Rugby World Cup

Manu Samoa climbs up in World Rugby rankings

The Steve Jackson-coached side is currently in 16th place behind Tonga who is currently in 15th.

Samoa recorded its best position back in 2013 when they were ranked 7th before dropping to 17th from last year.

The ‘Ikale Tahi’ Tongan rugby side on the other hand, recorded its best position back in 2011 finishing in top ten and placing in ninth place.

Fiji has currently dropped from eighth to tenth place in the rankings.

The Rugby World Cup will be held from 20 September to 2 November in Japan.

     

Fijians flying towards World Cup

After a win and a loss to the Māori All Blacks in July, Fiji were defeated in their opening game of the PNC by Japan, who went on to win the tournament.

Wins over Canada and Samoa gave Fiji second place, the first time they had failed to claim the title since 2014.

Even though Fiji relinquished the silverware, McKee said it was good build up for September's World Cup in Japan.

"It's been quite an intensive five weeks with the five matches, a large squad and all our trainings," he said.

Barrett still waiting on judiciary, could miss start of World Cup

Barrett was sent off for a dangerous tackle near the end of the first half of the All Blacks 47-26 loss to the Wallabies in the opening Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth.

He'll likely be ruled him out this weekend's Bledisloe Cup decider in Auckland, but he could be slapped with a four week ban, which would rule him out of this week's second Bledisloe test in Auckland, the All Blacks one-off test against Tonga and their first two World Cup pool games.

The SANZAAR foul play committee adjourned last night's hearing pending further evidence.

All Black lock Scott Barrett facing possible ban that puts doubt over his World Cup campaign

The SANZAAR foul play review committee will convene late Sunday afternoon (5pm AEST) by video conference to consider Barrett’s case.

Barrett was sent off just before halftime in a key moment of the Wallabies’ upset 47-26 victory in the series opener at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

He was red-carded by French referee Jerome Garces for an apparent shoulder charge which struck Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper in the back and neck as the All Blacks were desperately defending their line.

Rugby World Cup countdown: 50 days to go

Over 400,000 fans from around the world are expected to descend on Japan during the tournament, beginning in late September and going through to mid November.

It is the first World Cup to be held outside of rugby's traditional heartlands.

Ever since the venue of the final was changed in 2015 after the scrapping of a proposed new national stadium, planning for the World Cup has been mostly smooth.

World Cup venues - Kamaishi, Osaka and Kumagaya - are hosting Japan warm-up matches, which should give organisers a chance to fine-tune their final preparations.

Sonny Bill Williams blasts critics saying he's under pressure to make Rugby World Cup

The midfielder rarely uses Twitter to respond to media stories about him, but Williams was clearly fired up, saying those who say he's under pressure need to 'get their priorities right.'

Williams wrote that playing sport for a living can't be compared to those who are struggling to deal with far bigger problems.

"And for those that say I'm under pressure playing a game that I enjoy," Williams wrote. 

"Get your priorities right. Look at what's going on in the world.

France to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) board last month unanimously recommended South Africa to host the tournament in six years' time.

Yet World Rugby Council members on Wednesday voted in favour of the France bid, despite South Africa being picked out as a "clear leader" a couple of weeks before decision day.

France presented the tournament solo for the first time in 2007, having played joint-host in 1991 with the UK and Ireland, and they will also stage the 10th edition of the tournament.

Tahiti upset Cook Islands to keep RWC hopes alive

In wet and windy conditions, the French territory scored two unanswered tries and kept the Cookies scoreless in the second half.

The test was marred by ill-discipline, with Tahiti prop Martin Taeae, winger James Tekurio and Cook Islands centre Samuela Longo Leuta sent off amid a flurry of eight cards.

President of Tahiti Rugby Union, Charles Tauziet, claimed the "underdog" tag prior to kick-off but said the visitors ultimately won the game up front.

Discipline a work in progress for Fiji 7s

World Rugby brought in a tougher approach to dangerous tackling this year, with zero tolerance for reckless or accidental tackles that make contact with a players head.

Head coach Gareth Baber said last month the players would have to make adjustments to their tackling technique, to ensure they keep seven players on the field.

Two tournaments on he said it was still a work in progress.

Four bids tabled to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

The submissions will be assessed by a World Rugby Technical Review Group and applicants that meet the required criteria will move to the candidate phase on 1 November.