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Rugby World Cup

Womens Rugby World Cup 2014

The 12 team captains launch Womens Rugby World Cup 2014 in Paris

C’est parti!

The 12 teams participating in Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 have arrived in France and are all set for kick-off in Paris this Friday, August 1.

Under the opulence of the City Hall in Paris, and with an earlier photo call in the shadow of the iconic Eiffel Tower, #WRWC2014 was officially launched in the French capital on Tuesday.

New Zealand are in France to defend their title, which they claimed after a thrilling final against England in 2010.

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Olympics 2016New ZealandAustraliaSeveral ex-New Zealand and Australia internationals have confirmed that they will lodge an application to switch allegiances to a Pacific Island nation with whom they hold a passport, with a view to participating at the Rugby World Cup in England next year.

With the inclusion of rugby 7s at the Olympics in 2016, there has been a change in eligibility laws that will see players who have represented one nation now eligible to play for another, if they hold a passport from that country.

If they have not played international rugby in the past 18 months, they will be eligible for their new country in the Sevens World Series or designated Regional Olympic Qualification Tournaments and would thus be able to play for that country in all forms of rugby.

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German Football

What lessons can be learnt from the successful German Football campaign?

As the dust settles on Germany’s recent FIFA World Cup triumph is there anything that those side’s hoping to lift the Rugby World Cup crown in England next year could learn from Joachim Löw and his all-conquering team?

Are there lessons that could prove pivotal for those sides aiming to win the Women’s Rugby World Cup in France next month?

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French Rugby

French rugby is just one bad November away from falling out of the top 10 rankings

After years of selling itself as a global game when it never really was, rugby is poised to take grip in territories it has always dreamed of conquering writes Gregor Paul in the Herold on Sunday.

The All Blacks are scheduled to play in Chicago this year, Samoa in 2015 and probably Singapore in 2016. Super Rugby is also heading to Argentina and probably Singapore.

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New Zealand Women

New Zealand celebrate a fourth consecutive WRWC title following victory over England in the 2010 final

With just over two weeks to go before Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014, we take a look back at how previous tournaments unfolded and at the Springbok squad and preparations.

Women’s rugby has experienced phenomenal growth in recent times and the number of women and girls playing the game currently stands at 1.5 million, a quarter of the overall total.

Much of that growth over the past five years has been driven by Olympic inclusion, the inception of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and ongoing work between national unions and Olympic Committees.

However, many countries have deep roots in the women’s 15-a-side game, which has already seen seven world tournaments, four sanctioned by the IRB and three ‘unofficial World Cups’.

Here we provide a brief history of the Women’s Rugby World Cup movement.

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Bakkies Botha

Springbok hard man, Bakkies Botha, showing his romantic side

Springbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has spoken about life in France, the final 18 months of his career and what he has planned after rugby.

After his successful run with the Springboks in June against the World XV and Wales, the My Players website caught up with the 35-year-old during his off time in the South African bush.

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NamibiaNamibia qualified for a fifth successive Rugby World Cup by thumping hosts Madagascar 89-10 on Sunday to win the African preliminaries and book a place in Pool C at next year’s tournament alongside defending champions New Zealand.

Namibia finished level on two wins each with Kenya and Zimbabwe at the end of the four-team tournament but qualified by virtue of more bonus points.

Their task was made easier on Sunday when Zimbabwe beat Kenya 28-10, setting Namibia a target of beating Madagascar by 53 points to qualify.

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IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 - EnglandKenya are in pole position to make history and qualify for a Rugby World Cup for the first time after maintaining their winning run in the Confederation Africaine de Rugby Africa Cup Division 1A Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifying tournament in Antananarivo on Wednesday.

Kenya, aiming to break Namibia’s recent stranglehold as the Africa Region’s second representative on Rugby’s greatest stage, recorded a bonus point 34-0 win over Madagascar to open up a four-point lead over Zimbabwe at the top of the table with one round remaining on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s 24-20 defeat to Namibia in the opening match of the day means that it is mathematically possible for all three teams to finish top of the table going into Super Sunday when Madagascar play Namibia and Kenya face Zimbabwe.

