Wallabies fans face a nervous wait ahead of the must-win game against Wales – with their clash in Lyon the final act of eight games in an extended matchweek three.
Italy and Uruguay kick us off early Thursday morning, Australian time, while the match against Wales in Lyon is on at 5am AEST Monday morning.
That match aside, the blockbuster fixture this week sees two of the top favourites – Ireland and South Africa clash in Paris early Sunday morning AEST.
The Wallabies will name their team on Friday evening Australian time and you can follow all the team news here as it happens (teams are named two days before match day).
Coach Eddie Jones will be without his two star forwards Will Skelton and Taniela Tupou once again, as well as concussed Jordan Uelese, but Tate McDermott will return to bolster the backline.
There are also calls for Andrew Kellaway to be restored, with Carter Gordon under pressure to hold his spot after being hooked in the 50th minute against Fiji.
Italy vs Uruguay, Stade de Nice, Nice (1.45am Thursday AEST)
Italy coach Kieran Crowley has made four personnel changes to his starting XV from the team who defeated Namibia 52-8 in the opening round, while also shifting star outside back Ange Capuozzo from wing to fullback.
“You know what he does from 15. He will probably have more opportunities to have the ball in his hands,” Crowley said. “But you can only do that if the guys up front do the job. All games start up front.”
Marco Riccioni comes into the front-row, Niccolò Cannone into the second-row, Alessandro Garbisi into scrumhalf and Lorenzo Pani onto the wing. Tommaso Allan and Garbisi start alongside each other in the halfbacks for only the third time, after last year against Georgia and this year against Romania.
Paolo Garbisi will start at inside-centre for the first time in his Test career.
Uruguay, who surprised many with their endeavour against France last time out, have made two changes from that 27-12 defeat. German Kessler comes in at hooker and Gaston Mieres comes onto the wing. Mieres, who has scored 16 tries in 76 Tests will feature in his third World Cup after playing every minute of their 2015 campaign and averaging 55 minutes across three appearances in 2019.
Italy (1-15): Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni, Niccolo Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (c), Lorenzo Cannone, Alessandro Garbisi, Tommaso Allan, Montanna Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Lorenzo Pani, Ange Capuozzo.
Replacements: Luca Bigi, Federico Zani, Pietro Ceccarelli, Dino Lamb, Manuel Zuliani, Giovanni Pettinelli, Alessandro Fusco, Paolo Odogwu.
Uruguay (1-15): Mateo Sanguinetti, German Kessler, Ignacio Peculo, Felipe Aliaga, Manuel Leindekar, Manuel Ardao, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Diana, Santiago Arata, Felipe Etcheverry, Nicolas Freitas, Andres Vilaseca (c), Tomas Inciarte, Gaston Mieres, Baltazar Amaya.
Replacements: Guillermo Pujadas, Facundo Gattas, Diego Arbelo, Ignacio Dotti, Carlos Deus, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Bautista Basso.
France vs Namibia, Stade de Marseille, Marseille (5am AEST Friday)
France coach Fabien Galthié has made 12 changes to his starting XV from the side that defeated Uruguay last match, with only Cameron Woki, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Anthony Jelonch retaining their spots.
Ten players who started against the All Blacks in the opening game of RWC 2023 return to the starting XV, including five in the back-line, while Jonathan Danty is back after missing the opening two matches with injury.
France (1-15): Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Uini Atonio, Cameron Woki, Thibaud Flament, François Cros, Charles Ollivon, Anthony Jelonch, Antoine Dupont, Matthieu Jalibert, Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Jonathan Danty, Gaël Fickou, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos.
Replacements: Pierre Bourgarit, Reda Wardi, Dorian Aldegheri, Romain Taofifenua, Paul Boudehent, Baptiste Couilloud, Yoram Moefana, Melvyn Jaminet.
Argentina vs Samoa, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne (1.45am AEST Saturday)
Georgia vs Portugal, Stade de Toulouse, Toulouse (10pm AEST Saturday)
England vs Chile, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille (1.45am AEST Sunday)
South Africa vs Ireland, Stade de France, Saint-Denis (5am AEST Sunday)
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber made 13 personnel changes and nammed a 7-1 split on the replacements’ bench for the crucila clash with Ireland.
The two players to retain their places in the run-on team are hooker Bongi Mbonambi and Damian Willemse, who moves from flyhalf to fullback.
“Ireland are a quality team with a strong pack of forwards and talented backs, and they play with a lot of speed, so we know what we have to do to deliver a top-drawer performance for things to go our way,” said Nienaber.
“We faced them late last year and we’ve been keeping an eye on their performances this year, so everyone knows what we have to do this weekend.
“We’re fortunate to have a match-fit squad and have been building depth and versatility for a while and believe this is the best combination for this match. For many of these players this is their second or third World Cup, so they know what it takes to perform at this level, and we believe this team has the right balance of players to achieve what we would like to achieve in this match.
“We know it’s going to be a grind of a match and we know we need to pitch up physically and mentally. We also need to start with intensity and stay focused until the final whistle.
“This is a massive game for both sides with an eye to progressing out of our pool, so we need to be extremely accurate in all areas of our game.”
South Africa (1-15): Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (c), Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jasper Wiese, Faf de Klerk, Manie Libbok, Cheslin Kolbe, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willemse.
Replacements: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Jean Kleyn, RG Snyman, Marco van Staden, Kwagga Smith, Cobus Reinach.
Scotland vs Tonga, Stade de Nice, Nice (1.45am AEST Monday)
Wales vs Australia, OL Stadium, Lyon (5am AEST Monday)