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Rugby World Cup

Gary Botha (L) and Ian McIntosh (R) pose with students from Waterkloof high school in Pretoria

Gary Botha (L) and Ian McIntosh (R) pose with students from Waterkloof high school in Pretoria

The Webb Ellis Cup has completed its first day in South Africa as part of the fifth leg of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.

On August 18 the Trophy visited Hoerskool Waterkloof in Pretoria where children from the school, along with groups from St Peters, Pretoria Technical High School and Elarduspark got to show off their Rugby playing skills in a coaching clinic which was led by former South Africa coach Ian McIntosh and Rugby World Cup 2007 winner Gary Botha.

Land Rover supports a number of schools through its South African dealer network – a total of 31 dealers who support local schools within their communities.

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England Women

England claimed the Women’s Rugby World Cup after defeating Canada in the final.

England were crowned champions after beating first-time finalists Canada 21-9 in an enthralling Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 title decider at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris on Sunday.

Hosts France overcame Ireland 25-18 to finish third, while four-time champions New Zealand ran riot against the USA and Australia beat Wales to secure fifth and seventh place. Spain overcame South Africa for ninth place and Samoa picked up their first win to condemn Kazakhstan to 12th place.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014England will be aiming to end a run of three straight defeats in Women’s Rugby World Cup finals when they meet Canada in Paris on Sunday.

The Red Roses, who claimed their only world title in 1994, were beaten by New Zealand in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Gary Street’s team are favourites to beat a Canadian side who will be appearing in their first final.

But England captain Katy Mclean warned: “As soon as you start thinking about lifting cups is when you fall over.”

New Zealand, winners of the last four World Cups, were knocked out of the competition at the pool stage after a shock defeat by Ireland.

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Rugby World Cup 2015 rugby ballInnovation and tradition is at the heart of MATCH XV, the official Rugby World Cup 2015 match ball, launched by Rugby World Cup suppliers Gilbert today.

The MATCH XV will make its debut in the English Premiership and French Top 14 later this month and will be used in top level Test matches throughout the rest of 2014 and 2015, meaning the world’s best players will have plenty of competition time with the ball.

A modern classic, the MATCH XV is the latest in a succession of balls stretching back to 1995 to be engineered by the industry-leaders specifically for Rugby’s global showpiece tournament and is packed with innovation. It is also the most-tested Gilbert ball in history.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014Canada will face former champions England in the final of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 on Sunday at the Stade Jean Bouin after they enjoyed contrasting semi-final victories in the French capital.

England booked their place in a sixth Women’s Rugby World Cup final after an emphatic 40-7 victory over first-time semi-finalists Ireland, the Red Roses finally producing the all-round performance they had been craving.

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Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo will remain at the Crusaders for two more years, after reports in New Zealand said the giant Fijian winger “never had any intention of going anywhere else”.

“We have loved having Nemani in the Crusaders this season, as have our fans, so it gives me great pleasure to confirm that he will be returning to the team next year and in 2016,” Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said.

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Women's Rugby Wolrd Cup 2014Ireland produced one of the shocks of Women’s Rugby World Cup history by beating four-time world champions New Zealand on an historic day at Marcoussis. As a result of their 17-14 victory, Philip Doyle’s side has taken command of Pool B with a two-point lead now established over the Black Ferns and USA, who meet in the final round of pool fixtures on Saturday.

Another mouth-watering tie lies in wait in Pool A where England and Canada are separated only by points difference at the top of the table, after both teams recorded their second consecutive bonus-point wins of the competition.

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David de Lautour & Stephen Donald

David de Lautour, a Kiwi born actor, has been cast to play the role of Stephen Donald in the upcoming movie, The Kick.

Rugby World Cup champion Stephen “Beaver” Donald has opened up about being the target of vile hate mail and the anguish his family endured when he was subjected to a torrent of public abuse.

The All Blacks cult first-five became a hero around New Zealand when he booted the team to victory in their nail-biting 2011 Rugby World Cup 8-7 final victory over France.

But in the lead-up to the screening of telemovie The Kick, which relives his magic moment, Donald has told how he was treated after being blamed for costing the All Blacks victory against the Wallabies in Hong Kong a year before the tournament.

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RussiaRussia remain in the hunt for the final place at Rugby World Cup 2015 after beating Zimbabwe 23-15 in their Repechage semi-final in Krasnoyarsk on Saturday.

The Bears, bidding to reach a second consecutive tournament, will now face the winner of the match later today in Montevideo between Uruguay and Hong Kong for the right to join hosts England, Australia, Wales and Fiji in Pool A at RWC 2015.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014Defending champions New Zealand got their World Cup defence off to a strong start on day one of the tournament while wins for hosts France, Canada, Australia, England and Ireland mean the competition is set for more classic match-ups before the 17 August final.

The seventh Women’s Rugby World Cup saw sell-out crowds watch six top-quality matches at FFR headquarters in the French capital.

Ireland beat their Pool B rivals USA in a match that could be crucial for the progress of the girls in green, while Australia and England impressed in their pool openers.

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Women's Rugby World Cup 2014The Springbok Women on Friday suffered a disappointing 26-3 defeat against Australia in their opening Women’s Rugby World Cup clash at the French Rugby Federation in Marcoussis.

South Africa showed encouraging signs throughout the match, but their struggle to breach Australia’s defensive line combined with penalties conceded and mistakes made at crucial times denied them from starting the tournament on a high note.

Australia had the upper hand in the first 25 minutes as they retained possession and forced the Bok Women to defend for long periods.

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The choice of England as the host nation for next year’s Rugby World Cup is a fitting one, as it is of course the birthplace of the game.

There is a good sense of continuity after the 2011 edition in New Zealand, as the Land of the Long White Cloud is considered one of the sport’s great heartlands. There is a sense of the battle for the Webb Ellis Cup moving from one side of the world to the other.

The southern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk may not be the geographical halfway point between Eden Park and Twickenham but it is not too far from it at nearly 8,000 miles from Auckland and almost 4,500 miles from London.

So, perhaps it is apt that the Russian city is to play host to the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier between Russia and Zimbabwe with a place in the repechage final against either Uruguay or Hong Kong up for grabs.

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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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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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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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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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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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Junior World Championship 2014 - New ZealandThe Junior Springboks were grouped with hosts New Zealand, Samoa and Scotland when the pools and fixtures of the IRB Junior World Championship 2014 were confirmed earlier today in Auckland.

The future stars of world Rugby will come together in New Zealand from 2-20 June 2014 for the seventh edition of the Under 20 tournament which will see matches played at North Harbour Stadium and Pukekohe Stadium during the pool stages and semi-finals on 2, 6, 10 and 15 June 2014.

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Rugby World Cup 2015The Springboks and South African fans on Wednesday received good news in the lead-up to the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup in England, with the announcement that three of the team’s four round-robin matches will begin at 17:00 (19:00 SA Time) and only one at 20:00 (22:00 SA Time).

The Springboks kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign on 19 September 2015, against the top Asian qualifier at the Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, at 20:00 (22:00 SA Time).

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