Friday, November 28, 2008

This Weekend on BBC Sport

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England manager Martin Johnson was faced with an impossible dilemma when picking his team for Saturday's clash with New Zealand - make wholesale changes or show faith in the side that was thumped 42-6 by South Africa.

He has kind of done a bit of both and I think that makes sense as among all the outpourings of anger, who is out there to play instead?

If there were better players around, Johnson would know about them and he obviously feels there's no one better than what he has already got.

The defeat to the Springboks was a very real wake-up call of where England are in the pecking order of world rugby union.

And certainly the numbers of Englishmen who have furthered their claims for a spot on the Lions tour to South Africa are thin on the ground.

But let's not get hysterical after last weekend - there is a lot of rugby to be played before next summer.

Based on absolutely nothing, I genuinely think England have a chance on Saturday if they could just get an early score.

Everything points to the opposite but I don't think it's an impossibility.

Wales take on Australia and I feel they really deserve a victory following their impressive displays against South Africa and New Zealand.

They bring an excitement to every game and I love watching them.

Pay your money to watch Wales play at the Millennium Stadium and you know it will be money well spent, and that's a great advert for any team.

But it's going to be tough for them this weekend as Australia are getting stronger and stronger. It will be very, very difficult for Wales to win.

John Inverdale presents BBC TV's coverage of Wales v New Zealand on Saturday.

John was talking to Paul Birch.

 All the TV and radio times


Wales v Australia: Live (1415-1630, BBC One/online & Radio 5 Live sports extra); Highlights (1800-0000, BBC Red Button/online); England v New Zealand: Live (1430-1630, Radio 5 Live/online); Highlights (1900-2000, BBC Three & 2000-0000, BBC Red Button/online).

Wales v Australia: Highlights (0000-1330 Monday, BBC Red Button/online); England v New Zealand: Highlights (0000-1230, BBC Red Button/online and 1230-1330, BBC Two).


Football Focus (1210, BBC One/online); Championship commentary (1230, BBC Radio 5 Live/online); Final Score (1430, BBC Red Button/online; 1630, BBC One/online); Match of the Day (2210, BBC One/online).

Match of the Day (0745, BBC One/online); FA Cup commentary (1210, BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra/online); Championship commentary (1215, BBC Radio 5 Live/online); Premier League commentary (1330 & 1600, BBC Radio 5 Live/online; 1500, BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra/online ); Match of the Day 2 (2200, BBC Two/online).


International Open (1000-1300, BBC Red Button/online; 1300-1415, BBC One/online; 1630-1730, BBC Two/online).

International Open (1000-1300, BBC Red Button/online; 1330-1700, BBC Two/online).


Jeremy Guscott column
 BBC pundit previews England v New Zealand

Zinzan Brooke column
 New Zealand legend on the All Blacks' haka

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