Rugby World Cup

Ireland look to go where no Irish side has been before

There's just one thing in their way, the three times champion All Blacks.

The two teams square off at Stade de France this weekend with the winner earning another week in France.

Ireland have failed to progress past the quarter-finals at each and every World Cup before this one, but star first-five Johnny Sexton is adamant they don't have a mental block.

"We've worked on our mental game for the last four years. We've put ourselves in different scenarios over the last four years to prepare for this.

Flying Fijian Sam Matavesi in England after dad's passing

Assistant coach Seremaia Bai says the team received the news this morning and their senior player, Sam, is now with his family in England.

Sireli Matavesi played rugby for Cornwall and Camborne after staying in the county following a tour rugby to the United Kingdom in 1985 and worked as a miner.

The Flying Fijians and Fiji Rugby Union say their thoughts are with the family and send their deepest condolences.

Bai also says it’s not confirmed whether Sam Matavesi will make the side for the quarterfinal against England

Tourism Fiji encourages heartbroken Wallabies fans to support the pacific

Wallabies legend and Fijian rugby league representative, Lote Tuqiri, has already jumped on board, announcing he’ll drop the green and gold for the black and white of Fiji. In fact, his nephew will even be taking the field, who is a part of Fiji’s 2023 Rugby World Cup squad.

All Blacks respect Ireland but don't fear them

The All Blacks are also adamant they're a much better team now than the one that lost to hosts France in their opening game of the World Cup, as they prepare to try and stop the Irish from reaching the final four of the tournament for the first time.

Ireland have won four of their last six games against the All Blacks, including their two most recent clashes.

If the All Blacks were to be beaten in Sunday morning's quarter-final in Paris, they would suffer the ignominy of heading home as statistically the worst ever All Blacks team at a World Cup.

Anything can happen in playoff: Bai

This is what Fiji’s kicking coach Seremaia Bai believes and says beating England at Twickenham gives them great confidence going into the game.

However, according to the former national flyhalf, the most important thing in a playoff is that anything can happen so Fiji will have to regroup, re-focus and prepare well.

Bai is one of three players from the 2007 team which made the World Cup quarterfinals that are part of the management team in France.

The other two are scrum coach Graham Dewes and manager Viliame Gadolo.

Portugal make history as Fiji makes last eight

A converted try to Portugal in the dying stages of the match denied Fiji the win.

Since 2007 our side has failed to progress but that ended at Stade De Toulouse following its bonus point loss today.

Fiji needed a win or bonus point loss from the match to make the top eight and also sent the Wallabies and their coach Eddie Jones home.

Fiji finishes second in pool C and will play England in the third quarterfinal next Monday.

Head coach Simon Raiwalui also congratulated the Portuguese for their courageous outing.

Hosts France romp past Italy into World Cup quarter-finals

First five-eighth Jalibert's lightning quick passing and inspired try lifted Les Bleus to the top of Pool A with other tries by Damian Penaud (2), Louis Bielle-Biarrey, Peato Mauvaka, Yoram Moefana (2) and Thomas Ramos, who also scored 15 points from the tee.

Fabien Galthie's team, without Dupont as the mercurial scrumhalf recovers from cheekbone surgery, won all their group games and are likely to face defending champions South Africa on 15 October, even if Ireland and Scotland are still possible opponents for a place in the last four.

England players expecting Samoan physicality in last pool D match


Both sides have named their line-ups with Manu Samoa making nine changes to the match-day 23 that lost to Japan last week.

English second-rower Maro Itoje told the media in a press conference in Paris on Wednesday that they expect a big game from the Samoans.

"Samoa are a very good side, much improved from the last time we played them," Itoje said.

"They are a physical side, they are organised, they play with a lot of power and skill; so it is going to be a great game."

Forward-thinking Samoa change tight five for England

Samoa must win by 29 points or more with a bonus point against an England side who have secured top spot in the group, and hope Sunday’s match between Japan and Argentina ends in a draw without either side taking a try-scoring bonus point.

Mapusua has opted for a new front row with props Jordan Lay and Michael Alaalatoa either side of hooker Sama Malolo, who earns a second test start. The lock pairing of Sam Slade and Brian Alainu’u’ese also come into the team.

Flying Fijians qualify for 2027 RWC

Our side has automatically qualified with Wales and Australia from pool C.

This is after Georgia and Portugal failed to qualify for the quarter-finals and can’t gain automatic qualification for 2027 as they are on three and two points respectively with one game to play in pool C.

Wales have already reached the 2023 quarter-finals and the other place will be secured by either Australia or Fiji after the final round of pool play this weekend.

The top three teams from each group automatically qualifies for the next World Cup.