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Rugby World Cup 2023: What to look out for as England, South Africa and Australia play on Sunday

Rugby World Cup 2023: What to look out for as England, South Africa and Australia play on Sunday

The second round of World Cup matches began on Thursday with hosts France beating Uruguay in Lille

The Rugby World Cup resumed on Thursday with France overcoming Uruguay in the first of eight matches across four days.

New Zealand ran in 11 tries in an emphatic victory over Namibia on Friday, while Ireland, Wales and Samoa won matches on Saturday.

England will bid to move a step closer to the quarter-finals when they face Japan on Sunday, while defending champions South Africa and Australia are also in action.

Scotland have the week off.

Here’s what to look out for on Sunday.

South Africa v Romania (14:00 BST)

Pool B, Bordeaux, BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra & BBC Sport website and app

Background: Defending champions South Africa saw off a spirited Scotland side with an 18-3 win in their opening game in the ‘Pool of Death’.

The Springboks are among the favourites to win the tournament and become the most successful nation in World Cup history with four titles.

Romania have appeared at every World Cup but are not expected to add to their six previous tournament wins against the Boks.

Their finest moment at this event remains the biggest comeback in World Cup history as they overturned a 15-point deficit to beat Canada 17-15 in England eight years ago.

What to look out for: South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber has selected four scrum-halves. Cobus Reinach starts at nine, with Jaden Hendrikse providing cover off the replacements’ bench; Grant Williams shows his versatility by starting on the right wing, and Faf de Klerk will provide fly-half cover from the bench.

Ireland lead Pool B with two bonus-pint wins from two matches, South Africa are second, Scotland third, Tonga fourth and Romania fifthShort presentational grey line

Australia v Fiji (16:45 BST)

Pool C, Saint-Etienne, BBC Sport website and app

Background: Fiji came so close to beating Wales last Sunday, but an unmarked Semi Radradra knocked the ball on with the tryline at his mercy in the final minute.

The Pacific Islanders are favoured by many to reach the quarter-finals, but need to beat Australia to have any realistic chance of reaching the knockout stages.

Australia picked up the first victory of head coach Eddie Jones’ second spell in charge with a 35-15 win over Georgia in their opening game.

Success for the Wallabies will almost certainly seal a place in the last eight.

What to look out for: Aussie wing Mark Nawaqanitawase is the man to watch. The youngster opened his try-scoring account in the win over Georgia and is set to threaten Fiji with his balanced running and potent finishing.

Wales lead Pool C with two wins from two, second-placed Australia face Fiji on Sunday, Georgia are fourth and Portugal lastShort presentational grey line

England v Japan (20:00 BST)

Pool D, Nice, BBC Radio 5 Live & BBC Sport website and app

Background: England lifted the gloom surrounding the team with a professional performance in their opening round 27-10 win over Argentina.

George Ford kicked all 27 points as the 14 men of England came from behind to beat the Pumas and put one foot in the quarter-finals.

Japan impressed on home soil as they reached a first quarter-final in 2019, four years after springing one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as they beat South Africa in 2015.

The Brave Blossoms beat debutants Chile in their opening game but England will be expected to claim victory in Nice.

What to look out for: If England are to advance deeper into the World Cup they must show they have the capacity to score tries. With Owen Farrell serving the final game of his suspension, this is Ford’s chance to take centre stage once again.

Samoa lead Pool D on points difference from Japan, with England third, Argentina fourth and Chile bottomWatch on iPlayer bannerWatch on iPlayer footer

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