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Rugby World Cup 2015

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Ayumu Goromaru

Ayumu Goromaru

Japan is looking to cash in on the rugby fever that swept the nation in recent weeks by unveiling a life-size bronze statue of Rugby World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru.

However, fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the golden-coloured figure – crouching with its fingers clasped together in the player’s trademark kick routine – will have to be quick.

After being unveiled by Goromaru himself on Monday it will be part of the decorations for Tokyo’s Christmas illuminations for a month only and be removed again afterwards.

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones will most likely not be coming back to Cape Town to assist the DHL Stormers in their pre-season preparation work, but he will be in Los Angelos this week.

Newly appointed England coach Jones will be addressing a World Rugby workshop on the success of the Japan team at the Rugby World Cup, who won 3 games despite failing to make the play-offs under his guidance.

Jones was unveiled as the new DHL Stormers coach earlier this month, before being made an offer he could not refuse by the English RFU which saw him leave Cape Town after just 2 weeks.

Stormers director of rugby, Gert Smal, claimed that Jones would return to Cape Town in December to assist with the planning for next season, explaining that the experienced coach felt bad for the way things had transpired with the Stormers.

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Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw

Double Rugby World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw is expected to confirm his decision to retire from rugby this week, New Zealand media reported on Sunday.

McCaw, who turns 35 on 31 December, led the All Blacks to their 3rd Rugby World Cup triumph 2 weeks ago when his side beat trans-Tasman rivals Australia 34 / 17 in the final at a packed Twickenham stadium in London.

The All Blacks were the 1st team to retain the trophy, after the openside flanker led the team to victory in 2011 while playing with a broken foot.

McCaw had done little to dampen expectations that he would retire after this year’s Rugby World Cup, though never explicitly said he would, preferring to state he would not make up his mind until the global showpiece ended.

He was not named last month in the Canterbury Super Rugby squad for 2016 though New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the Crusaders said there was space for him if he chose to play on.

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ScotlandWhen he took to the field as Scotland cap number 1 073, Josh Strauss became the 50th player to make his debut for the national side since the last Rugby World Cup in 2011. This is by far the highest number of new players for Scotland in any Rugby World Cup cycle – more, in fact, than the previous 2 combined (48 new caps). It requires going back to the 1950s to find a greater number of 1st caps in a 4 year period.

Despite having the smallest player base of any of the Six Nations, Scotland has had more debutants than any of their rivals:

  • England – 41
  • France – 40
  • Ireland – 37
  • Italy – 31
  • Wales – 37

In fact only 1 side who competed at this year’s Rugby World Cup awarded more new caps in the last 4 years. By a quirk of the global calendar Argentina didn’t have access to many of their 1st (or even 2nd) choice players when the South American Championship takes place and 54 of their 67 new caps (including 24 in the space of 5 days in 2013, the last year they appeared in it!) debuted in the annual iterations of this tournament.

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Stuart Lancaster and Ian Richie

Stuart Lancaster and Ian Richie

The England Rugby Football Union revealed that Stuart Lancaster has, by mutual consent, stepped down as England coach.

The decision follows England’s recent Rugby World Cup campaign, which saw the team knocked out of the tournament at the Pool stages – after defeats to Wales and Australia.

Lancaster was appointed full time in April 2012 and guided England to 2nd place in all of the past 4 Six Nations Championships, with 1 of his notable victories coming against the All Blacks in 2012, 1 of 28 wins in the 46 Test matches during which he was in charge of England.

“I am obviously extremely saddened to finish the way we did in this World Cup and to step down from the role,” Lancaster said.

“As I have always said, I ultimately accept and take responsibility for the team’s performance and we have not delivered the results we all hoped for during this tournament.

“I did, however, want to take part in the review to ensure I understood the views of others before making a decision.

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Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward says English rugby union is a “laughing stock” after Sam Burgess returned to Rugby League.

Burgess was part of the England squad which went out of their home Rugby World Cup in the group stages.

He will now leave Bath and rejoin South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia.

Woodward, who led England to 2003 Rugby World Cup success, said he did not blame Burgess “for this mess” but the English game was at one of its “all-time lows”.

