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Steve Hansen says beating South Africa on Saturday would be a tonic for New Zealand but he does not anticipate the outcome having any bearing on their Rugby World Cup showdown in September.

The All Blacks started the defence of their Rugby Championship title with a narrow victory over Argentina last weekend, while the Springboks were too good for Australia.

Both victories were secured with understrength sides but rested players are set to return for a showdown at Westpac Stadium, where South Africa triumphed 36-34 in last year's competition.

New Zealand head coach Hansen is relishing the encounter in Wellington but says it will not have an impact on their World Cup Pool B blockbuster in Yokohama on September 21.

"The tradition is really important. We enjoy their company, we think a lot of them, we respect them very much," said Hansen. 

"We love the way they play and we love the challenge they bring to us. From that point of view, it is a really important encounter. It's the next one so it's obviously really, really important.

"In the big scheme of this year does the result matter? I guess it gives whoever wins it a little bit of confidence going into the World Cup. It won't mean whoever wins this one will automatically win the one in the World Cup.

"Even then whoever wins that game doesn't mean the other team is knocked out of the World Cup either because it is the round-robin stage and you'd expect both teams to go through and qualify.

"In the big scheme it gives everybody an opportunity to have a look at each other and feel each other out but I don't think it's going to affect the World Cup."

Uncapped centre Joe Marchant has been included in a 38-man England squad for a 12-day training camp, but Danny Cipriani will not be involved in Treviso.

The Harlequins player flew out for warm-weather on Monday with the rest of the group for training two months before the Rugby World Cup starts in Japan.

It will be Marchant's first experience with the senior squad, while full-back Ruaridh McConnochie is another uncapped player to be selected by Eddie Jones.

Sam Underhill and Anthony Watson will be on the trip after spending last week undergoing strength and conditioning, having been sidelined by long-term injuries.

Joe Marler is also included after reversing his decision to retire from international rugby, however Gloucester fly-half Cipriani has failed to make the cut.

England head coach Jones said: "Treviso is a hard yards camp with conditions similar to Tokyo. Team training will be about being adaptable and off the field enjoying each other's company."

He added: "Selection is absolutely challenging, we have left some good players doing work at their clubs and they must be ready if called up."

England training squad:

Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Joe Marler, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Harry Williams, Mark Wilson.

Backs: Mike Brown, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Piers Francis, Willi Heinz, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ben Spencer, Ben Te’o, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

South Africa have named a strong 36-man touring squad for the Rugby Championship matches against New Zealand and Argentina after fielding an under-strength side for the win over Australia.

The Springboks beat the Wallabies 35-17 on Saturday despite Rassie Erasmus leaving out a string of key men at Ellis Park.

Director of rugby Erasmus' decision to make changes did not backfire, as scrum-half Herschel Jantjies scored two tries in an impressive debut.

Erasmus flew out to New Zealand soon after the victory along with his coaching staff and eight players - including the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Fourteen Springboks had already departed two days before the win over Australia to gear up for a showdown with New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

Francois Louw, Marcell Coetzee, Tendai Mtawarira and Schalk Brits are among another 10 who will board the plane on Sunday.

South Africa take on Argentina in Salta on August 10 after doing battle with the world champions.

 

South Africa squad:

Forwards: Schalk Brits, Marcell Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Rynhardt Elstadt, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Franco Mostert, Trevor Nyakane, Marvin Orie, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Duane Vermeulen.

Backs: Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Faf de Klerk, Andre Esterhuizen, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Willie le Roux, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Frans Steyn.

 

 

Steve Hansen said New Zealand's hard-fought Rugby Championship win over Argentina gives them "a little bit more money in the bank" having triumphed without so many key men.

Captain Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock, Owen Franks, Joe Moody and Codie Taylor were among the All Blacks to be rested for their opening game of the tournament on Saturday.

The understrength world champions had to dig deep to edge a 20-16 victory over the Pumas, secured courtesy of tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick, along with 10 points from the boot of Beauden Barrett.

Head coach Hansen was relieved that his selection gamble paid off ahead of a showdown with South Africa in Wellington next Saturday.

"If you look at the Crusaders not being here [in Buenos Aires] It's a minimum of probably 400 Test caps, but we knew that," Hansen said.

