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All you need to know for Round 3 of the Summer Nations Series

All you need to know for Round 3 of the Summer Nations Series

All you need to know for Round 3 of the Summer Nations Series

The Summer Nations Series is entering its penultimate weekend of action as teams across both hemispheres continue to tune up ahead of the Rugby World Cup next month.

Who is playing?

The world champions will join the party on Saturday, with South Africa set to face Wales in Cardiff to get the action underway at 3.15pm.

Warren Gatland’s side are coming off the back of two Summer Nations Series contests against England. 

A narrow defeat last week at Twickenham followed up a comfortable victory at Principality Stadium a fortnight ago.

The Springboks arrive in Wales having finished second in the 2023 Rugby Championship, with victories over Australia and Argentina coming either side of a loss to New Zealand.

That match is followed by a double bill of action at 5.30pm, as Italy host Romania while England travel to Grand Slam champions Ireland.

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Italy ran out comfortable 45-13 winners in the same fixture last summer, with the Azzurri crossing the whitewash seven times, and now they will look to return to winning ways against the Oaks following a fruitless 2023 Guinness Six Nations campaign.

In Dublin, Ireland play their second Summer Nations Series match following a 33-17 win against Kieran Crowley’s side two weeks ago.

They face an England team fresh from a hard-fought 19-17 win over Wales last Saturday that saw Steve Borthwick’s side rally well despite being reduced to 12 players at one stage.

The weekend’s action then rounds off in Nantes where France host Fiji at 8.05pm.

The Flying Fijians have had a strong summer so far, beating Tonga, Samoa, and Japan, but they will expect France to be the toughest test of their credentials yet.

The hosts bounced back from opening Summer Nations Series defeat to Scotland by winning the reverse fixture last weekend and will hope to carry on that winning run on Saturday.

What’s the key team news? 

Warren Gatland has named a much-changed side for the visit of world champions South Africa, with Kieran Hardy and Johnny Williams set for their first starts of the Summer Nations Series.

There is also plenty of change up front, with Dan Lydiate the only forward named in the starting XV who started at Twickenham.

Ange Capuozzo returns for Italy having missed the defeat to Ireland, while Alessandro Garbisi is in at scrum-half to play alongside brother Paolo, who is at fly-half. Captain Michele Lamaro also returns to the forwards. 

Eugen Apjok has made 11 changes to the side that fell to a 56-6 defeat to Georgia in Tbilisi. Cristi Chirica will captain the side for the first time since November 2021.

Steve Borthwick has made six changes to his side ahead of England’s visit to Ireland, with George Ford set for his first Test start since 2021 in place of Owen Farrell.

Courtney Lawes will lead the side while Ellis Genge comes into the pack alongside David Ribbans and there is a first start of the summer for Manu Tuilagi.

For Ireland, Ross Byrne has got the nod at fly-half ahead of Jack Crowley while James Ryan will lead the side. 

Fabien Galthié has kept just two of the starters from last weekend’s victory over Scotland, with La Rochelle duo Jonathan Danty and Grégory Alldritt the duo retained.

They will be important familiar faces for clubmate Antoine Hastoy, who steps into the No.10 jersey for just his fourth cap after Romain Ntamack was ruled out of the Rugby World Cup due to injury this week. 

Fijian winger Vinaya Habosi looks set to return to the starting XV for his first international minutes this year. 

Centre Semi Radradra will captain Simon Raiwalui’s side.

Where can I watch/listen?

Viewers in the UK can watch all the action on Amazon Prime, while Ireland v England is live on RTÉ 2/ Live radio coverage from Dublin is also available on RTÉ and Talksport.

French viewers can catch the action on TF1, while Sky Italia is the place to go in Italy.

Where to watch and listen to the Summer Nations Series around the world 

And if you are watching in the USA, Flo Rugby is the place to catch all the action.

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