Burgess, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, played 21 games for Bath after joining them just over a year ago, scoring 4 tries.

Having made his England debut in August, he was selected for the Rugby World Cup ahead of Northampton centre Luther Burrell, who had looked to have established himself in the team after playing in all 5 of their Six Nations matches earlier in the year.

Burgess, who had been playing at blindside flanker for his club, was picked at centre for the hosts against Wales in the Rugby World Cup and his selection sparked much debate.

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Fikile Mbalula

Fikile Mbalula

Sports minister Fikile Mbabula is expected to brief the media on Thursday on the Springboks’ performance in the Rugby World Cup, as well as on transformation in the national team.

South Africa lost to New Zealand in the one semifinal of the tournament, following blistering wins against Samoa, Scotland and the USA. Those victories came after the Springboks lost in their opening game against Japan.

There has been debate about the racial make-up of the team, especially from the side of the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) – who has taken a strong line against coach Heyneke Meyer.

Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Tuesday that Meyer “must rest assured that he is not welcome in rugby by the majority of SA supporters and he should go”.

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Kane Douglas down injured in the Final against the All Blacks

Kane Douglas down injured in the Final against the All Blacks

Wallabies lock Kane Douglas faces surgery on his injured left knee this week after MRI scans confirmed he sustained a ruptured ACL during Australia’s World Cup Final against New Zealand.

The 26-year-old injured his knee when he fell awkwardly just 15 minutes into the decider and took no further part in the match.

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Nehe Milner-Skudder waving to Auckland crowds at the All Blacks homecoming

Nehe Milner-Skudder waving to Auckland crowds at the All Blacks homecoming

The All Blacks returned home to a frenzy of hakas and hysteria on Wednesday, with even the players stunned as 50 000 fans packed central Auckland to celebrate their Rugby World Cup victory.

“It’s huge to come back and see all this support and everyone turning out, it’s just overwhelming,” the tournament’s breakout star Nehe Milner-Skudder said as the crowd at the city’s Victoria Park roared approval.

The All Blacks arrived from London early Wednesday morning and celebrations began even before they stepped off the plane, with dozens of airport workers performing a haka on the tarmac to welcome them.

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Ayumu Goromaru

Ayumu Goromaru

Japan’s Rugby World Cup hero Ayumu Goromaru will join the Reds after signing with the club for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

The 29-year-old fullback became a household name in Japan and turned the rugby world on its head last month when he led his nation’s shock 34 / 32 win over South Africa – with the match being described as the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history.

Goromaru scored 24 points in that match and twice received Man-Of-The-Match honours at the tournament. He has since been labeled a ‘national hero’ in Japan after spearheading his nation’s Rugby World Cup campaign in which they secured a record 3 wins.

The 2016 season will be Goromaru’s 1st in Super Rugby. He has spent his entire professional career playing in Japan’s Top League, while also forging an impressive Test Rugby résumé, with 56 Test caps and 708 points – making him Japan’s all-time leading points scorer.

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Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika

Rugby World Cup finalists the Wallabies must improve rather than hope the All Blacks drop their lofty standards if they are to overhaul the triple champions, coach Michael Cheika said.

The Australians arrived home during the morning after losing 17 / 34 to the All Blacks in last weekend’s final at Twickenham Stadium.

While the Wallabies have regained respect and more followers in their own country after their Rugby World Cup exploits, Cheika warned his team had to do better if they are to reach the summit of world rugby.

The All Blacks became the 1st team to win 3 Rugby World Cups, but face a breakup with a string of international retirements headed by World Player of the Year Dan Carter along with Test centurions Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock and Ma’a Nonu as well as centre Conrad Smith.

Skipper Richie McCaw, rated by coach Steve Hansen as the greatest All Black, is also undecided about his playing future.

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Jonny Gray

Jonny Gray

Glasgow Warriors and Scottish Rugby have been handed a further boost today after announcing one of Scotland’s established young players has signed a new long-term contract.

Jonny Gray has committed to Glasgow Warriors for a further 3 years, meaning he’ll be staying at Scotstoun until at least May 2018.