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RWC2015FijiFiji have qualified as Oceania 1 for Rugby World Cup 2015 in England by beating the Cook Islands 108-6 in Lautoka. The Flying Fijians scored 17 unanswered tries in a runaway victory in front of their adoring home fans at Churchill Park.

Fiji join hosts England, Australia, Wales and the yet to be determined Repechage winner in Pool A, and will have the honour of playing England at Twickenham in the opening match of the tournament on 18 September.

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Junior World Championship 2014 - New ZealandEnglandEngland Under 20 retained their title as the IRB’s Junior World Champions when they edged their South African counterparts 21-20 in Auckland on Friday.

It was far from a clinical display. In fact it was a typical Final – in which there was good and bad kicking, handling errors, moments of sublime brilliance and a few poor options.

However, it was a great and enthralling encounter to watch, as two of the giants of the junior game went head-to-head.

In the end England deserved the win, if only because they made fewer errors and managed to overcome their soft moments better than the Baby Boks did.

Two of the key aspects were the line-outs, where JD Schickerling reigned supreme, and the kicking game – with Handré Pollard and Warrick Gelant’s boots just so much more accurate and secure.

However, errors limited the Baby Boks’ ability to capitalise on their superiority on those departments.

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South AfricaEnglandJunior Springboks (10) 20 / 21 (11) England (Final Score)

The South African Junior Springboks and England Under 20 did battle in the 2014 FINAL of the IRB Junior World Championship at

Eden Park, Auckland at 09:35 SA Time (19:35 NZ Time, 08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1, SHD & CSN on TV in SA.

*******************

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Captains Maro Itoje (England) & Handré Pollard (South Africa) holding the IRB Junior World Championship trophy

Captains Maro Itoje (England) & Handré Pollard (South Africa) holding the IRB Junior World Championship trophy

Dan Kriel will play on the right wing for the Junior Springboks in the IRB Junior World Championship final against England on Friday night at Eden Park in Auckland.

His inclusion in place of Lloyd Greeff is the only tweak to the team that beat New Zealand in a dramatic semi-final last Sunday in North Harbour.

The versatile Kriel, twin brother of outside centre Jesse Kriel, is preferred in the starting line-up because of his huge work rate on defence.

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South Africa

Lawrence Sephaka

Lawrence Sephaka

Springbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka on Tuesday named 11 players with World Cup experience in his 26-member squad for the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in France from 1 to 17 August.

The team’s participation in the tournament has been made possible by a R2,3m grant from the National Lotto Distribution Trust Fund.

The squad will be led by experienced captain and No 8 Mandisa Williams, who guided the team in the 2010 showpiece in the UK as well as the 2013 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.

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Israel Folau

Israel Folau

In-demand Wallabies star Israel Folau has ruled out any move to Europe or a switch back to league in Australia before next year’s World Cup.

Folau is hot property across the two codes and comes off contract next year, with French champions Toulon reportedly expressing an interest in the dual rugby international back.

Toulon, the reigning European Cup and Top 14 champions, are one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, boasting a star-studded roster including former Wallabies backs Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and the newly signed James O’Connor.

But Folau, 25, said he would not decide his future before rugby’s showpiece event which starts in England in September next year.

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IRB JWC 2014The IRB Junior World Championships are underway in New Zealand.

Rugby-Talk will update the Results and Logs on a regular basis.

The Tournament started on 2 June 2014 and will run till 20 June 2014.

The Big winner in Round 2, on Friday 6 June was South Africa’s Junior Springboks, who beat the Junior All Blacks in their backyard, by 33 / 24. The Junior Springboks scored 4 tries to boot, earning them a vital bonus point going forward, whilst the Junior All Blacks earned no Log Points at all, making it an uphill battle for them to even reach the semi-finals, as only one 2nd placed team in all Pools will go through to the semi-finals with the 3 respective Pool winners.

Day 3 of the tournament is on Tuesday 10 June.

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hawkeyetennis

Hawkeye technology used in tennis

Technology company Hawkeye says it is in talks about providing a replacement to the television match official (TMO) system in rugby.

Hawkeye, which operates systems in football and tennis, could be used in domestic rugby and internationally in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Hawkeye founder Paul Hawkins said: “We are in conversation with Premiership Rugby and the IRB.”

The International Rugby Board would not confirm any talks with Hawkeye.

