Rugby World Cup results sees New Zealand beat South Africa, Australia and France both win

21 Sep

New Zealand began their World Cup defence with a win against South Africa.

The current champions are aiming to win a third successive crown and remain on course to do so by winning 23-13 in Yokohama.

They last lost a World Cup game 4,368 days ago when France beat them in the 2007 quarter-final.

New Zealand fended off everything a turbocharged Cheslin Kolbe and the Springboks could throw at them, with George Bridge and Scott Barrett bagged the New Zealand tries, with Richie Mo’unga slotting 10 points with the boot and Beauden Barrett notching a penalty of his own.


Eddie Jones names strong team for World Cup opener

England vs Tonga will see Eddie Jones’ men face the heaviest player in Test rugby

Home nations preview, as Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales begin in Japan


New Zealand players bow to their supporters in Japan
Getty Images - Getty

“It was a heck of a Test match,” Kieran Read said afterwards, while head coach Steve Hanson said: “Today was a big game for both sides and fortunately for us we came out on top, but it was another titanic struggle between New Zealand and South Africa and hopefully people got excited by it.

“They’re never out of it, they’re always a team that comes back. The players took their opportunities and scored.”

France, the last side to beat the Kiwis in a World Cup match, held off a spirited second-half comeback from Argentina to win their World Cup Pool C opener 23-21 at the Tokyo Stadium.

In the Sapporo Dome, meanwhile, Australia beat Fiji 39-21.

RESULTS

New Zealand 23-13 South Africa
France 23-21 Argentina
Australia 39-21 Fiji

Rugby World Cup results sees New Zealand beat South Africa, Australia and France both win

21 Sep

New Zealand began their World Cup defence with a win against South Africa.

The current champions are aiming to win a third successive crown and remain on course to do so by winning 23-13 in Yokohama.

They last lost a World Cup game 4,368 days ago when France beat them in the 2007 quarter-final.

New Zealand fended off everything a turbocharged Cheslin Kolbe and the Springboks could throw at them, with George Bridge and Scott Barrett bagged the New Zealand tries, with Richie Mo’unga slotting 10 points with the boot and Beauden Barrett notching a penalty of his own.


Eddie Jones names strong team for World Cup opener

England vs Tonga will see Eddie Jones’ men face the heaviest player in Test rugby

Home nations preview, as Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales begin in Japan


New Zealand players bow to their supporters in Japan
Getty Images - Getty

“It was a heck of a Test match,” Kieran Read said afterwards, while head coach Steve Hanson said: “Today was a big game for both sides and fortunately for us we came out on top, but it was another titanic struggle between New Zealand and South Africa and hopefully people got excited by it.

“They’re never out of it, they’re always a team that comes back. The players took their opportunities and scored.”

France, the last side to beat the Kiwis in a World Cup match, held off a spirited second-half comeback from Argentina to win their World Cup Pool C opener 23-21 at the Tokyo Stadium.

In the Sapporo Dome, meanwhile, Australia beat Fiji 39-21.

RESULTS

New Zealand 23-13 South Africa
France 23-21 Argentina
Australia 39-21 Fiji

When is the next British and Irish Lions tour? Warren Gatland confirmed as Head Coach for South Africa tests

12 Jun

Warren Gatland has confirmed he will take charge of his third British and Irish Lions tour when they make the trip to South Africa.

Gatland lead the Lions to a dramatic series draw against New Zealand in 2017 and a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013.

Warren Gatland will take charge of his third British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa in 2021
getty

The Kiwi is now set to do so again when Home Nations team travel to the face the Springboks.

Gatland will relinquish his role as Wales boss after the upcoming World Cup and will then start his official Lions duties in August 2020.

That’ll give him plenty of time to consider his options for the trip to Africa along with new Lions Chairman Jason Leonard and first full-time managing director Ben Calveley.

British and Irish Lions tour: When is it?

The Lions will head to South Africa for their tour in the summer of 2021.

While exact dates have not been confirmed as of yet, the tour will likely take place throughout June and culminate in early July.

The 2021 tour will be shorter than recent editions of the showpiece event.

The Lions have tended to play ten matches during the trips but will compete in a total of eight games this time around.

That will include a three-match test series against South Africa plus five additional games against local teams.

Warren Gatland ‘s Lions drew with New Zealand on their tour in 2017
getty

British and Irish Lions tour: What has Warren Gatland said?

On being confirmed as the Lions Head Coach once again, Gatland said: “I’m hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again.

“It is exciting and a great challenge to coach the best players from the four Home Nations.

“The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.

“South Africa is a special place to play rugby.

“They have some of the most iconic stadiums in the world which will be packed full of passionate fans, and the Springboks have shown in recent times that they are back to being one of the dominant forces in the game.

“Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us – playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.

“History tells you it’s a tough place to tour, but I am 100 per cent confident that we can go there and win. I would not be here if I thought differently.

“I’m delighted to now have everything in place to begin full-time in August 2020 as that gives me the best possible chance to plan for South Africa, but for the time being my focus is entirely on the Rugby World Cup and delivering a successful campaign for Wales.”

