossoms coach Jamie Joseph has seen his side ravaged by a Covid-19 outbreak, leaving Takuya Yamasawa, Naoto Saito, Shota Horie and Ryuji Noguchi among those missing out against the Six Nations champions.

Japan Starting XV: 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Dylan Riley, 12 Shogo Nakano, 11 Siosaia Fifita, 10 Seungshin Lee, 9 Kaito Shigeno, 8 Tevita Tatafu, 7 Ben Gunter, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Jack Cornelsen, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Asaeli Ai Valu, 2 Atsushi Sakate (captain), 1 Keita Inagaki.

Replacements: 16 Daigo Hashimoto, 17 Yukio Morikawa, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Warner Dearns, 20 Faulua Makisi, 21 Daiki Nakajima, 22 Shane Gates, 23 Taichi Takahashi.

France Starting XV: 15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Yoram Moefana, 11 Mattis Lebel, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Yoan Tanga, 7 Dylan Cretin, 6 Charles Ollivon (captain), 5 Thomas Jolmes, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros.

Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Thomas Lavault, 20 Selevasio Tolofua, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Baptiste Couilloud, 23 Antoine Hastoy.

New Zealand vs Ireland

New Zealand and Ireland meet for the first of their heavy duty clashes at the iconic Eden Park on Saturday.

Three wise old heads in Aaron Smith, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are surviving members from the last time these two met in Auckland a decade ago, while Leicester Fainga’anuku brings in the new for the All Blacks on debut.

The experienced tourists are led by their unmovable captain Johnny Sexton, with the likes of Tadhg Furlong, Peter O’Mahony and Robbie Henshaw studding the spine of the team.

New Zealand Starting XV: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Samual Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower.

Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Pita Gus Sowakula, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Braydon Ennor.

Ireland Starting XV: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson Park, 8 Caelan Dorris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter.

Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Finlay Bealham, 18 Cian Healy, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Bundee Aki.

Australia vs England

Enemies collide in Perth on Saturday, as Australia and England renew test rugby hostilities Down Under.

It’s a series laced with the customary intrigue as the next World Cup hones into view, not least the continued presence of Aussie Eddie Jones as coach of the Red Rose.

David Porecki and 33-year-old Cadeyrn Neville both make debuts in the home pack for the series opener, while there are also fresh legs for coach Dave Rennie in the form of young wing Andrew Kellaway.

Veteran scrum-half Danny Care makes his first international appearance after nearly four years in the wilderness, with Owen Farrell also making his comeback at inside centre as rookie Marcus Smith takes the 10 jersey.

Australia Starting XV: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick White, 8 Rob Valentini, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rob Leota, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 James Slipper, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Jordan Petaia.

England Starting XV: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Joe Cokanasiga, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes (Captain), 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Jack van Poortlviet, 22 Guy Porter, 23 Henry Arundell.

South Africa vs Wales

Rugby World Cup winners South Africa will play to a full house on home soil for the first time since lifting the trophy in 2019, with Wales the visitors to Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

It’s a mighty strong Springbok side that will stride out in Pretoria, with the likes of United Rugby Championship winner Steven Kitshoff and Willie le Roux biding their time among the replacements.

The visitors have George North back in the frame for the first time in well over a year, while captain Dan Biggar is one of several players returning to South Africa a year on from their British & Irish Lions series loss.

South Africa Starting XV: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nché.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Albertus Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux.

Wales Starting XV: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar (captain), 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Owen Watkin.

Argentina vs Scotland

Argentina and Scotland wrap up Saturday’s international rugby action when they meet in San Salvador.

The hosts have veteran Agustin Creevy back in the squad, called up by Australian coach Micharl Cheika ahead of his first test in charge, with fellow front row Mayco Vivas also finding a berth in the Los Pumas squad.

Gregor Townsend has named Grant Gilchrist as his captain for the first time in South America, while Luke Crosbie makes his first international start.

Argentina Starting XV: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago Carreras, 23 Matias Moroni.

Scotland Starting XV: 15 Rory Hutchinson, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Blair Kinghorn, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Luke Crosbie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Rory Darge, 21 Ben White, 22 Ross Thompson, 23 Sione Tuipulotu.

Predictions for this weekend’s international rugby fixtures

Chance of winning (%)Points margin
Japan14,4
France85,615
Chance of winning (%)Points margin
New Zealand84,314
Ireland15,7
Chance of winning (%)Points margin
Australia57,73
England42,3
Chance of winning (%)Points margin
Springboks90,719
Wales9,3
Chance of winning (%)Points margin
Argentina58,23
Scotland41,8