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New ZealandA year from the Rugby World Cup, defending champions the All Blacks face a depleted talent pool to select from, as a wealth of players opt for lucrative overseas contracts.

Although there is an overflow of quality among the loose forwards and outside backs, in other areas there are looming shortages – particularly at hooker, where there is a struggle to find three of international standard for next month’s tour by England.

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500daysRWCWith 500 days to go until Rugby World Cup 2015 in England kicks off, Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset is confident that preparations are on track to deliver “an unforgettable and special” record-breaking event that will further the growth of the sport worldwide.

With fans snapping up tickets in record numbers through the official supporter tour programme and with Rugby community ticket sales beginning today, tournament organisers England Rugby 2015 Limited have announced that tickets for all 48 matches will go on general sale globally from September 12-29 2014.

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rwc2015Germany remain in the hunt for a place at Rugby World Cup 2015 after beating Sweden 45-20 in Enkoping to clinch the European Nations Cup Division 1B title and earn a play-off with the Netherlands next month.

They had gone into the final round of Division 1B matches level on points with Moldova and in the knowledge that if they matched or bettered their rival’s result against the Czech Republic then they would be crowned champions.

Moldova suffered a surprise 37-19 loss to the Czech Republic in Prague – the win not enough to prevent the Czechs from dropping down to Division 2A – and so Germany were guaranteed the title regardless of their result in Sweden.

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AustraliaAustralia’s 2015 World Cup preparations will be well tested on their end-of-season European tour in November with coach Ewen McKenzie trying to replicate their potential campaign for the Webb Ellis trophy as much as possible.

McKenzie’s side will play five matches on five successive weekends, which includes clashes against World Cup Pool A opponents England and Wales.

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South AfricaThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Friday named a reduced SA Under-20 training squad of 36 players for the remainder of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship (JWC) training camp following two trial matches in Stellenbosch this week.

An large group of almost 50 players were selected for the camp as SA Under-20 coach Dawie Theron opted to cast his net wide in search of the best players to represent the country at the JWC in Auckland, New Zealand, from May 27 to June 20. This will be the first time the country hosts the tournament.

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New ZealandCory JaneIsrael DaggNew Zealand rugby chiefs on Thursday admitted two prominent All Blacks abused prescription sleeping pills during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but denied the practice was commonplace among professional players.

New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said Cory Jane and Israel Dagg “let themselves down” when they took pills on a night out in Auckland just before the All Blacks’ quarter-final against Argentina.

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Rugby World Cup 2015South AfricaSouth African rugby fans need not worry about securing match tickets for Springbok matches at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England following the establishment of SA Rugby Travel, it was announced on Tuesday.

The new company – a joint venture between the South African Rugby Union and Tourvest Destination Management – has secured thousands of tickets for likely Springbok matches and tailored packages to suit a wide range of fans’ pockets and experience choices.

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William Webb-Ellis trophyMinisters from both sides of the border have signalled their backing for an all-Ireland bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

A meeting to discuss the bid involving the Belfast and Dublin governments took place in Armagh, in the British controlled province of Northern Ireland, on Wednesday.

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FijiIRBThe IRB made the following statement:

The International Rugby Board has confirmed that it is to suspend all direct financial support to the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) with immediate effect until the Union adopts key financial reporting, administration and governance reforms.

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  • nortierd 29 Jul 2014, 22:49 SAST - @ Pietman: You are right Pietman, but there's this one part of me that can't help thinking....Jake only does what...
  • nortierd 29 Jul 2014, 22:45 SAST - Seriously Allister? Take a leaf out the Sharks' book and appoint someone who WILL feature in all the CC games...
  • Pietman 29 Jul 2014, 22:38 SAST - They don't get it, or do they? This man was chosen because he is the best candidate for the job,...
  • nortierd 29 Jul 2014, 22:04 SAST - 24 @ robzim: Wow, he certainly picked the right stage to make his mark. That kid is something special, and...
  • robzim 29 Jul 2014, 21:32 SAST - @ nortierd: @ 23 That's what I also thought but I read somewhere that money could be the problem. Seems...
  • nortierd 29 Jul 2014, 21:17 SAST - 22 @ robzim: One would think, but I'm sure they can pay more than UWC?

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