Rugby World Cup

Unofficial Rugby World Cup proposed for 2021

The Telegraph says the proposed tournament would be a 16 team competition and be held in June and July next year.

The plan has been submitted World Rugby with a working title of the 'Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby'.

The plan has been drawn up by Francis Baron, the former head of the England RFU.

The Telegraph reports it would involve 31 matches over six weeks and would mean the postponement of the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa.

Baron said all of the profits would be distributed to the unions to support professional and community games.

Concussion rates down at Rugby World Cup

The tournament in Japan was the first World Cup to introduce World Rugby's "high tackle framework" - the step-process of decisions referees must consider when analysing a potentially dangerous tackle - which is designed to reduce the risk of head injuries by "changing player behaviour from high-risk upright to lower risk bent-at-the-waist tackles".

In a statement World Rugby said there was a 28% reduction in the overall incidence of concussion and a 37% drop in tackle concussions at the tournament compared with the average figures from elite events two years ago.

Pieter-Steph du Toit named player of the year

Du Toit was a colossus for the Springboks during the World Cup and dominated the breakdown during the final win over England, helping South Africa secure seven turnovers and proving a menace for the English throughout the match.

He also made 11 tackles and set up fellow player of the year nominee Cheslin Kolbe for the decisive final try in the 32-12 win.

"This is probably one of the best moments of my life," said du Toit.

All Blacks beat Wales 40-17 in third-place play-off

After the loss to England in the semifinal last week, New Zealand ended its World Cup campaign - and Steve Hansen's tenure as head coach - on a positive note with the win in the third-place playoff, extending their 66-year winning streak over Wales to 31 Tests.

Playing with intent and accuracy that had been lacking last weekend, New Zealand scored six tries to two at Tokyo Stadium.

Hansen said the players did very well to pick themselves up for the match.

"There was a lot of external talk about not wanting to play this game.

Aaron Smith ready to stick around for another four years

The Highlanders No 9 will start in Friday night's bronze medal match against Wales in Tokyo.

Smith will be 34 by the time the next World Cup rolls around.

But he said he had taken inspiration from the form of outgoing captain Kieran Read, who is currently 34 himself.

"It doesn't mean I'm going to make it like he did.

"But us halfbacks don't take as many knocks. The only challenge will be if I'm still there mentally and if I'm still quick enough.

Cheslin Kolbe returns for South Africa for Rugby World Cup final

Cheslin Kolbe, who sat out the semi-final with an ankle injury, has recovered in time for his nation’s shot at a third title.

The South Africans will enter the final with history on their side; they’ve never lost a World Cup final.

England, by contrast, fell to South Africa in 2007 – the last time the two teams met in a World Cup.

Erasmus was candid during the week and suggested that the Springboks were unlikely to deviate from the tactics that won them their semi-final with Wales.

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks team to play Wales named

Hansen has made seven personnel changes to the starting side that lost to England last week, with Dane Coles, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane, Rieko Ioane, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty and Ben Smith all named to start against Wales on Friday.

Scott Barrett has been named at lock instead of blindside flanker, while Kieran Read will start at number 8 and captain for his final match.

Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett all retain their positions as well.

England fined 'four-figure' sum for v-shaped formation in response to haka

The Guardian reports England have been fined a four-figure sum for breaching World Rugby regulations, which say opponents must not cross the halfway line while the challenge is being performed. At least six England players could be seen in television coverage breaking that rule.

The Guardian added the fine is less than the one France received in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. They were made to pay NZ$5000 for their v-shaped formation, which also went over the halfway line.

Prince Harry to watch Rugby World Cup final in Japan

The Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), will watch England take on South Africa. 

It comes after England beat New Zealand 19-7 in the semi-final on Saturday. 

     

Eddie Jones burns Gatland over barbed comment ahead of World Cup final

Gatland was speaking after his team had been beaten 19-16 by South Africa, who now face Jones’s men on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 showpiece.

Meanwhile, Wales face the All Blacks in the bronze final 24 hours earlier – which was Gatland’s last match as boss.

“Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off?” Jones said at a press conference.