Rugby World Cup

Aaron Smith ready to stick around for another four years

The Highlanders No 9 will start in Friday night's bronze medal match against Wales in Tokyo.

Smith will be 34 by the time the next World Cup rolls around.

But he said he had taken inspiration from the form of outgoing captain Kieran Read, who is currently 34 himself.

"It doesn't mean I'm going to make it like he did.

"But us halfbacks don't take as many knocks. The only challenge will be if I'm still there mentally and if I'm still quick enough.

Cheslin Kolbe returns for South Africa for Rugby World Cup final

Cheslin Kolbe, who sat out the semi-final with an ankle injury, has recovered in time for his nation’s shot at a third title.

The South Africans will enter the final with history on their side; they’ve never lost a World Cup final.

England, by contrast, fell to South Africa in 2007 – the last time the two teams met in a World Cup.

Erasmus was candid during the week and suggested that the Springboks were unlikely to deviate from the tactics that won them their semi-final with Wales.

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks team to play Wales named

Hansen has made seven personnel changes to the starting side that lost to England last week, with Dane Coles, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane, Rieko Ioane, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty and Ben Smith all named to start against Wales on Friday.

Scott Barrett has been named at lock instead of blindside flanker, while Kieran Read will start at number 8 and captain for his final match.

Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett all retain their positions as well.

England fined 'four-figure' sum for v-shaped formation in response to haka

The Guardian reports England have been fined a four-figure sum for breaching World Rugby regulations, which say opponents must not cross the halfway line while the challenge is being performed. At least six England players could be seen in television coverage breaking that rule.

The Guardian added the fine is less than the one France received in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. They were made to pay NZ$5000 for their v-shaped formation, which also went over the halfway line.

Prince Harry to watch Rugby World Cup final in Japan

The Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), will watch England take on South Africa. 

It comes after England beat New Zealand 19-7 in the semi-final on Saturday. 

     

Eddie Jones burns Gatland over barbed comment ahead of World Cup final

Gatland was speaking after his team had been beaten 19-16 by South Africa, who now face Jones’s men on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 showpiece.

Meanwhile, Wales face the All Blacks in the bronze final 24 hours earlier – which was Gatland’s last match as boss.

“Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off?” Jones said at a press conference.

South Africa edge Wales 19-16 to reach final

The South Africans will return to Yokohama next weekend to bid for a third World Cup triumph against an England side who ran defending champions New Zealand out of the tournament with a breathtaking display of rugby on Saturday.

This was the other side of the game, a largely grim arm-wrestle dominated by the boot - there were a total of 81 kicks from hand, effectively one a minute, during the match - and which was appropriately settled by a three-pointer from the kicking tee.

Jones names his top lineup to face All Blacks

That had been his preferred tactic in the pool phase of the tournament, when Ford was outstanding. But he dropped the Leicester man to the bench for the quarter-final win over Australia, against whom Jones said he had been "spectacular" after coming on during the second half.

Manu Tuilagi moves to centre while the pack is the same as against Australia, with the only other change being on the bench where Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam as back row cover.

Scott Barrett set for a start in World Cup semi-final

Barrett's extra size would be key to counter the size and strenght of the England pack.

RNZ understands that Barrett will take the number six jersey, with Ardie Savea moving to the openside and Sam Cane dropping to the bench.

Scott Barrett came on at half time of the All Black's quarter-final win over Ireland and Sam Cane left the field at the same time.

Cane would replace the injured Matt Todd on the bench, while Patrick Tuipolotu is set to come into the reserves as lock cover.

All Blacks prepared for a kicking shootout

New Zealand will face England in an expected evenly contested semi-final in Yokohama on Saturday, with neither side red-hot favourites for a place in the Nov. 2 final.

Under tournament rules if a knockout match is locked at full time, the sides will play two 10-minute periods of extra time.

If they are still deadlocked a further sudden-death period of 10 minutes will be played where the first points scorers win.

After that, five players from each team will take shots at goal from pre-determined positions on the field before it then goes to sudden death.