LONDON (AP) — South Africa defeated England at Twickenham for the first time in eight years in a 27-13 statement by the world champion on Saturday less than a year from the Rugby World Cup.
England, runner-up to South Africa at the last World Cup but struggling to find itself, bulked up its lineout options and predicted it would have an edge in the scrum.
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Australia came from 21 points down with 23 minutes left to overhaul Wales 39-34 in an astonishing turnaround in their Cardiff rugby test on Saturday.
After the historic loss to Georgia last weekend, Wales desperately needed the win more than the heavily depleted Wallabies and was delivering in style by rolling to 34-13 with its best rugby of the month.
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Ben Cabango thought back to playing with his brother Theo in their garden.
“Me and him just always used to get at it,” he said. “Looking back now, it’s just good times.”
France's planning around its three autumn tests in three weeks has been to imagine they are Rugby World Cup playoffs.
France hosts the tournament in less than 10 months.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Portugal has grabbed the last qualifying spot in the 2023 Rugby World Cup in dramatic style.
Samuel Marques' long-range penalty kick after the fulltime hooter earned Portugal a 16-16 draw with the United States on Friday in Dubai and the 20th and final qualifying berth.
Ireland and Australia meet in a rugby test at Lansdowne Road on Saturday heading in different directions.
The Irish have won 11 consecutive tests in Dublin and another win would equal their record home winning streak of 12 from 2016-18.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Portugal and the United States set up their decider for the last berth in the 2023 Rugby World Cup after second wins in the final qualifying tournament on Saturday.
With South Africa and New Zealand looming, England is under massive pressure to beat Japan at Twickenham on Saturday after the lackluster loss to Argentina.
Following the 30-29 defeat to the Pumas, coach Eddie Jones was upbeat and didn't believe England had “strong problems." A day or two later, he blamed himself and complacency, in that he was thinking of strategy for next year's Rugby World Cup.
PARIS (AP) — French financial prosecutors have raided the headquarters of the 2023 Rugby World Cup organizing committee as part of an investigation into possible management irregularities, organizers said.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United States and Portugal have the inside running on qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after bonus-point wins in the last qualifying tournament on Sunday.
LONDON (AP) — Argentina pulled off an astonishing upset of England by 30-29 at Twickenham despite hardly any ball or territory and a battered scrum on Sunday.
The game was scrappy and never flowed, undermined by a slippery ball and soggy field.
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland did enough to beat world champion South Africa 19-16 in an arm wrestle at Lansdowne Road on Saturday to justify its ascent to No. 1 in the rankings.
Ireland broke a 6-6 halftime deadlock with two tries in four minutes early in the second half, the first from a lineout maul by flanker Josh van der Flier and then a more expansive counterattack score from left wing Mack Hansen.
LONDON (AP) — England finally has its dream lineup of inside backs.
Marcus Smith, Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi.
The trio played together once, a year ago in a win against Australia, but Tuilagi was out on the wing.
There's 10 months and the best part of another season to go before next year's Rugby World Cup. So much can change.
Yet, Saturday's test between Ireland and South Africa in Dublin might be the best forecast of what the international rugby climate will be leading up to the 2023 showpiece.
With nine losses in their last 12 test matches and down to No. 9 in the world ranking, the Wallabies are a fallen rugby power as they head into their end-of-season tour of the northern hemisphere where more pain could lie in store.
PARIS (AP) — The 2023 Rugby World Cup chief executive Claude Atcher has been fired following an investigation by French labor inspectors into his workplace conduct.
Atcher had already been suspended in August following an internal investigation at the request of sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera, which showed “alarming managerial practices” and “the suffering of some employees.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Bernard Foley has been recalled for his first test since the 2019 Rugby World Cup in one of eight changes to Australia’s starting lineup for the opening Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Fiji is back on top of the world in rugby sevens.
For New Zealand, it was double despair on the final day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens on Sunday.
Fiji beat New Zealand 29-12 to claim the men's title in Cape Town, a third World Cup crown for the flying Fijians but their first since 2005.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — New Zealand, Australia and Fiji survived scares to make the semifinals at the Rugby World Cup Sevens on Saturday.
Host South Africa didn't and was dumped out in the quarterfinals 24-14 by Ireland in a big upset.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Defending champion New Zealand and world series winner Australia went through safely to the quarterfinals on the opening day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens on Friday.
Fiji and host South Africa, the other big hitters, also had little trouble in making the last eight as the tournament opened with straight knockout games at Cape Town Stadium.
PARIS (AP) — A cardiac problem that jeopardises Virimi Vakatawa's health when playing elite rugby has forced the France center to end his career.
A day after Vakatawa's club Racing 92 said medical officials were banning him from playing in France, club doctor Sylvain Blanchard told a news conference on Tuesday that a heart defect was evolving and first diagnosed before the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — During the period that New Zealand rugby fans may remember as the dark days of 2022, head coach Ian Foster’s was a voice crying in the wilderness as he insisted the All Blacks still could win the Rugby Championship.
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Australia scored a try in the second minute and withstood a series of South African challenges to beat the World Cup-champion Springboks 25-17 in a Rugby Championship match on Saturday.
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Winger Emiliano Boffelli kicked six penalties and the conversion of a try to Juan Martin Gonzalez to propel Argentina to a momentous 25-18 win over New Zealand in a Rugby Championship test on Saturday.
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber is under no illusions as his World Cup-champion Springboks attempt to win their first rugby match in Australia in nine years.
Coming off a 35-23 home loss to New Zealand two weeks ago, the Springboks will have a chance to make amends in Saturday’s Rugby Championship afternoon match at Adelaide Oval.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The Rugby Championship test between New Zealand and Argentina at Christchurch on Saturday is supposed to be a “new dawn” for the All Blacks.