"That's why we talked earlier in the week about risk and reward."

Hansen added: "At times we were rusty, but we did a lot of good things.

"One of the greatest things we did was at the end with all the young fellows on we showed a lot of mental fortitude. So really pleased with that.

"To get away with the win is a little bit more money in the bank."

New Zealand found it "bloody tough" to get the job done against Argentina, number eight Ardie Savea admitted.

The All Blacks came out on top 20-16 in Buenos Aires as they began their Rugby Championship campaign on a winning note.

But after first-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick, and 10 points from the boot of Beauden Barrett, New Zealand were kept scoreless in the second half.

They were clinging on at the end, and Savea agreed when asked if it felt like a "war" against the Pumas.

Savea told SKY Sport NZ: "It was, mate. It was bloody tough out there.

"The Argentinian players came out firing and just kept coming at us the full 80 minutes. I’m just proud of the boys for sticking in there.

"We just talked about the next moment and dominating the next moment, so when we made mistakes we'd just connect and talk about the the next moment and how we could dominate that, and hopefully gain momentum."

New Zealand will regroup for next weekend's home game against South Africa, and look to work out how Argentina caused them so many difficulties.

"They bought a bit of line speed on our attack and they put our skills under pressure," Savea said.

"And at times their pressure worked. We'll learn from that hopefully."

New Zealand fended off an impressive Argentina side 20-16 in Buenos Aires to secure a winning start to their Rugby Championship campaign.

After South Africa's earlier resounding victory over Australia, this was a match of a different nature and the All Blacks were clinging on at the end for their success on Saturday.

First-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick looked to have put the visitors in control, but New Zealand went scoreless in the second 40 minutes.

Emiliano Boffelli pulled a try back and, come the closing stages, Argentina were camped close to the New Zealand line.

However, they could not find the second try they required to earn what would have been Argentina's first victory over world champions the All Blacks in 33 attempts.

This clash followed the Jaguares' stunning run to the Super Rugby final, where they fell to New Zealand outfit the Crusaders.

Argentina's starting line-up includes 13 Jaguares players and head coach Mario Ledesma hoped they could deliver a major upset.

A pair of early penalties, the first from Nicolas Sanchez and the second a long-range kick from Boffelli, gave Argentina a 6-0 lead inside six minutes.

Argentina were behind, though, after Laumape breached their defences in the 17th minute and Beauden Barrett booted the conversion.

Sanchez and Barrett traded penalties in quick succession before the latter added his second three-pointer, and Retallick seized on a loose pass to run clear for a crucial try prior to half-time.

Barrett added the two points again, but surprisingly New Zealand would make no further contribution to the scoresheet – the All Blacks failing to score in the second half of A test for the first time since 2011.

New Zealand still achieved a 450th international win but not without a scare.

A fine kick from Sanchez created the chance for Boffelli to dot down in the 47th minute. Sanchez added the conversion and Argentina, largely camped in New Zealand's half, were within a try with over half an hour left on the clock.

Sanchez missed a penalty that could have made it closer still as the Pumas pushed hard to break down New Zealand, being defied at the death when they forced two lineouts close to the try line but could get over from neither.

Australia captain Michael Hooper acknowledged the Wallabies have "a lot to look at" after their heavy defeat to South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

Inspired by debutant Herschel Jantjies in Johannesburg on Saturday, South Africa cruised to a 35-17 win at Ellis Park.

South Africa capitalised on Taniela Tupou's's yellow card to run away with the game in the second half, though it was a much closer encounter prior to the interval.

Indeed, had Dane Haylett-Petty - who scored Australia's first try - taken a great chance just after the half hour, the Wallabies would likely have lead at the break.

And though Hooper was happy with Australia's attacking performance in the first half, he conceded they must learn their lessons from the defeat, with New Zealand and Argentina still to come before the World Cup in Japan.

"South Africa controlled the second half so well," Hooper said.

"We had a few opportunities in the first half which would have created a different picture but pat on the back to the South African team who controlled the ball and took advantage of the yellow card and took the match away.

"Our attack in the first half was world-class. We showed a lot of different pictures but the reality is those things didn't happen and we were left with them doubling our points. There's a lot to look at."

