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Rugby World Cup quarter-finals: Confirmed teams for every match

Ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, Sports Mole rounds up the team news for all eight sides involved.

Wales vs. Argentina (Saturday, 4pm)

Wales' Gareth Davies celebrates scoring their first try with teammates on September 24, 2023© Reuters


Dan Biggar has been passed fit to start at fly-half for Wales, reuniting with scrum-half Gareth Davies in the half-backs. Josh Adams and Adam Beard are also back in after being rested against Georgia.

Those are part of six changes in total by head coach Warren Gatland, with Aaron Wainwright coming in at number eight in place of the injured Taulupe Faletau and Jac Morgan switching to blindside flanker with Tommy Reffell starting on the openside.

Wales starting XV: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. George North, 12. Nick Tompkins, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Gareth Davies, 8. Aaron Wainwright, 7. Tommy Reffell, 6. Jac Morgan (c), 5. Adam Beard, 4. Will Rowlands, 3. Tomas Francis, 2. Ryan Elias, 1. Gareth Thomas

Replacements: 16. Dewi Lake, 17. Corey Domachowski, 18. Dillon Lewis, 19. Dafydd Jenkins, 20. Christ Tshiunza, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Sam Costelow, 23. Rio Dyer

Argentina's Emiliano Boffelli celebrates with teammates after the match on September 29, 2023© Reuters


Argentina have made two changes to their starting XV for the showdown with Wales, as Tomas Cubelli comes in for Gonzalo Bertranou at scrum-half and Facundo Isa replaces the injured Pablo Matera at number eight.

Nine of their squad played in Argentina's last Rugby World Cup quarter-final in 2015, while Marcos Kremer and Juan Martin Gonzalez maintain their record of having started every match at this tournament.

Argentina starting XV: 15. Juan Cruz Mallia, 14. Emiliano Boffelli, 13. Lucio Cinti, 12. Santiago Chocobares, 11. Mateo Carreras, 10. Santiago Carreras, 9. Tomas Cubelli, 8. Facundo Isa, 7. Marcos Kremer, 6. Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 4. Guido Petti, 3. Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2. Julian Montoya (c), 1. Thomas Gallo

Replacements: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Joel Sclavi, 18. Eduardo Bello, 19. Matias Alemanno, 20. Rodrigo Bruni, 21. Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22. Nicolas Sanchez, 23. Matias Moroni

Ireland vs. New Zealand (Saturday, 8pm)

Ireland's Mack Hansen celebrates after the match on September 23, 2023© Reuters


Mack Hansen and James Lowe have been passed fit to start Ireland's heavyweight contest with New Zealand, allowing Andy Farrell to name an unchanged team to the one that brushed aside Scotland last weekend.

James Ryan and Stuart McCloskey drop out from the bench to be replaced by Joe McCarthy and Jimmy O'Brien, but Johnny Sexton will play against the All Blacks for an 18th time - more than any other Northern Hemisphere player in history.

Ireland starting XV: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. James Lowe, 10. Johnny Sexton (c), 9. Jamison Gibson-Park, 8. Caelan Doris, 7. Josh van der Flier, 6. Peter O'Mahony, 5. Iain Henderson, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 2. Dan Sheehan, 1. Andrew Porter

Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. David Kilcoyne, 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. Joe McCarthy, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Conor Murray, 22. Jack Crowley, 23. Jimmy O'Brien

New Zealand's Richie Mo'unga celebrates scoring their second try with teammates Damian McKenzie and Will Jordan on October 5, 2023© Reuters


New Zealand have made six changes to the team that thrashed Uruguay last time out, including the decision to drop Damian McKenzie to the bench despite his star showing in that match, with Beauden Barrett at 15.

Mark Telea misses out due to a breach of protocol, with Leicester Fainga'anuku starting on the wing, while Scott Barrett is preferred to Sam Whitelock in the second row.