Last week the club announced that Finn Russell had signed a new 3 year contract, which along with Jonny’s extension and other new signings, reflects the increased investment from Scottish Rugby.

Gray came through the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy system and was heavily involved last season when the club won the Guinness PRO12 for the 1st time.

The lock played in 4 of Scotland’s 5 Rugby World Cup matches in England last month.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

They may not all be “coining it” immediately to the extent that certain foreign-based colleagues are, but Springbok Rugby World Cup 2015 players contracted only to domestic franchises are about to reap the benefits of an unusually lengthy off-season.

In a development that ought to see them importantly start a heavy 2016 roster pretty firmly refreshed, both physically and mentally, those players are largely off competitive duty for the next 4 months.

Outside of a Rugby World Cup year, the month of November would normally see them packing bags – no doubt just a little reluctantly – for the obligatory end-of-year European tour in conditions likely to be wetter and colder than those agreeably experienced during the recent, more autumnal Rugby World Cup in those climes.

Instead the beach beckons back home now as relevant Springboks with extended international futures like Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane, Rudy Paige, Pat Lambie and Jesse Kriel wipe rugby from their minds for several weeks, until Super Rugby 2016 pre-season activities with their respective sides.

Even then, blue-chip Springbok players are often shielded to a significant extent from warm-up matches staged in inevitably murderous summer heat and are largely asked to instead hit the ground running when the competition-proper gets underway.

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Steve Hansen & Richie McCaw with the coveted Webb Ellis Cup

Steve Hansen & Richie McCaw with the coveted Webb Ellis Cup

Fans will be able to welcome back the All Blacks at homecoming celebrations in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington this week.

The All Blacks will travel home with the help of sponsor Air New Zealand which has sent an all black Boeing 777-300 to London to pick up the Rugby World Champions.

The team touches down on Wednesday morning at 07:00 NZ Time, arriving at Auckland International Airport before departing for an overnight stay in the city.

Aucklanders will then get a chance to celebrate their Rugby World Cup triumph at a very special event featuring the team at Victoria Park in central Auckland at midday.

The next day Christchurch will welcome the All Blacks with a street parade and official reception at Hagley Park. On Friday, Wellington will celebrate the All Blacks success with details and timing to be confirmed.

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World RugbyAs well as winning a host of new admirers for their adventurous approach throughout Rugby World Cup 2015, beaten semifinalists Argentina and headline-grabbing Japan have also enjoyed the biggest rise of all the competing nations in the World Rugby Rankings. Both are ranked 3 places higher than where they were when Rugby World Cup 2015 began at Twickenham Stadium on Friday 18 September.Los Pumas have moved up from 8th to 5th thanks to their 2nd place finish behind New Zealand in Pool C and the way that they effortlessly brushed Ireland aside in the quarterfinals.

A disappointing World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup campaign this summer left Japan languishing 13th in the rankings, and at that stage few people would have predicted what they would go on to achieve in England: 3 wins from 4 and a place in tournament folklore.

The Brave Blossoms’ historic 34 / 32 win over South Africa in Brighton may not have been enough to book them a place in the knockout stages but it did help them return to the world’s Top 10.

With points exchanges doubled to reflect the importance Rugby World Cup matches no-one fared better than Japan, going from 72.06 rating points pre-tournament to 77.05 at its conclusion.

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All Blacks celebrate winningOne of the things that this recently completed Rugby World Cup should have done is put an end to some of the justifications that are perennially forwarded for percentage tactics and neglect of the skill sets and strategies that the 2 finalists boasted and employed in their passage to the Twickenham Stadium decider.

For a start, what happened to that wet weather everyone was talking about and which was supposed to a justification for grinding tactics? It rained in the semifinal between South Africa and New Zealand, where the Kiwis proved once again that they are just as good at the things that the Springboks are supposed to do well as they are.

The tournament was of course not played in the English winter. In fact, you could argue that this year it wasn’t played even in autumn, particularly early on, when cities and towns like Brighton, Birmingham and Newcastle had more of a feel of late summer than a feel of early autumn.

