Rugby World Cup Week 2 preview: latest team lists, predictions

Week 1 of the 2019 Rugby World Cup failed to provide any upsets, with tournament favourites New Zealand, England and Wales all winning their opening games without much trouble. But fear not, Week 2 provides fresh opportunity for a giant-killing as USA and Canada get their campaigns underway.

An intruiging second week continues with the Americans facing across-the-pond front-runners England, while hosts Japan will look to cause a shock to world No. 1 team Ireland.

Read ahead for team lists and previews.

Jump ahead to a particular game.

Georgia vs. Uruguay

Australia vs. Wales

Scotland vs. Samoa

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Georgia vs. Uruguay, Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya (2:15pm local, 3:15pm AEST, 6:15am BST)

Georgia: Lasha Khmaladze, Zura Dzneladze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Lasha Malaguradze, Alexander Todua, Tedo Abzhandadze, Gela Aprasidze, Otari Giorgadze, Beka Saginadze, Shalva Sutiashvili, Konstantine Mikautadze, Lasha Lomidze, Levan Chilachava, Jaba Bregvadze, Guram Gogichashvili.

Replacements: Vano Karkadze, Beka Gigashvili, Giorgi Melikidze, Mamuka Gorgodze, Beka Gorgadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze, Merab Sharikadze, Soso Matiashvili.

Uruguay: Gaston Mieres, Nicolas Freitas, Juan Manuel Cat, Andres Vilaseca, Rodrigo Silva, Felipe Berchesi, Santiago Arata; Alejandro Nieto, Santiago Civetta, Juan Manuel Gaminara (captain), Manuel Leindekar, Ignacio Dotti, Juan Pedro Rombys, German Kessler, Mateo Sanguinetti.

Replacements: Facundo Gattas, Juan Echeverria, Diego Arbelo, Diego Magno, Juan Diego Ormaechea, Manuel Ardao, Agustin Ormaechea, Leandro Leivas.

Verdict: What a win that was from by Uruguay on Wednesday, a victory full of passion that was the result of four years of careful planning and measured growth. The big challenge now is to back that win up, and secure automatic qualification for France 2023. But that won't be an easy assignment against the Georgians who recovered from a poor first half against Wales to score two tries in the second and genuinely mix it with the Six Nations champions. The extra two day's rest will also be pivotal and it might just be that this was the game the Georgians were setting themselves for.

Tip: Georgia by 3.

Australia vs. Wales, Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo (4:45pm local, 5:45pm AEST, 8:45am BST)

Australia: Dane Haylett-Petty, Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O'Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Isi Naisarani, Michael Hooper, David Pocock, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Alan Alaalatoa, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio.

Reoplacements: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakai-Loto, Nic White, Matt To'omua, Kurtley Beale.

Wales: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Aaron Shingler, Ross Moriarty, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin.

Verdict: Another week, another Michael Cheika headline reel, the latest entry came of which on Friday when the Wallabies coach took aim at the judiciary panel that had decided Reece Hodge's fate. The coach didn't discuss the decision, but rather the panel's notes that Hodge had been unaware of World Rugby's high-tackle framework. On the field, the Wallabies boss has made four changes to the starting side that beat Fiji with Will Genia and Bernard Foley reprising their halves combination from the same game four years ago, and Dane Haylett-Petty joining Adam Ashley-Cooper in a new-look back three. Wales, meanwhile, are unchanged from 15-1, and have the look of a settled outfit that knows exactly how it wants to play. This game will be tight, no doubt, and much could depend on who gets the rub of the green of what promises to be a fierce breakdown battle; but Wales have the better, more consistent form, this year and are deserved favourites. Look for them to pressure the Wallabies lineout and play a field-position focused game, that looks to turn the Wallabies around.

Tip: Wales by 7.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Scotland vs. Samoa, Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe (7:15pm local, 8:15pm AEST, 11:15am BST)

Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw, Blade Thomson, Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury, Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist, Willem Nel, Stuart McInally (captain), Allan Dell.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson, George Horne, Adam Hastings, Duncan Taylor.

Samoa: Tim Nanai-Williams, Belgium Tuatagaloa, Alapati Leiua, Henry Taefu, Ed Fidow, Tusi Pisi, Melani Matavao, Jack Lam (captain), TJ Ioane, Chris Vui, Kane Le'aupepe, Teofilo Paulo, Michael Alaalatoa, Ray Niuia, Logovii Mulipola.

Replacements: Seilala Lam, Paul Alo-Emile, Jordan Lay, Piula Faasalele, Josh Tyrell, Pele Cowley, Ulupano Seuteni, Kieron Fonotia.

Verdict: With Japan defeating Ireland on Saturday, a win for either of these sides puts them firmly in the mix to progress from Pool A. However, it is Scotland who are under the most pressure to perform, having been insipid against the Irish first time out. Samoa, on the other hand, had a hard-earned win over Russia that could have been much worse had high tackles from Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu'u been dealt with fully at the time. They were yellow-carded but are now suspended for the remainder of the pool phase after being cited. That should give Scotland the boost they need to see this home, but this could be a nervy 80 minutes for Scotland fans.

Tip: Scotland by 8.