Rugby World Cup

Seven Tongan players ready to represent Japan in RWC 2019

The hosts have named Asaeli Valu,  Uve Helu, Amanaki Lelei Mafi,  William Tupou,  Ataata Moeakiola, Lemeki Romano and Nakajima Isileli.

Mafi received minor injuries in their warm up match against South Africa but was given the green light for the RWC.

The powerful No.8 and and flying wing Kenki Fukuoka were both forced from the field, leaving head coach Joseph with some headaches ahead of his side's Pool A opener against Russia in Tokyo on Sept. 20.

No room for David Pocock and Michael Hooper in Australian lineup says Wallabies legend

The veteran loose forward returned from a calf injury to play his first test of the year in Australia’s final pre-World Cup hit out against Samoa in Sydney last weekend, an encouraging sign as Pocock embarks on a third World Cup campaign.

He also led the side in place of fellow openside flanker Michael Hooper, who was rested.

Manu Tuilagi on why ethnic diversity can help fuel England's World Cup glory bid

Samoan-born Tuilagi is among a number of players with overseas heritage who are looking to repeat the heroics of Martin Johnson’s 2003 Webb Ellis Trophy winners by sweeping all before them in Japan.

Also represented to varying degrees are Fiji, Tonga, Nigeria and the United States, while Lewis Ludlam’s background is a mix of Guyanese, Palestinian and Egyptian. “I definitely think it helps. There’s a lot of different backgrounds in the team,” Tuilagi said.

From Starbucks barista to World Cup bolter

The World Cup bolter profited from Ben Te’o’s shock exclusion from Eddie Jones’ squad for Japan 2019 to claim one of the four centre spots, his ability to cover all three midfield positions adding to his value.

But prior to this summer’s series of warm-up matches, the little-heralded 29-year-old had won only four caps and three of those came as a replacement.

As a teenager he was cut from the Saracens academy, galvanising him to travel to New Zealand in the hope that the most thorough rugby education possible would realise his ambition of becoming a professional.

'We go into this Rugby World Cup as the best prepared Flying Fijian team ever'

Twice before have Fiji progressed to the knockout rounds of rugby’s showpiece event, first in the inaugural tournament in 1987, before again making the quarter-finals in the 2007 edition. There were no such celebrations four years ago in England, however, as John McKee’s side picked up just one win and finished fourth in their pool, a pool that is not too different to the one they face in Japan over the next month.

Nakarawa not bothered about Wallabies adopted Fijians

The Fijian born quartet of Isi Naisarani, Samu Kerevi. Marika Koroibete and Tevita Kuridrani are  likely to be in the Wallabies team against Fiji a the Sapporo Dome on September 21 and Nakarawa recognises it could be an unwanted distraction.

However, the Racing 92 lock who won a  Sevens gold medal at the Rio Olympics, told the FijiSun: “Other Fijians play for other countries for their own personal reasons. We don’t want to think or are bothered about them. We want to focus on what we can do and tasked to achieve at the World Cup.

Wales star's World Cup in doubt as he awaits concussion check

The Scarlets number 10 suffered a third concussion in 12 months during Wales’ 19-10 defeat against Ireland in Dublin.

He went off midway through the first half following an attempted tackle on Ireland back-row forward CJ Stander.

It was Patchell’s first Test start since June last year when he starred with a 20-point haul against Argentina in Santa Fe.

He is one of two fly-halves in Wales head coach Warren Gatland’s 31-man squad for Japan, having edged out Jarrod Evans to secure a place alongside Dan Biggar.

Wallabies spots still up for grabs following Samoan scare

Australia wrapped up their pre-World Cup Test campaign with a 34-15 win over Samoa in Sydney on Saturday.

A good first-half display, which was rewarded with a 22-3 halftime lead, was offset by an unconvincing second-half performance, with Samoa scoring the first 12 points, before two late tries pushed the home side clear.

Cheika said the game had been a really good hit out for the Wallabies, who now have a 3-2 record this year.

Georgia 'have the players and the power to upset any team in the world'

The Dark Blues round off their warm-up schedule against the Lelos at Murrayfield on Friday night before jetting out for Japan first thing on Monday morning.

Having beaten France at home and then thumped the Georgians in Tbilisi last week, Townsend is desperate to keep the Scots’ momentum building ahead of their tournament opener with Ireland on September 22.

Ngani Laumape breaks silence after missing out on All Blacks Rugby World Cup selection

Laumape failed to make the four-man midfield chosen by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen last month, which includes two-time World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown.

Despite 108-cap veteran Owen Franks also missing out on the squad, the reaction to Laumape’s omission caused arguably the biggest stir on social media.

The Hurricanes centre hasn’t spoken to media since the squad announcement but has since posted to his Instagram.