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus, however, was not pleased with how his side performed despite the convincing victory.

"A few guys certainly put their hands up for World Cup selection, but from a team performance perspective, this isn't how we want to play," he said.

Herschel Jantjies starred with two tries on his South Africa debut as the Springboks overcame Australia 35-17 in the Rugby Championship opener in Johannesburg.

South Africa's stand-in captain Eben Etzebeth lauded the 23-year-old in the build-up to Saturday's encounter, and the scrum-half put in an inspired display at Ellis Park.

Having opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Jantjies played a crucial role in South Africa's second try from Lood De Jager before capping his stirring display with another five-pointer just after the hour.

Dane Haylett-Petty got on the board for Australia, although he missed a golden chance to put the Wallabies in front heading into the break.

And the Springboks made their good fortune count - Taniela Tupou's yellow card proving costly for Australia as S'busiso Nkosi and Jantjies ran in while the Wallabies were down to 14 - with Cobus Reinach's late try ensuring a bonus point.

With the tournament shortened to three rounds due to the upcoming World Cup, Australia's chances of success already look slim, and the pressure seems to be mounting on coach Michael Cheika.

Australia looked in good shape when they forced an early line-out deep in South Africa's half, but found themselves behind a minute later when Jantjies rounded off a wonderful counter following fine wing play from Nkosi.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto saw a try disallowed as Australia rallied, with the Wallabies handed a boost when Andre Esterhuizen was sent to the sin bin after 20 minutes.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, it was South Africa who struck next - De Jager forcing the ball down after Jantjies had been hauled down a metre out.

Haylett-Petty exploited a gap in South Africa's line to reduce the deficit to four points before the half-hour mark, but the Australia winger was later left red-faced when he fumbled what looked to be a simple pick-up on the Springboks line.

Australia failed to pick up where they left off following the break and were fortunate when Elton Jantjies - whose kicking had been on point in the first half - failed to convert a penalty.

Tupou's dangerous lunge during a ruck reduced Australia to 14 men soon after, and South Africa wasted little time in capitalising when Nkosi dived over in the corner before Jantjies helped himself to a second try.

Jantjies was taken off to a standing ovation soon after, and though Bernard Foley's try and subsequent conversion threatened to make things interesting, Reinach added further gloss to a convincing triumph after the hooter had blown.

Brian O'Driscoll has hailed Joe Schmidt for working "wonders" with Ireland and hopes the head coach can end his tenure by lifting the Rugby World Cup.

Schmidt will step down after the tournament in Japan, with Andy Farrell, part of his coaching team, stepping up to replace him.

Current boss Schmidt, 53, was named World Rugby Coach of the Year last November and has taken Ireland to another level since taking over in 2013.

Ireland legend O'Driscoll can understand why Schmidt opted to move on and feels it would be fitting if he ended his reign by guiding Ireland to a first World Cup triumph.

The former Ireland captain, a HSBC ambassador, told Omnisport: "Five years is quite a long time in any coach's cycle. I think if for no other reason from his own point of view, to freshen up a bit.

"He's been coaching non-stop for a long time, from Clermont through to Leinster through to Ireland. I think coaches sometimes need a bit of downtime, re-evaluate their philosophies, the way they go about coaching teams and the way they think about the game.

"He's done wonders for Ireland, we've beaten every team in the world here in the last two years, we've won grand slams, we've won tours away from Ireland. He's left the team in great shape, hopefully we can leave on a high with maybe a World Cup win."

O'Driscoll welcomed the appointment of defence coach Farrell as Schmidt's successor.

"I think that continuity is really important. Andy's come in and done a great job the last three or four years and the lads really like him." the ex-British and Irish Lions skipper said.

"It's the next progression for Andy as well as a coach to step up to head coach and bring in a new team around him, have that continuity. It's very difficult if you finish one cycle and you lose some key players and you lose a coach it tends to take a few years to build that again.

"Keeping some of the same faces in there is important to maintain the lofty standards and ambitions that this Irish team has."

