Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup rest periods welcomed, timing questioned

The pool phase will be extended by a week, ensuring teams will have at least five days to prepare for all matches, while squad sizes will be increased from 31 to 33 players.

PRPW said that since 2003 the scheduling of Rugby World Cup matches has "brazenly prejudiced Tier 2 nations" and said the latest reforms are long overdue.

"This is a significant step towards a tournament that fully respects the ideals of fair play, and it will make a great difference to the Pacific Island teams," said former Manu Samoa international and PRPW CEO Dan Leo.

Preparation for Rugby World Cup in NZ pushed back several months for women's Six Nations sides

The Women’s Six Nations was due to start on February 6, the same weekend as the men’s tournament, but coronavirus lockdowns across the UK and Europe have prevented it from going ahead as planned.

England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy’s preparation for the Rugby World Cup, being hosted by New Zealand in September, will again be delayed, following three fixtures in the 2020 cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Australia's 2027 Rugby World Cup bid gets multi-million dollar boost

The government gave A$1 million in initial funding to the bid last year.

Hosting the tournament is projected to deliver A$2 billion in direct and indirect expenditure, bring in more than 200,000 international visitors for the six-week duration and create 12,000 jobs, Rugby Australia said in a statement.

“I want to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian Government for supporting Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” Rugby Australia Chairman Hamish McLennan said in the statement.

Flying Fijians coaching team confirmed

Former New South Wales Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson, current Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan and former test referee Glen Jackson have signed on to help their Kiwi compatriot, while breakdown specialist Richie Gray previously worked with Cotter during his time in charge of Scotland and Montpellier.

2023 RWC qualification process finalised

Twelve teams -- South Africa, England, New Zealand, Wales, Japan, France, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina and Fiji -- have already qualified by virtue of their top three finishes in their respective pools at last year's World Cup.

Seven of the eight remaining spots will be finalised via regional and cross-regional qualifiers, while a four-team round-robin tournament will determine the final qualifier.

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.