Rugby World Cup

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."

England primed to cope with gruelling four-day turnaround, says Jones

A four-day turnaround between games has confronted the Webb Ellis Trophy hopefuls with the most hectic period of their Pool C campaign as victory over Tonga in Sapporo is followed by a clash at the Kobe Misaki Stadium 96 hours later.

In a dry-run for the occasion, Jones planned the build-up to last autumn’s 35-15 victory over Japan to mirror the lack of preparation time he must negotiate now.

Upset Fiji fans turn on coach John McKee

After losing to Australia last Saturday, Fiji were shocked by an impassioned Uruguay side, who took a 24-12 half-time lead and managed to hold onto a 30-27 win. 

Boasting some world-class players, Fiji were tipped by many to cause some upsets at this year’s RWC with the Wallabies and Wales also in their pool. However, their chances of progressing to the quarter-finals now look very slim. 

Hodge banned for three weeks, Samoan duo cited

The no-arms tackle caught the Fijian flanker in the head in the 26th minute of the Pool D opener in Sapporo on Saturday but the Wallabies utility back was cleared of an offence by the matchday officials, despite the protestations of the Fijian players.

Yato was unable to return to the field after failing a head injury assessment and was also forced to miss Fiji's shock defeat by Uruguay in Kamaishi last night, in line with concussion protocols.