Rugby World Cup 2019

Bastareaud, Parra left out by France for Rugby World Cup

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Mathieu Bastareaud and Morgan Parra, who both captained France just last year, have failed to make the preliminary squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Winger Teddy Thomas was another high-profile absentee when France's 31-man group was announced on Tuesday, three months out from the tournament. France coach Jacques… Read

RUGBY UNION

Highlanders bullish on Smith return for Crusaders clash

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All Blacks fullback Ben Smith could be rushed back into the Otago Highlanders side for Friday's quarterfinal against the Canterbury Crusaders as Aaron Mauger's side prepare for Super Rugby's 'Mission Impossible'. Smith trained last week but was a late withdrawal ahead of their 49-12 demolition of the New South Wales… Read

Rugby World Cup 2019

Webb Ellis Trophy blessed at temple in Kyoto before tour of Japan

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The Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup trophy was blessed by Shinto monks during a ceremony in Japan's former capital of Kyoto on Monday before the trophy embarks on a tour of the country ahead of the tournament, starting in September. During Monday's ceremony at the Shimogamo Shrine, monks prayed for… Read

RUGBY UNION

Another poor Super Rugby season for Australia

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When Super Rugby's quarterfinalists were finally decided last weekend, there were celebrations in New Zealand with four qualifiers, and in South Africa with three. But there was little joy in Australia which once again has only one team — the ACT Brumbies — among the tournament's top eight teams. The… Read

RUGBY UNION

Lealiifano to leave Brumbies for Japan after 2019 season

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Former Wallabies utility back and cancer survivor Christian Lealiifano will depart the ACT Brumbies after the 2019 season and take up a contract in Japan, the Super Rugby team said on Monday. The 31-year-old Lealiifano, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016 but returned to rugby the following year after… Read

RUGBY UNION

Criticism fueled Chiefs' playoffs surge, says Cane

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Waikato Chiefs captain Sam Cane has said their stunning transformation from Super Rugby strugglers to playoffs contenders was sparked by a desire to prove their critics wrong. Colin Cooper's side dug themselves out of a 0-4 hole at the start of the season and overcame the loss of key players… Read

Rugby World Cup 2019

Rugby World Cup 2019 unveils match ticket designs

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The Rugby World Cup 2019 ticket designs were unveiled Monday during a launch event held at the historic Meiji Kinenkan in central Tokyo. Blending the traditional Japanese art form of Musha-e, or Warrior Art, with Rugby World Cup 2019 themed motifs, the three ticket designs capture both the strong sense… Read

Rugby World Cup 2019

Some Rugby World Cup host cities unhappy with tight security rules

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A significant portion of Japan's regional authorities hosting camps of national teams participating in the Rugby World Cup want the organizing committee to change rules which prohibit them from publicizing practice locations and schedules for security reasons, a recent survey found. These local governments have asked the Japan Rugby World… Read

RUGBY UNION

Stars align for Crusaders in bid for 10th Super Rugby crown

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The Canterbury Crusaders have delivered an ominous warning as they bid for a third consecutive Super Rugby crown with news that they expect to be at full strength for the play-offs. The nine-times champions already have an impressive record having never lost a home playoff game since Super Rugby's launch… Read

Rugby World Cup 2019

Tonga offers exiled Folau a 2023 World Cup spot

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Tonga is keen to draft Wallabies exile Israel Folau into its national program with a view to handing him a Rugby World Cup berth in 2023, coach Toutai Kefu has said. Former Wallabies fullback Folau, who has Tongan heritage, had his four-year Australia contract torn up last month for posting… Read

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