That, coupled with the fact that so many of the Pool games were played on fast paced surfaces built for soccer, tipped the scales towards the quick paced Southern Hemisphere style game. When Wales coach Warren Gatland was asked why the Southern Hemisphere nations shut their northern rivals out of the semifinal Round, he mentioned something about conditions south of the equator facilitating the development of more of a running rugby skill set.

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Richie McCaw & Steve Hansen to be knighted?

Richie McCaw & Steve Hansen to be knighted?

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and coach Steve Hansen will be offered knighthoods following New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup triumph.

But the timing will depend on when they retire, Prime Minister John Key said on Monday.

McCaw, 34, has already turned down the honour once, after New Zealand’s 2011 tournament win, saying he did not feel it was right to accept while he was still playing.

Key was asked if the inspirational skipper would be approached again about putting a “Sir” before his name in the wake of the 34 / 17 Cup final win over Australia and said: “That’s right.”

However, he said the offer would remain on hold until McCaw decides his future.

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Dan Carter, World Rugby Player of the Year 2015

Dan Carter, World Rugby Player of the Year 2015

Dan Carter has been named World Rugby Player of the Year 2015 in association with MasterCard during a star-studded World Rugby Awards ceremony at Battersea Evolution in London on Sunday.

Flyhalf Carter joins his All Blacks captain Richie McCaw as a 3-time recipient of the prestigious accolade, having also been named Player of the Year in 2005 and 2012, and follows in the footsteps of other previous winners such as Thierry Dusautoir, Bryan Habana and Jonny Wilkinson.

New Zealand was named World Rugby Team of the Year after becoming the 1st nation to successfully defend the Webb Ellis Cup with a 34 / 17 defeat of Australia in the Rugby World Cup 2015 final on Saturday.

Australia coach Michael Cheika received the World Rugby Coach of the Year accolade after transforming the Wallabies in his 12 months at the helm, guiding them to The Rugby Championship title and the Rugby World Cup 2015 final.

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Sonny Bill Williams gives his Gold medal to young Charlie Lines, the boy who was tackled by a security guard

Sonny Bill Williams gives his Gold medal to young Charlie Lines, the boy who was tackled by a security guard

All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams was presented with a new Rugby World Cup winners’ medal to replace the 1 he handed to a young fan after Saturday’s victory over Australia.

The boy, identified as 15-year-old Charlie Lines, was thrown to the ground by a security official after running on to the Twickenham pitch following New Zealand’s 34 / 17 triumph.

“I am sure that he’ll remember it. I’m happy that he has it because I know that he will really appreciate it,” Williams said at Sunday’s World Player of the Year awards.

“When he’s older, he can tell the story to his children.”

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Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said Sunday he is unlikely to take his champion team through to the next Rugby World Cup.

Hansen who directed New Zealand to their 34 / 17 record-breaking victory over Australia in Saturday’s final at Twickenham Stadium is currently contracted through to 2017.

From being Assistant Coach when the All Blacks won in 2011, Hansen has enhanced his reputation since taking over as head coach 4 years ago.

Under his guidance they have won 49 of 54 games and the win over Australia made the All Blacks the 1st side to defend the Rugby World Cup crown and the 1st to win it 3 times.

But Hansen said the time is fast approaching for someone else to take over the prestigious coaching role.

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Heyneke Meyer

Heyneke Meyer

’n Basiese kontrak van R 5 miljoen per jaar, aansporings­bonusse uitgesluit.

Dís glo die vergoeding waartoe die Suid-Afrikaanse Rugbyunie (SARU) ingestem het in die nuwe kontrak met Heyneke Meyer, die Springbok-afrigter.

Volgens bronne het Meyer al voor die Wêreldbeker-toernooi ’n kontrak onderteken om die span vir nog 4 seisoene, tot in 2019, af te rig.

Oregan Hoskins, SARU se president en voorsitter van die uitvoerende raad, het Vrydag benadruk dat die finale besluit by die Algemene Raad sal lê. Elke provinsiale rugbyunie word in die Algemene Raad verteenwoordig.

