RWC 2019

Jones happy with eager England

the "serious preparation" for their Rugby World Cup opener.

The 2003 winners are set up at a training base in Miyazaki ahead of this year's tournament, though the 31-man squad have been given the chance to do a variety of other activities before the focus switches back to rugby.

They visited a local school during the week, with some players trying their hand at archery, while Jones has allowed them the opportunity to relax as they settle into their new surroundings.

England star Manu Tuilagi says his 'heart and home is still Samoa'

The blockbusting 28-year-old midfielder has been named in Eddie Jones’ 31-man squad for the global showpiece event in Japan and is set to play a key role as England search for their first world title since 2003.

A re-call into the national set-up after a turbulent period saw him make just five international appearances between June 2014 and November 2018, but his re-call into Jones’ side at the end of last year has seen Tuilagi blossom with the red rose on his chest.

All Blacks shut down Sonny Bill Williams rumours

On Sunday, midfielder Williams was rumoured to be heading home from Japan with a calf injury, but those rumours were quickly shut down by the All Blacks. 

Former rugby reporter Hamish McKay told Radio Sport Williams would be replaced by Manawatu Turbos midfielder Ngani Laumape. 

But sources told Newshub that Laumape had not received a call from All Blacks management to join the squad.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said Williams was carrying an injury, but the team was doing a good job managing it. 

"Is he going home?" said Foster. "No.

England's Launchbury, Slade fit to feature

Launchbury sustained a knock in England's final warm-up fixture against Italy, while head coach Eddie Jones was without Slade for all of the preparation games as the centre recovered from a knee injury.

However, the duo will be able to take part in England's World Cup opener against Tonga on September 22, meaning Jones will have 29 of his 31-man squad available for selection.

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will still be missing, with both players expected to be out for at least the first two pool-stage matches.

All Blacks have time to adapt to heat and humidity, says professor

Images of the All Blacks visibly struggling in the heat and humidity in Japan have filtered back to New Zealand but Jim Cotter, a professor at the school of Physical Education at the University of Otago, reassured New Zealanders that they had given themselves enough time to adapt before their Rugby World Cup opener against South Africa on September 21.

"That's plenty of time," Professor Cotter told Stuff. "They'll have full adaption of what they need by then.

"You don't want it too much more, that's too much time away. That's the time you need.

Kiwi coaches seeking their fortunes abroad

Even Sir Graham and Hansen themselves were forced to take a pathway through Wales en route to the top NZ role.

If you're in doubt about which teams to support at the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand aren't playing, this list of Kiwi-coached sides may swing your allegiance.

Joe Schmidt (Ireland)

International teams coached: Ireland (2013-present)

International record: 50-18-1 (72.5 percent)

Tournament titles: Three (Six Nations 2014, 2015, 2018)

Ireland top rankings going into RWC 2019

Saturday's 19-10 victory over Wales was worth just over sixth-tenths of a rating point to Ireland and improves their overall tally to 89.47 points, while the All Blacks remain on 89.40 points following their emphatic 92-7 win against Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland in which winger George Bridge bagged four tries.

In Dublin, Rob Kearney and Hadleigh Parkes traded first-half tries before scores from Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan helped to give captain Rory Best and head coach Joe Schmidt a winning send-off in what was their final home test.

Nyakane expected to be fit for RWC

Prop Nyakane was sent on for Frans Malherbe in the second half of the 41-7 victory in Kumagaya but was forced off just 14 minutes later.

However, the 30-year-old did not sustain a serious injury and is expected to be available when the Springboks begin their World Cup campaign against reigning champions New Zealand on September 21.

"The tighthead prop sprained a knee during the 41-7 victory over Japan in Kumagaya on Friday and was limited to a 14-minute appearance," read a statement from the Springboks.

Final 31-member Fiji Airways Flying Fijians squad confirmed for RWC 2019

From the initial six props in the 32-member squad announced last month, Lee-Roy Atalifo has been moved to the reserve list.

“The final decision on the travelling 5 props was difficult with very little separating the players,” McKee said.

“I am pleased though to be able to now finalise the final 31 players to represent Fiji at RWC 2019.

“This is a very strong group, one that can make Fiji Proud at RWC,” McKee added.

Los Teros name squad for Japan 2019

Brothers Juan Diego and Agustín Ormaechea (pictured) will follow in the footsteps of their famous father Diego after they were both named in Uruguay’s 31-man squad for Japan 2019.

Flanker Juan Diego is in line to make his Rugby World Cup debut next month while younger brother Agustín is one of 12 players returning for a second tournament. He is again included as a scrum-half, the position from which he scored a try against Fiji four years ago.