England rugby

England fined 'four-figure' sum for v-shaped formation in response to haka

The Guardian reports England have been fined a four-figure sum for breaching World Rugby regulations, which say opponents must not cross the halfway line while the challenge is being performed. At least six England players could be seen in television coverage breaking that rule.

The Guardian added the fine is less than the one France received in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. They were made to pay NZ$5000 for their v-shaped formation, which also went over the halfway line.

Eddie Jones burns Gatland over barbed comment ahead of World Cup final

Gatland was speaking after his team had been beaten 19-16 by South Africa, who now face Jones’s men on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 showpiece.

Meanwhile, Wales face the All Blacks in the bronze final 24 hours earlier – which was Gatland’s last match as boss.

“Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off?” Jones said at a press conference.

Jones names his top lineup to face All Blacks

That had been his preferred tactic in the pool phase of the tournament, when Ford was outstanding. But he dropped the Leicester man to the bench for the quarter-final win over Australia, against whom Jones said he had been "spectacular" after coming on during the second half.

Manu Tuilagi moves to centre while the pack is the same as against Australia, with the only other change being on the bench where Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam as back row cover.

England into semis with 40-16 win over Australia

It'll be the first time in 12 years that England have played in the semifinals of a Rugby World Cup.

Four years after the Wallabies sent England packing out of their own tournament, Eddie Jones's side gained a measure of revenge, while extending their winning streak over the Australians to seven matches.

Australia played a full part in an engrossing contest but in the end were well beaten by a team who defended stoutly, took their chances ruthlessly and had a flyhalf in Owen Farrell who managed the game maturely and kicked flawlessly for 20 points.

Eddie Jones makes surprise call in the halves for England's quarterfinal showdown

Coach Eddie Jones has made three changes in personnel and two positional switches in pursuit of a semi-final against either New Zealand or Ireland.

Mako Vunipola is restored at loosehead prop after successfully making his latest comeback from a hamstring injury against Argentina. England’s last outing after their Pool C finale against France was cancelled due to stormy weather.

Vunipola’s return means Joe Marler drops to the bench where he joins second row George Kruis, who has lost his place in the starting XV to Courtney Lawes.

Billy Vunipola facing decisive moment for quarterfinal availability

Vunipola is rated “very likely” to be available for the Oita Stadium showdown on Saturday as he recovers from the ankle injury sustained against Argentina.

England will be desperate to field their bulldozing number eight as they bid to complete a seventh successive victory over Australia under Eddie Jones but only have one full practice session left before the team is announced.

Vunipola was rated doubtful for the last-eight clash but on Tuesday completed running, cycling, wrestling and boxing drills as his recovery took another significant step forward.

England hold full-blooded training session making up for France game

The all-Six Nations clash that was due to be played in Yokohama on Saturday fell victim to Super Typhoon Hagibis and was declared a draw, sending both teams into the quarter-finals.

England face Australia in Oita and have begun preparations in Miyazaki, the setting for their pre-tournament training camp.

Just a few hours before they had been due to clash with France, all 31 members of the squad except the injured Billy Vunipola and Jack Nowell were involved in a practise session that developed into a game played at full throttle.

'Everything in Tonga is probably the same as it was in 1888... that is the way we love it'

Vunipola will start Sunday’s Japan 2019 opener at No8 as the nations clash in only the third instalment of a narrative that began when Billy’s father and uncle ran out at Twickenham.

Fe’ao and Elisi were on the wrong end of a 101-10 hiding that day, but the occasion left a lasting impression on a wide-eyed six-year-old who was born in Australia but had spent long spells in Tonga.

England forward Maro Itoje knows what to expect from Tonga

A clash against the big-hitting Pacific Islanders launches England’s World Cup quest in Sapporo on Sunday in what will be only the third meeting between the rivals and their first since France 2007.

Itoje has played alongside the Vunipolas at Saracens for six years and since 2016 has operated in the same England pack, leaving a lasting impression of the ruinous impact the brothers of Tongan heritage can have.

“I’ve seen what those two have done to people! It can be dangerous if you allow it to be,” Itoje said.

From Starbucks barista to World Cup bolter

The World Cup bolter profited from Ben Te’o’s shock exclusion from Eddie Jones’ squad for Japan 2019 to claim one of the four centre spots, his ability to cover all three midfield positions adding to his value.

But prior to this summer’s series of warm-up matches, the little-heralded 29-year-old had won only four caps and three of those came as a replacement.

As a teenager he was cut from the Saracens academy, galvanising him to travel to New Zealand in the hope that the most thorough rugby education possible would realise his ambition of becoming a professional.