 

- Brian O'Driscoll was talking on behalf of The Open patron HSBC. Ahead of The Open, Brian launched HSBC’s latest social challenge, the #OneHandedChip alongside Rory O’Connor, a young golfer from Northern Ireland who suffers from cerebral palsy. For more information, please visit: https://twitter.com/HSBC_Sport/status/1147102991553585153

Minus two of their superstars for different reasons and with a defiant coach facing an uncertain future, it is tough to know quite what to expect from Australia in the Rugby Championship.

What is clear, however, is that the Wallabies will be pleased to have seen the back of 2018, when Michael Cheika’s side won just four of their 13 Tests.

A dismal year began with a series defeat on home soil to Ireland, included a first loss to Argentina in their own backyard since 1983 and climaxed with a 37-18 thumping at Twickenham against Eddie Jones' England.

As if results were not bad enough, off-field issues have left them without key components.

Israel Folau, one of the team’s leading names and a certainty for the Rugby World Cup, had his contract terminated by Rugby Australia following anti-homosexual posts on social media. A hearing in May found him guilty of a high-level breach of the governing body's code of conduct, just three months after he had signed a lucrative long-term deal to remain in rugby union.

"The World Cup is a big target of mine this year and I believe this Wallabies group can go a long way if we keep on improving,” Folau said at the time his contract news was made official. Now, the rugby league convert is in a dispute with his former employers for unfair dismissal.

While Folau is set for a court battle, David Pocock faces a fight of a different kind after cutting short his Super Rugby career in the hope of recovering from a calf injury in time to feature at the World Cup.

Australia’s hopes of glory in Japan looked bleak at the start of 2019; with their try-scoring full-back no longer an option and their talismanic flanker stuck on the sidelines, they must quickly regroup and work out a way to prosper in a shortened Championship campaign that begins in South Africa on Saturday.

Cheika has increased the pressure on his own shoulders by reiterating in the build-up to the game that he will walk away if they are not crowned world champions in Yokohama on November 2.

"I know most people would think that's a pipe dream but we don't,” he told the media ahead of the clash with a Springboks squad seemingly keeping their powder dry ahead of facing New Zealand in round two, judging by their team selection for the opener.

"We came second last time and if we come first next time I will have earned the right to stay on as the coach and if I don't then someone else earns the opportunity. I think that's fair."

Fair? It feels more like a giant leap of faith for a man who appears ready to jump before he is pushed. They are words of either a man who retains faith despite results, or who knows a line in the sand needs to be drawn.

Still, recent history offers hope for Australia.

They won the last shortened Championship in 2015, opening up against South Africa before securing the title by beating New Zealand at home (the same run of games they have this year, too). Nic White was the hero in the decider, contributing 10 points in the closing minutes to complete a remarkable rally from the hosts in Sydney.

Scrum-half White played in just one more Test but is back from a successful stint in England, as is also the case with James O'Connor, who last represented his country in 2013. James Slipper, meanwhile, is another familiar face to earn a recall, while Christian Lealiifano has overcome leukaemia to return to the international fold. Cheika will hope they can fill the gaps - other, less optimistic types may suggest the selections are just adding old deckchairs to the Titanic.

Slipper was the only one of the quartet who was involved in the last Rugby World Cup final, the replacement prop unable to stop the All Blacks prevailing. While their trans-Tasman rivals are expected to reach the same stage again in Japan, a repeat appears a long shot for this current version of Australia.

For Cheika, it is win or bust. After a torrid 2018, this year will either end in glory with the Webb Ellis Cup, or be the start of a huge rebuild under a new head coach.

The Rugby Championship begins this weekend, with the four nations keen to find form ahead of the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.

New Zealand have won the tournament in each of the past three years and the All Blacks are favourites to once again finish above Australia, Argentina and South Africa.

We run the rule over the quartet ahead of the start of the Rugby Championship, where teams will only face each other once in a World Cup year.

NEW ZEALAND

The All Blacks are chasing more than just a fourth successive title and third consecutive World Cup in the coming months, with a slice of history also on the line. No team has ever won the Rugby Championship - or the Tri-Nations, as it was previously known - and also lifted that year's World Cup.

New Zealand were beaten by South Africa in Wellington during last year's Rugby Championship - the first time in nine years the Springboks had won an away game against the All Blacks - while a 16-9 defeat to Ireland in November will have given the rest of the rugby world further encouragement.