Fans know this because New Zealand Rugby told them so.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Southern Hemisphere rugby will be put on show and possibly on trial in the Rugby Championship which begins Saturday with a match between the World Cup-winning Springboks and defending champions New Zealand.
DUBLIN (AP) — With his stock high after masterminding a series win in New Zealand, Andy Farrell signed a contract extension as Ireland rugby coach on Friday that ties him to the position until 2025.
KAWANA WATERS, Australia (AP) — Tonga has advanced to next year's Rugby World Cup in France after a 44-22 win over Hong Kong in the final of an Asia Pacific qualifying tournament on Saturday.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The 19th team in the 20-team Rugby World Cup in France next year is set to be determined Saturday on what is expected to be a mud-splattered pitch in a 10,000-seat stadium north of Brisbane.
SYDNEY (AP) — Rugby Australia has denounced the behavior of a fan who verbally abused visiting coach Eddie Jones and imposed a life ban on a man who climbed onto the roof of a grandstand during England’s series-deciding win over Australia in Sydney on the weekend.
Chile qualified for its first Rugby World Cup after beating the United States 31-29 with a stunning comeback in Colorado on Saturday.
The Chileans didn't lead in the two-match Americas qualifying playoff until there were five minutes left.
French senators said the chaos outside the national stadium that marred the Champions League soccer final was due to a series of mistakes by police and officials — and not the actions of previously blamed Liverpool fans — with “malfunction at every stage” before, during and after the game.
AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (AP) — Namibia qualified for a seventh successive Rugby World Cup in 2023 after beating Kenya 36-0 in the Rugby Africa Cup final at Stade Maurice-David on Sunday.
Namibia advanced as Africa 1 into Pool A with tournament host France, New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay.
South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber denied it's a gamble and Wales captain Dan Biggar said “there's nothing in it.”
But almost everywhere else, Nienaber's decision to change 19 of his 23 players and rest 14 Rugby World Cup winners for the second test on Saturday with a series still to play for has provoked strong reaction.
JUJUY, Argentina (AP) — Argentina celebrated its first home rugby test in 1,057 days with a win after Scotland was beaten 26-18 at Estadio 23 de Agosto on Saturday.
The Pumas tore up the first half to lead 18-6 but Scotland tied the score in the third quarter.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Italy won in Romania for the first time in 31 years when it beat the Oaks 45-13 at Arcul de Triumf on Friday.
Romania, confirmed this week in the 2023 Rugby World Cup, started strong and led 6-5.
Japan will face an important milestone in its preparation for next year’s Rugby World Cup on Saturday when it faces Cup hosts France in the first of two test matches.
Head coach Jamie Joseph said Japan is “clearly behind” in its Cup preparation as a result of the pandemic which reduced to a trickle its schedule of international games.
Argentina's absence from home has made its fans only fonder of their Pumas.
The Pumas haven't played at home since August 2019, a month before the Rugby World Cup in Japan. It will have been 1,056 days since that game when they reappear at home on Saturday for the first of three tests against Scotland.
DUBLIN (AP) — Spain's appeal to requalify for the Rugby World Cup next year was thrown out on Monday.
World Rugby said an independent appeal committee upheld the decision in April to disqualify Spain for fielding an ineligible player in two qualifying matches.
PARIS (AP) — Six Nation champion France will host matches against Australia, South Africa and Japan in the Autumn Nations Series.
A year before the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, Fabien Galthié's team will start its campaign at the Stade de France on Nov.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former Wallabies and All Blacks coach Robbie Deans believes the Rugby World Cup in France next year will be the best ever.
There'll be more teams capable of winning the title than at any previous tournament, he said, adding that the standard of rugby being played around the World is higher and more teams are competitive now than ever before.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The excitement level Down Under of having two Rugby World Cup tournaments tossed their way — the men in 2027 and the women two years later — was sort of lost on Wallabies captain Michael Hooper.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Michael Leitch led Japan to key victories at the last two rugby World Cups. The next World Cup is in 2023 in France, and Leitch has a message: Don't overlook Japan.
In 2015, Japan defeated South Africa in the English seaside town of Brighton, which lives on as the “Brighton Miracle." In 2019, its group-stage wins over Ireland and Scotland carried it to the quarterfinals and brought rugby into the daylight in Japan.
MADRID (AP) — The president of the Spanish rugby federation will resign from his job after the national team lost its place at next year's Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible player.
Alfonso Feijoo said Friday he would step down when the appeal process is completed.
MADRID (AP) — Spain will not play at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France because it used an ineligible player in qualifying, World Rugby and the Spanish rugby federation said Thursday.
The federation said World Rugby has decided to sanction Spain with a fine and the loss of five points for each match it played with South Africa-born front-rower Gavin van der Berg on the team.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand will host the U.S., Canada and Australia in the Pacific Four series in June as part of preparations for the women’s Rugby World Cup which kicks off in October.
DUBLIN (AP) — Spain's place in the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France is in doubt while it is being investigated for fielding an ineligible player.
Spain qualified on March 13 for its second Rugby World Cup, and first since 1999.
PARIS (AP) — France rugby coach Fabien Galthié is set to sign a contract extension to keep him in his role through the 2027 World Cup.
Galthié led the French to their first Six Nations title in 12 years after completing the Grand Slam with a 25-13 win over England on Saturday.
The Six Nations panned out as most observers predicted.
France was first, Ireland second, followed by England, Scotland, Wales, then Italy.
Yet, on the final day on Saturday, Ireland led the championship for about three hours, England and Scotland were in danger of dropping in the standings, and Wales could have finished third.