New Zealand starting XV: 15. Beauden Barrett, 14. Will Jordan, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. Jordie Barrett, 11. Leicester Fainga'anuku, 10. Richie Mo'unga, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Ardie Savea, 7. Sam Cane (c), 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Scott Barrett, 4. Brodie Retallick, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Ethan de Groot

Replacements: 6. Dane Coles, 17. Tamaiti Williams, 18. Fletcher Newell, 19. Samuel Whitelock, 20. Dalton Papali'i, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Damian McKenzie, 23. Anton Lienert-Brown

England vs. Fiji (Sunday, 4pm)

England's Owen Farrell prepares to kick penalty on October 7, 2023© Reuters


England's captain and newly-crowned record points-scorer Owen Farrell has been chosen at fly-half for their quarter-final against Fiji, with George Ford dropping to the bench.

Marcus Smith starts ahead of Freddie Stewart at full-back, with the shuffling of the backline also seeing Elliot Daly returning to the left wing, Jonny May switching to the right, Joe Marchant going back to outside centre and Manu Tuilagi starting at 12.

England starting XV: 15. Marcus Smith, 14. Jonny May, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Elliot Daly, 10. Owen Farrell (c), 9. Alex Mitchell, 8. Ben Earl, 7. Tom Curry, 6. Courtney Lawes, 5. Ollie Chessum, 4. Maro Itoje, 3. Dan Cole, 2. Jamie George, 1. Ellis Genge

Replacements: 16. Theo Dan, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. George Martin, 20. Billy Vunipola, 21. Danny Care, 22. George Ford, 23. Ollie Lawrence

Fiji players huddle as they celebrate after the match on September 17, 2023© Reuters


Semi Radradra returns to the left wing for Fiji, with Vinaya Habosi switching to the opposite flank to accommodate that change.

There is a first Rugby World Cup start for Tevita Ikanivere at hooker, while 10 of the starting XV were involved in Fiji's historic first-ever win over England at Twickenham in the buildup to the tournament.

Fiji starting XV: 15. Ilaisa Droasese, 14. Vinaya Habosi, 13. Waisea Nayacalevu (c), 12. Josua Tuisova, 11. Semi Radradra, 10. Vilimoni Botitu, 9. Frank Lomani, 8. Viliame Mata, 7. Levani Botia, 6. Lekima Tagitagivalu, 5. Albert Tuisue, 4. Isoa Nasilasila, 3. Luke Tagi, 2. Tevita Ikanivere, 1. Eroni Mawi

Replacements: 16. Samuel Matavesi, 17. Peni Ravai, 18. Mesake Doge, 19. Meli Derenalagi, 20. Vilive Miramira, 21. Simione Kuruvoli, 22. Iosefo Masi, 23. Sireli Maqala

France vs. South Africa (Sunday, 8pm)

France's Antoine Dupont receives medical attention after sustaining an injury on September 21, 2023© Reuters


France have been handed a major boost with the news that captain, talisman and arguably the world's best player Antoine Dupont has been cleared to play and will start at scrum-half having sufficiently recovered from the fractured cheekbone he sustained during the pool stage match against Namibia 24 days ago.

That is the only change for the host nation, meaning that the in-form Damian Penaud will have the chance to extend a career-best seven-game try-scoring streak.

France starting XV: 15. Thomas Ramos, 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Gael Fickou, 12. Jonathan Danty, 11. Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 10. Matthieu Jalibert, 9. Antoine Dupont (c), 8. Gregory Alldritt, 7. Charles Ollivon, 6. Anthony Jelonch, 5. Thibaud Flament, 4. Cameron Woki, 3. Uini Atonio, 2. Peato Mauvaka, 1. Cyril Baille

Replacements: 16. Pierre Bourgarit, 17. Reda Wardi, 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Francois Cros, 21. Sekou Macalou, 22. Maxime Lucu, 23. Yoram Moefana

South Africa's Kurt-Lee Arendse celebrates scoring their second try on September 10, 2023© Reuters


Defending champions South Africa have opted for a half-back pairing of Cobus Reinach and Manie Libbok as they aim to spoil the hosts' party, with Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard having to make do with places on the bench.

Jasper Wiese drops out of the squad altogether as Duane Vermeulen starts at number eight - one of only four players to retain their place from South Africa's last pool game against Tonga.

South Africa starting XV: 15. Damian Willemse, 14. Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Manie Libbok, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Ox Nche, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Kwagga Smith, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Handre Pollard, 23. Willie Le Roux

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Ireland's Johnny Sexton and James Lowe celebrate after the match on September 9, 2023
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