Rugby World Cup

All Blacks to practise tackling technique

New Zealand props Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tuungafasi were yellow carded for making contact with the head in tackles during their 71-9 Pool B victory over Namibia in Tokyo on Sunday.

Referee Pascal Gauzere opted not to give the pair red cards because both the Namibian players were falling and close to the ground when contact was made.

"We said last night the yellow cards are under the guidelines, they were fair," Hansen said on Monday. "But the game is incredibly difficult under those guidelines when players are falling at your feet."

Fiji make one change for Wales

Viliame Mata replaces Peceli Yato at number eight. In the reserves, prop Eroni Mawi has been swapped with Lee-Roy Atalifo in the only other change to the 23 that comprehensively thrashed Georgia in Osaka, 45-10.

Fiji's quarter final hopes are effectively over after earlier defeats by Australia and Uruguay but head coach John McKee said his squad was determined to sign off from the tournament with a positive result.

"We see this final pool game as both a challenge and an opportunity. It is important to finish the pool stage on a high note," he said.

Aki hoping to achieve 'proud' moment against Samoa

The Ireland juggernaut centre admitted it would be a source of huge family pride should he get the nod to take on Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday.

Aki was born in Auckland to Samoan parents and starred with the Chiefs before joining Connacht in 2014, committing to Ireland in both rugby and community.

The 29-year-old conjured a barnstorming performance when Ireland dispatched New Zealand 16-9 in Dublin in November, producing the perfect riposte to All Blacks coach Ian Foster who had questioned his residency qualification.

Photo of the Tuilagi bros goes viral

A photo has gone viral on Twitter of Manu Tuilagi in Japan alongside his brothers, Henry, Freddie, Alesana and Vavae, and people cannot believe the size of them.

The 18 stone Manu is easily one of the most fearsome and powerful players on the planet currently, but he is dwarfed by his four brothers in this picture, all of whom were also former players.

All five, as well as Anitelea (Andy) have had stints with Leicester Tigers over the years, as they built a rugby dynasty at Welford Road.

Former All Blacks claim Michael Cheika is creating 'unhealthy, negative environment'

Richard Kahui and Andy Ellis, both members of New Zealand’s 2011 World Cup winning squad, believe Michael Cheika has created a negative vibe in their camp which will permeate down to the players.

“I see Cheik and I feel for him because he’s obviously a man under pressure. It’s not just this World Cup, it’s been building the last 2-3 years,” Kahui told The Breakdown television show.

“(But) the way that he’s going about talking about referees and things, I just wonder how much that influences the players.

Flying Fijians all smiles after win over Georgia

Fiji scored six of their seven tries after half-time to secure a vital bonus point win, with man of the match Semi Radradra scoring twice and setting up three other tries.

Coach John McKee said the whole squad was determined to make amends after last week's defeat against Uruguay.

"Our boys were bitterly disappointed and they really wanted to make a statement today," McKee said.

Fiji back to full strength vs Georgia

Just four players have been retained from the starting line-up that suffered a shock 30-27 defeat by Uruguay last week, with prop Manasa Saulo joined by captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Leone Nakarawa and Semi Radradra, who have started all three games.

"This match against Georgia was always going to be a key match in this pool and nothing has changed," said head coach John McKee.

"There is plenty at stake in this game as a top three finish in our pool means automatic qualification for Rugby World Cup 2023."

All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea to wear protective goggles against Canada

The move comes after Savea discovered that the vision had deteriorated in his left eye and he realised he had to protect his eyesight.

"A couple of years ago I realised I had bad vision in my left eye. Everything's kind of blurry," Savea said. 

"I told All Blacks doctor Tony Page that it was getting worse and now we're doing something about it. Doc notified me that World Rugby had some goggles that were approved and everyone has been really supportive. In terms of vision and seeing, it's pretty sweet, and it's now just a matter of getting used to them."

'The way rugby is going, I might as well join the NRL next'

French referee Romain Poite and the television match official punished Kerevi after a first-half collision with Wales replacement Rhys Patchell, who appeared to catch Kerevi high.

A lengthy television match official review followed and it was decided that Kerevi had made contact with Patchell’s throat with his elbow, although it seemed unintentional.

Cheika could not mask his frustration at events after a game that was stopped several times to check the legality of tackles.

Family affair for Pacific nations at the Rugby World Cup

Among the legions of supporters to descend on Japan are a host of proud parents, partners, siblings and cousins following the fortunes of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Saki Waikere made the trip from Suva to Sapporo with some friends to watch his cousin Leone Nakarawa play in Fiji's World Cup opener against Australia.

"We're here to support him and definitely we're coming for a win so we're looking forward to that and I know it's going to be a good game," he said.

"Even though (against) Australia we are playing as underdogs today so definitely we will catch up to them."