Die kwessie gaan na verwagting vroeg in Desember ter tafel gelê word.

Uit verskillende oorde is verneem Meyer kry aansporingsbonusse vir die verowering van die Wêreldbeker, ’n wenpersentasie van meer as 60% en ’n 2de plek op die wêreldranglys.

Die kontrakkwessie hang al weke lank soos ’n wolk oor Suid-Afrikaanse rugby, met SARU wat dit nog nie onomwonde in die openbaar ontken het nie.

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Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw became the 1st man to lift the Rugby World Cup twice on Saturday and whether or not he opts to call it a day as an All Black, his place as the greatest leader of a rugby team the game has seen is assured.

Like the New Zealand juggernaut he has led with such distinction, McCaw has kept evolving and at the age of 34 his hunger for success and focus has been as intense as ever.

That the game’s outstanding loose forward has stood up to the demands of Test rugby for so long is a reflection of his durability, enthusiasm, consistency and the way he relishes pressure.

And he is not quite ready to bow out just yet.

“I still don’t want it to end. I’m still part of this team, I’m going to enjoy today, how can you have enough of this?,” he said after New Zealand beat Australia 34 / 17 to become Rugby World Cup winners for a record 3rd time.

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All Blacks celebrate the RWC 2015 win

All Blacks celebrate the RWC 2015 win

The New Zealand All Blacks withstood a gutsy AustralianWallabies fightback to claim victory 34 / 17 in the Rugby World Cup final and create history as the 1st side to win 3 titles, the last 2 back-to-back.

The All Blacks were given a Halloween night fright by the Wallabies, who battled their way back from 21 / 3 with 2 tries to get within 4 points of Richie McCaw’s side at 21 / 17.

But the cool boot of man of the match, Dan Carter, nudged the All Blacks ahead to give them breathing space at 27 / 17, before Beauden Barrett sealed matters with a length-of-the-field kick and chase in the 79th minute, converted by – who else? – Carter for a 34 / 17 final scoreline.

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Fikile Mbalula

Fikile Mbalula

South African Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, has paid tribute to the Springbok team that defeated Argentina to claim the 3rd place in the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks claimed 3rd spot at the 2015 Rugby World Cup after beating Argentina 24 / 13 in the Bronze Final at London’s Olympic Park stadium on Friday night.

“I take this rare opportunity to salute Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger, Bryan Habana, Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villers for their selfless services and infinite commitment to the men in black green and gold and the people of South Africa,” said Mbalula in a statement released on Saturday.

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Springboks celebrate 3rd Place at Rugby World Cup 2015

Springboks celebrate 3rd Place at Rugby World Cup 2015

South Africa said goodbye to a large swathe of great players in victorious fashion when they defeated Argentina 24 / 13 in the bronze medal final on Friday.

Schalk Burger, Fourie du Preez and Bryan Habana (above) will all be over 35 come Japan 2019, while 38-year-old Victor Matfield, who captained them in the bronze medal match at the Olympic stadium, has already announced his retirement for the 2nd time.

All 4 were members of a glorious few years for the Springboks in which they bestrode the world. It began when Jake White’s team won the 2007 World Cup and, under his replacement Peter de Villiers, they won the 2009 Tri-Nations then beat the British & Irish Lions 2 / 1 in a Test series in the same year.

Du Preez, Habana and Matfield were also part of the Blue Bulls team that was coached by Heyneke Meyer and became the 1st South African franchise to win the Super Rugby title, in 2007.

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Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade

Daniel Hourcade may stay on as coach of Argentina for 2 more years but confirmed on Friday he will not be in charge at the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

Hourcade’s Pumas finished 4th at the tournament when they lost 24 / 13 to South Africa’s Springboks at Olympic Park on Friday.

The Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) have indicated they want him to continue but Hourcade said he had yet to sit down to formalise his next step.

“If we come to an agreement it would be for 2 years,” Hourcade told reporters.

“A lot can happen in 2 years including logical physical wear… Cycles come to an end.”

Hourcade, who told Argentine daily Clarin this week he would not take the team to Japan, has carried out a transformation of Argentina’s game in his 2 years as coach.