When is the next British and Irish Lions tour?Warren Gatland confirmed as Head Coach for South Africa Tests

12 Jun

Warren Gatland has confirmed he will take charge of his third British and Irish Lions tour when they make the trip to South Africa.

Gatland lead the Lions to a dramatic series draw against New Zealand in 2017 and a 2-1 series win over Australia in 2013.

Warren Gatland will take charge of his third British and Irish Lions tour in South Africa in 2021
getty

The Kiwi is now set to do so again when the Home Nations team travel to the face the Springboks.

Gatland will relinquish his role as Wales boss after the upcoming World Cup and will then start his official Lions duties in August 2020.

That’ll give him plenty of time to consider his options for the trip to Africa, along with new Lions Chairman Jason Leonard and first full-time managing director Ben Calveley.

British and Irish Lions tour: When is it?

The Lions will head to South Africa for their tour in the summer of 2021.

While exact dates have not been confirmed as of yet, the tour will likely take place throughout June and culminate in early July.

The 2021 tour will be shorter than recent editions of the showpiece event.

The Lions have tended to play ten matches during the trips but will compete in a total of eight games this time around.

That will include a three-match Test series against South Africa plus five additional games against local teams.

Warren Gatland ‘s Lions drew with New Zealand on their tour in 2017
getty

British and Irish Lions tour: What has Warren Gatland said?

On being confirmed as the Lions Head Coach once again, Gatland said: “I’m hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again.

“It is exciting and a great challenge to coach the best players from the four Home Nations.

“The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.

“South Africa is a special place to play rugby.

“They have some of the most iconic stadiums in the world which will be packed full of passionate fans, and the Springboks have shown in recent times that they are back to being one of the dominant forces in the game.

“Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us – playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.

“History tells you it’s a tough place to tour, but I am 100 per cent confident that we can go there and win. I would not be here if I thought differently.

“I’m delighted to now have everything in place to begin full-time in August 2020 as that gives me the best possible chance to plan for South Africa, but for the time being my focus is entirely on the Rugby World Cup and delivering a successful campaign for Wales.”

Leigh Halfpenny: Wales full-back to miss South Africa clash due to concussion

20 Nov

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash against South Africa in the Under Armour Series.

Halfpenney suffered concussion following a challenge by Australia centre Samu Kerevi when Wales beat the Wallabies 10 days ago.

Halfpenny’s absence was confirmed on Tuesday

Kerevi escaped sanction following the incident, but Wales have now lost 80 times-capped Halfpenny for the Springboks fixture.

Leigh is out,” Wales assistant coach Rob Howley told reporters at Wales’ training base on Tuesday.

“He did some training on Saturday morning, and he was still feeling a little bit light-headed.

“It is just a commonsense approach, really. A player’s welfare comes first. He unfortunately misses out this weekend.”

Wales have options in the number 15 shirt, with Liam Williams, who started on the wing and scored two tries against Tonga last weekend, one candidate.

And fly-half Gareth Anscombe could be another contender as Wales look to complete a first clean sweep of autumn Test victories.

They are also chasing a ninth successive win against all opponents, which would equal their longest unbeaten run since 1999.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to announce his startling line-up on Thursday.

Gatland’s team end the Under Armour Series against South Africa

Halfpenny is Wales’ first-choice goalkicker and has amassed more than 700 points for his country, but Wales also have strong options in that area with the likes of Anscombe, Dan Biggar and Rhys Patchell.

Howley, meanwhile, confirmed that wing George North is back in training after suffering a dead leg during the Wallabies clash.

“I’m glad to say George North is back in full training,” Howley added. “He trained this morning and is available for selection.”

Courtney Lawes set to miss England’s clash with South Africa after sleeping a bed that was too small

29 Oct

Courntey Lawes is a huge doubt for England’s Autumn Series opener against South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

Lawes left the Portugal training camp on Friday with a back injury to return home in order to receive specialist treatment after initially suffering the injury before the Saints’ defeat to Leicester Tigers earlier this month.

Lawes is set to miss the Autumn Series opener against South Africa

The British and Irish Lions lock pulled out of the game during the warm-up after suffering a back spasm that Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd revealed was the result of sleeping in a hotel bed that was too small for his 6’7” frame.

He is due to return to Vilamoura on Monday evening but given that he will not be able to train fully until Thursday – on the morning the team is announced – his chances of being involved have faded.

“Courtney had a walk through on Wednesday and realised it wasn’t right. Our medical team got on to it straight away,” England head coach Eddie Jones said.

“He was investigated here, we couldn’t get the required treatment here so had to send him back.

“At the moment it seems like it’s had the required effect and we’ll just wait and see how he comes in tonight (Monday).

“He’s had the injury for a while. He missed two games for Northampton. He came back and played a game but it hasn’t really rectified itself.

“We’re hopeful he’ll do some light training on Tuesday. Maybe he’ll do some full training on Thursday and we’ll make an assessment on whether he’s right to go.

“He’s a 60-capper, a Lions player, great ball carrier, a good defender. A big loss, so we’ve just got to pick up the slack.”

If Lawes if ruled out as expected, Saracens pair Maro Itoje and George Kruis are set to form the second row.