Sonny Bill Williams, who will not feature against Argentina on Saturday, has had an injury-hit Super Rugby season and Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock will be rested for the Pumas clash. However, this is a star-studded team regardless - one that contains 2016 and 2017 World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett - and they remain the gold standard.

SOUTH AFRICA

The Springboks were runners-up last year and might have finished top of the pile had they not thrown away a 30-13 lead against New Zealand in Pretoria after beating them in their own backyard. They ended the year with seven wins from 14 games so consistency will be the key.

A home Test series success over England was a sign South Africa could be a team to fear under Rassie Erasmus, whose decision to relax the rules on selecting European-based players has paid dividends.

Fly-half Handre Pollard was brilliant during the Super Rugby season, finishing as the league's leading point scorer, though he will be rested against the Wallabies in the opener and Aphiwe Dyantyi is sidelined by a hamstring problem.

AUSTRALIA

The Wallabies endured a horrendous 2018, losing nine of their 13 Tests. They suffered three heavy defeats to the All Blacks and were beaten by both Argentina and South Africa.

Australia slipped to their lowest-ever ranking of seventh following their first loss to the Pumas on home soil since 1983 and then lost two of their three November internationals, against Wales and England. They have not played a game in 2019 but former star full-back Israel Folau has already been making headlines, having been sacked by Rugby Australia following a controversial social-media post in which he wrote "hell awaits…drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters".

Coach Michael Cheika, who has left Quade Cooper out of his squad, made clear he will walk away if Australia do not lift the World Cup in Japan, so this competition should give an indication to his long-term future. Cancer survivor Christian Lealiifano could make his first appearance in three years at this tournament, though he will miss the South Africa clash with a shoulder problem.

ARGENTINA

The Pumas' 2018 did not start well - two home defeats to Wales preceding a 44-15 thrashing at the hands of Scotland in Resistencia - and coach Daniel Hourcade vacated his post, replaced by Mario Ledesma.

Having never won more than once in a single Rugby Championship campaign before, Argentina claimed two victories in 2018 by overcoming South Africa 32-19 in Mendoza and then beating the Wallabies on Australian soil, but they were winless in November Tests against Ireland, France and Scotland.

The Jaguares, who provide the bulk of this Argentina squad, reached their first ever Super Rugby final this year, only to be beaten by the Crusaders, but translating that club success on the international stage is an altogether different challenge.

Mario Ledesma hopes Argentina can use the nation's excitement to their advantage in their Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand.

Argentina will host the All Blacks in Buenos Aires on Saturday, in the first of three games of a tournament shortened due to the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

The clash comes on the back of the Jaguares' stunning run to the Super Rugby final, where they fell to the Crusaders.

Argentina's starting line-up for their Rugby Championship opener includes 13 Jaguares and Ledesma hopes his team can deliver.

"We have to play with the enthusiasm of the people," he told a news conference.

"That people are excited is great and we have to take the positive side, but we have to be on and [focus on] how we improve from here to Saturday."

The All Blacks are unbeaten in 32 previous meetings with Argentina, winning 31 and drawing one.

Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy, Juan Figallo, Guido Petti, Tomas Lavanini, Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Javier Ortega Desio.
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Mayco Vivas, Santiago Medrano, Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Joaquin Tuculet.

Just two months before the Rugby World Cup starts in Japan, this year's Rugby Championship will give opportunities for players desperate to board the plane to Japan.

While Beauden Barrett, Michael Hooper, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Nicolas Sanchez are nailed on to feature on the biggest stage for their respective nations, fitness permitting of course, there are some who are playing for a place in the squad.

New Zealand prepare to start the defence of their title against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, while South Africa and Australia do battle at Ellis Park on the same day.

Here we have picked out those who will be determined to grasp their opportunities in a shortened tournament in 2019.

 

SEVU REECE, NEW ZEALAND

Reece was one of four uncapped players named in the All Blacks squad for the opening two rounds.

The 22-year-old wing was the leading try scorer in Super Rugby, lighting up the competition as the Crusaders retained their title.

Fiji-born flyer Reece has the pace, power and skill to deliver on the international stage and an impressive Rugby Championship can book him a ticket to the World Cup.