Argentina joined The Rugby Championship in 2012 and their only defeats at the Rugby World Cup in England came at the hands of their 3 southern hemisphere rivals.

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Julian Savea's barnstorming try against Wales

Julian Savea’s barnstorming try against Wales

All Blacks winger Julian Savea’s remarkable 2nd try of his hat-trick in the 62 / 13 thrashing of France in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals was voted Try of the Tournament by television viewers on Friday.

It was Savea’s savage aggression that made the try so special as he smashed 3 big French tacklers aside to score in the left corner.

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Rugby World Cup 2015The Rugby World Cup, with record ticket sales and revenues, will make a $ 230 million surplus, World Rugby president Bernard Lapasset said Saturday.

The 2.4 million tickets sold for the tournament which ended Saturday was 97% of the total, said the World Rugby president. That beat the 93% for the 2007 tournament in France.

He said the £ 150 million Pound ($ 230 million / 210 million Euro) surplus for the English organisers was “by far the record” for a Rugby World Cup.

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New ZealandAustraliaAll Blacks (16) 34 / 17 (3) Wallabies (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup FINAL at

Twickenham Stadium, London, England at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 UK Time, 16:00 GMT, Sunday 03:00 AEDT, Sunday 05:00 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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South AfricaArgentinaSpringboks (16) 24 / 13 (0) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the 2015 Rugby World Cup 3rd Place Play-off at

Olympic Stadium, London, England at 22:00 SA Time (20:00 UK Time & GMT, 17:00 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Red Arrows

On 31 October, 9 of the iconic aircraft will treat fans in Twickenham Stadium, as well as the Richmond and Trafalgar Square fanzones, to a special flypast prior to the start of the final between New Zealand and Australia. They will flyover Trafalgar Square 7 minutes before kick-off, then over Twickenham Stadium and the Richmond Fanzone at 15:55 as the teams line up for the anthems.

 

Full House:

The finalists are set to battle it out for rugby’s greatest prize, the Webb Ellis Cup, in front of a sell-out crowd of 80 125. South Africa and Argentina will also go head to head in front of a full house in the Bronze final at The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – in front of 56 000 spectators.

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Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

England centre Sam Burgess will stay at Bath and continue in rugby union, according to his coach Mike Ford.

The 26-year-old has been given time off to consider his future and his representatives have been in talks with his former club South Sydney Rabbitohs about a return to rugby league.

Burgess was controversially picked for England’s dismal Rugby World Cup campaign.

“This is the time that he becomes a better rugby union player,” Ford said.

Ford said Burgess had come back to training after the Rugby World Cup but “didn’t feel quite right” and gave the player some time off.

But he expects Burgess to return to the Recreation Ground on 2 November.

Burgess switched codes last year and signed a 3-year contract with Bath, with the aim of playing in a home Rugby World Cup.

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Once a “joke team” – in the words of departing coach Eddie Jones – Japan’s Rugby World Cup 2015 heroics put Rugby Union firmly on the map in a country dominated by baseball and football.

However, the ‘Brave Blossoms’ now face the arduous task of building on their 3 pool victories in England before Japan hosts the next tournament, in 2019.

“We wanted to put pride back into Japanese rugby and obviously the results of the World Cup have done that,” Jones told a news conference on Friday. “But for Japanese rugby to keep developing, it needs to happen by planning now.

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AustraliaFirst-choice prop Scott Sio returns to the Australian Wallabies side for the Rugby World Cup final against the New Zealand All Blacks on Saturday.

It is the only change to the side announced by coach Michael Cheika.

Sio has recovered from an elbow injury and James Slipper, who played in the semifinal win over Argentina, returns to the bench.

Australia, who have had a tough route to Twickenham – having to play England, Wales, Scotland and Argentina – will be in a record-breaking 4th Rugby World Cup Final.

However, it will be the 1st between the Wallabies and the All Blacks.

Matt Giteau, who left the semifinal with a groin injury but has been cleared for Saturday, is the only player who took part in their last Final – when they lost to England in Sydney in 2003.

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