Rugby World Cup

Sebastien Vahaamahina retires from France just 24 hours after his red card against Wales

The France lock received a red card from referee Jaco Peyper, following a TMO review, for elbowing Aaron Wainwright in the face when France were leading 19-10 in early stages of the second half. Wales subsequently fought back to win 20-19.

And while Vahaamahina has come in for heavy criticism for his role in France’s defeat, some media outlets in France are reporting that the lock had decided before the World Cup that he would retire following the tournament, regardless of how far France advanced.

Stars aligning for England ahead of ABs clash, says Woodward

Two tries in three first-half minutes by winger Jonny May helped Eddie Jones' side underline their World Cup credentials and gain a measure of revenge over the Wallabies who sent them packing from their own tournament four years ago.

Despite facing a daunting task against the All Blacks, who also advanced with a 46-14 demolition of Ireland, Woodward believes England can pull off an upset win when the teams meet on October 26.

"Never underestimate the value of momentum," Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003, wrote in a column for the Daily Mail.

South Africa end Japan's World Cup fairytale

In what was a first World Cup quarter-final for the Japanese, neither an entire nation seemingly now besotted by rugby, nor a raucous 50,000 crowd packed into Tokyo Stadium, could carry the hosts to victory on Sunday.

"Test match rugby is all about creating opportunities and capitalising, but unfortunately they kept us out and with their set-piece... they played well," Japan skipper Michael Leitch said.

"Credit to them."

Justin Marshall completely writes off Ireland's chances of upsetting All Blacks

The 46-year-old pundit – who won 81 caps for the All Blacks – slammed Ireland’s playing style and tipped his countrymen to put a big score on Joe Schmidt’s side.

Talking to News hub, Marshall explained: “I’m not convinced they’re as good a side as they have been in the past.”

“They’ve got a little laborious in the way they’ve been attacking. They’re predictable.

“The All Blacks will be up for it and I think we could actually see them put some points on them and win quite comfortably.”

Eddie Jones makes surprise call in the halves for England's quarterfinal showdown

Coach Eddie Jones has made three changes in personnel and two positional switches in pursuit of a semi-final against either New Zealand or Ireland.

Mako Vunipola is restored at loosehead prop after successfully making his latest comeback from a hamstring injury against Argentina. England’s last outing after their Pool C finale against France was cancelled due to stormy weather.

Vunipola’s return means Joe Marler drops to the bench where he joins second row George Kruis, who has lost his place in the starting XV to Courtney Lawes.

Lote Tuqiri highlights what he reckons is the key to beating England

The winger, who scored the opening try of the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, has also predicted on Twitter that the Wallabies will win by six points.

This is a bold prediction from Tuqiri seeing as the Wallabies have lost all six matches against Eddie Jones’ England, and last beat them at the 2015 RWC.

Then again, the two-time world champions showed that they have a world class performance in them against the All Blacks earlier this year, with their record 47-26 win against them in Perth.

Christian Lealiifano not certain he can manage three games in a row

Cancer survivor Lealiifano said it’s “hard to say” if he is ready for that sort of load after having been carefully managed through the pool phase of the tournament.

Coach Michael Cheika this week indicated the 32-year-old had the inside running to take the problematic playmaking role in Saturday’s quarter-final against England in Oita.

Cheika indicated Lealiifano hadn’t played there more because of the need to cater for his wellbeing.

England appear to get Vunipola boost

In a major lift to Eddie Jones’ men, the powerful Saracens No8 is on course to recover from the ankle injury that forced him off at half-time against Argentina last Saturday week.

Jones names his team to face the Wallabies on Thursday and Vunipola, the only player to have started all 12 of England’s Tests this year, will be an automatic selection if fit.

“Billy is progressing really well,” defence coach John Mitchell said. “He has trained again today and we are very confident in his progression each day. He’s very likely (to be available).

Sam Matavesi in social media plea after his Fijian World Cup kit is stolen in London car park theft

The hooker, who plays for Cornish Pirates in the English Championship, started for the Fijians in their matches versus Australia, Georgia and Wales and came off the bench in their other pool game versus Uruguay at the finals in Japan. 

It capped an incredible year so far for Matavesi, who also featured for Toulouse this year as a short-term medical cover signing towards the end of the Top 14 season. 

However, the 27-year-old has now taken to social media in the hope that some treasured possessions collected in Japan can be returned to him. 

Lealiifano looking likely to be the Wallabies' No.10 against England

Cheika has been criticised for failing to select the same player in the No.10 in successive matches since Lealiifano started both Bledisloe Cup Tests in August.

The position has taken on an experimental feel in Japan, with Bernard Foley handed a start against Wales and Matt To'omua against Georgia.

Lealiifano started the first and third games, against Fiji and Uruguay, and while not entirely convincing, he appears set to run the show against England on Saturday.