Reece was supposed to join Connacht and looked set to play for Fiji, but after being granted a discharge without conviction over a domestic assault last year, he has experienced a rapid rise.

 

HARRY JOHNSON-HOLMES, AUSTRALIA

Johnson-Holmes was flown over to Johannesburg to link up with an injury-hit Australia squad for their encounter with the Springboks.

The 22-year-old Waratahs prop is poised to come off the bench for what is sure to be a fierce battle this weekend.

With Tom Robertson (ankle) and Scott Sio (adductor) missing out, Johnson-Holmes has been summoned from the fringes.

James Slipper got the nod to start in what will be his first international appearance since 2016 and he will be eager to make up for lost time, but Johnson-Holmes is vying for a World Cup call.

 

HERSCHEL JANTJIES, SOUTH AFRICA

Herschel Jantjies and Rynhardt Elstadt will make their South Africa bows against Michael Cheika's men.

Elton Jantjies and namesake Herschel will form a half-back pairing for the first time on the Test stage.

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick says scrum-half Herschel has the potential for greatness and he will get the opportunity to live up to the hype.

While Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach are ahead of the 23-year-old in the pecking order, but there is still time to show he merits a spot after an excellent Super Rugby season for the Stormers.

 

LUCAS MENSA, ARGENTINA 

Livewire Lucas Mensa is a potential bolter for the Pumas' World Cup party.

The centre was called up to Argentina's first Rugby Championship squad by Mario Ledesma, who will be aiming to build on an outstanding, historic Super Rugby campaign by the Jaguares.

Mensa is a bundle of energy and is capable of hitting the ground running at international level.

Yet to make his debut, the 23-year-old has impressed Ledesma while playing for Argentina XV in the Americas Rugby Championship.

Twin brothers Daniel and Jean-Luc du Preez will join Sale Sharks on a permanent basis, the Premiership club have announced.

The South Africa internationals will be reunited with older brother Robert at the AJ Bell Stadium, after Super Rugby side the Sharks agreed to release them from their contracts.

The duo had initially agreed short-term deals with Sale but have now committed their futures until 2022.

"The twins joining the club on a permanent basis really completes the jigsaw in our pack so we can properly compete and challenge for silverware over the next few seasons," said Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond.

"We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Sharks and I look forward to welcoming the boys to Carrington in August."

Daniel du Preez will be featuring for Sale for the first time, while Jean-Luc and Robert each enjoyed loan spells in 2018-19.

"I've heard some really good things about the club from Rob and Jean-Luc and can't wait to link up with Sale in the winter and play some rugby in the Premiership with my brothers," Daniel du Preez said.

Sevu Reece will make his New Zealand debut in the Rugby Championship clash against Argentina, while four further uncapped players have been named among the replacements by Steve Hansen.

Reece was a controversial selection in the All Blacks' squad after he received a discharge without conviction for domestic assault last year.

Irish province Connacht pulled out of a move for Reece in the wake of his court appearance, but the wing was then signed by the Crusaders as injury cover and went on to excel as Super Rugby's top try-scorer in 2019.

Reece is now set to start on the right wing in Buenos Aires on Saturday, with Jordie Barrett on the opposite flank.

Head coach Hansen was quoted by stuff.co.nz as saying: "As the season has gone on, he [Reece] has just got better and better as a player. And as a person. We got interested enough to say, 'Hey, we need to keep looking at this guy'.

"And then it got past that point and we said, 'Look, we are going to need to pick him'.

"Now we want to find out if he can take that next step. This game is the logical game to play him in."

Sam Cane had already been confirmed as New Zealand's stand-in skipper and Ardie Savea will start at number eight in the absence of Kieran Read, one of several Crusaders players rested for the Argentina fixture.

Atu Moli, Luke Jacobson, Josh Ioane and Braydon Ennor could join Reece in earning their first caps after being named on the bench.

New Zealand team to face Argentina: Ben Smith, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles, Angus Ta'avao, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Vaea Fifita, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Liam Coltman, Atu Moli, Nepo Laulala, Jackson Hemopo, Luke Jacobson, Brad Weber, Josh Ioane, Braydon Ennor.

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