South Africa

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.

Wales v South Africa

The Six Nations champions are underdogs for the last-four showdown in Yokohama City, where they will be striving to reach the final for the first time.

Wales left it late to beat 14-man France at the quarter-final stage last weekend and must do without full-back Liam Williams (ankle) and flanker Josh Navidi (hamstring) against the Springboks.

Centre Jonathan Davies has been passed fit after a knee problem, though, and head coach Gatland is optimistic his side can defy the odds to earn a shot at the Webb Ellis Cup.

Williams out of Rugby World Cup

Wales face South Africa in Yokohama on Sunday looking to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

Davies is back in Gatland's XV after missing the narrow last-eight victory over France with a recurrence of an earlier knee injury.

However, Williams is out of this clash and the remainder of the tournament due to a training-ground injury.

Wales reported Williams had suffered the blow to his ankle in an accidental collision and a prognosis was still to be established.

South Africa end Japan's World Cup fairytale

In what was a first World Cup quarter-final for the Japanese, neither an entire nation seemingly now besotted by rugby, nor a raucous 50,000 crowd packed into Tokyo Stadium, could carry the hosts to victory on Sunday.

"Test match rugby is all about creating opportunities and capitalising, but unfortunately they kept us out and with their set-piece... they played well," Japan skipper Michael Leitch said.

"Credit to them."

India wrap up series win

Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on at the start of the penultimate day after the Proteas were bowled out for 275 in their first innings on Saturday in reply to 601-5 declared.

South Africa's shortcomings with the bat were exposed again on Sunday as they were dismissed for only 189, suffering their heaviest defeat to India in the longest format.

Umesh took 3-22 and Jadeja claimed 3-52, while Ravichandran Ashwin (2-45) also did damage as India sealed a record 11th consecutive series on home soil.

Italy versus South Africa to be first Rugby World Cup game broadcast in space

European Space Agency astronaut Parmitano has taken over command of the ISS this week but despite floating more than 250 miles above Japan, he will be able to watch his compatriots take on the Spingboks thanks to the tournament organisers.

In what will be the first Rugby World Cup match broadcast in space, World Rugby is providing a special feed for Parmitano so he can see Conor O’Shea’s men in action.

South Africa v Italy

The Springboks are third in Pool B, behind leaders Italy and New Zealand after losing to the All Blacks in their first match of the tournament.

South Africa responded to their loss to the defending champions by thumping Namibia 57-3 and will be expected to get the better of an Azzurri side who have taken maximum points from their two matches.

Kohli stars in India victory

After Sunday's opener in Dharamsala was washed out, the home team did well with the ball to restrict the Proteas to 149-5, Quinton de Kock top-scoring with 52.

Not for the first time in his career, Kohli timed the chase superbly, keeping the run-rate under control before accelerating late on to see his team cruise over the line in Mohali with six balls to spare.

Springboks want a strong effort from match officials

The Boks have previously felt they have not always got the rub of the green from the officials in clashes with the world champions, especially in areas such as the breakdown and scrum.

With only two points separating the sides on aggregate in their last four matches, it suggests fine margins could decide the Pool B opener.

"Hopefully the match officials will respect the game because if you look at the way things are between us and New Zealand, I think we're more balanced now," Stick said.

Springboks reduce potential World Cup squad

Erasmus has hinted his final 31-man selection for the tournament in Japan, which will be announced on August 26, will be drawn from the players in camp this week with the remainder on stand-by in case of injury.

The players released from the group that defeated Argentina 24-18 in a one-off test in Pretoria on Saturday are prop Wilco Louw, hooker Scarra Ntubeni, loose forward Marco van Staden and utility back Dillyn Leyds.