test match

England v South Africa: Bevan Rodd and Jamie Blamire start for hosts

Prop Joe Marler, who will not train until Friday after isolating with Covid-19, is named on the bench, as is uncapped hooker Nic Dolly.

Joe Marchant is on the wing with Manu Tuilagi returning to the midfield.

Flanker Courtney Lawes captains the side at Twickenham in the absence of the injured Owen Farrell.

England's last meeting with South Africa was the 2019 World Cup final in which the Springbok pack dominated to claim a 32-12 win.

Farrell tests positive for Covid

The RFU said Farrell would miss Saturday's training after returning a positive PCR test and would remain in isolation and would be lateral flow and PCR tested again on Saturday. All other player and staff PCR test results received were negative.

Farrell had been due to start at flyhalf but his likely absence means a probable start for Marcus Smith, who was named among the replacements after missing parts of training this week with a leg injury.

All Blacks march to nine-try win over Fiji

Winger Sevu Reece scored three first half tries and Ardie Savea one in his 50th test for New Zealand to give the All Blacks a 29-6 lead at half-time.

Fiji hit back early in the second spell with a try to prop Peni Ravai, but the All Blacks continued to dominate, running in five second half tries - including a double for hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho on debut.

The New Zealanders took a while to hit their straps, but once Reece scored his first try in the 14th minute, they never looked back.

Flying Fijians relish second shot at All Blacks

Despite matching up to the All Blacks physically and winning a number of penalties up front, coach Vern Cotter said his side will need to much better in the second test.

"Yeah we got a few turnovers. We got penalised a few times as well, so we definitely want to take away those penalties that are unnecessary - we still want to be competitive in that area.

"Different field, different conditions this weekend - we'll adapt to what we need to do to defend well, look for those turnovers but also not give away penalties, so it's going to be a balance between that."

World Rugby to introduce new laws to test matches

Two of the laws have already been trialed in Super Rugby this year, the goal-line drop out, which has been seen in Super Rugby Aotearoa and trans-Tasman - and the 50m line to 22m line kick, which was used in Super Rugby AU.

World Rugby believes both have the potential to increase space and decrease defensive line speed.

Three trials focus specifically on reducing injury risk at the breakdown.

Hodge to face All Blacks at first-five as Wallabies ring the changes

With James O'Connor still struggling with a knee injury that ruled him out of last weekend's record 43-5 loss to the All Blacks, 42-test veteran Hodge was named in the side in place of Noah Lolesio, who had a poor game on debut in Sydney.

An injury to lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto also forced a change in the second row with Rob Simmons set to earn his 104th cap alongside Matt Philip in the fourth Bledisloe Cup clash, that doubles as a Tri-Nations match.

The All Blacks have already sealed the Bledisloe Cup series.

Lions to play Japan

The Lions will host the Brave Blossoms in Edinburgh next June ahead of their tour of South Africa.

It will mark just the third time the Lions have played on home soil following games in Cardiff against Argentina in 2005 and a Rest of the World XV in 1986.

"We saw Japan play some excellent rugby during the World Cup and they will come to Edinburgh fully-motivated to win," Lions head coach Warren Gatland said.

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph said it was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for the players.

The Lions play South Africa in three tests in July-August.

Sonny Bill Williams’ Samoa v Jason Taumalolo’s Tonga set to go ahead in America

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that promoter Paul Langi Kinikini wants to cough up the cash to bring the two mega stars to Utah.

The city has a large Tonga population and if it gets approved by international chiefs would be played in Salt Lake City.

League authorities would be wise to examine the fallout from the Kiwis vs England Test in Denver in 2018, which saw both the New Zealand and English federations out of pocket following Jason Moore’s failed event.

But Kinikini told The Sydney Morning Herald he didn’t have an issue with paying the cash up front.

Australia claim crushing win over Pakistan in first Test

Pakistan were bowled out for 335 in their second innings as Australia wrapped up victory inside four days in Brisbane.

Despite Babar Azam's brilliant century and a 95-run knock from Mohammad Rizwan, Australia were not to be denied – paceman Josh Hazlewood leading the way with figures of 4-63.

Pakistan resumed on 64-3 and faced a heavy defeat after man of the match Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner put Australia in a dominant position at 580, in reply to Pakistan's first-innings 240.

That'll do it!

Taumalolo ready for another sea of red in New Zealand

Taumalolo says it is always overwhelming to see such support and they are looking forward to seeing the same turn out as the last one.

“It’s obviously hard to put in words. I guess the feeling does not become overwhelming until you take the field. So to be there alongside a crowd wearing red all around and singing the national anthem that’s when it really hits,” he said in an interview with NRL.com

Taumalolo said whenever fans sing a hymn or cheer that gives the boys a lift.