England

Australia seal 4-0 Ashes series win

While the tourists frustrated Australia in the first session at the SCG on the final day on Monday, Pat Cummins (4-39) ripped through England early in the second.

England captain Joe Root (58) was unbeaten at lunch after not resuming his innings to begin the day, but he did not come out to bat again having suffered from viral gastroenteritis.

Cummins had Jonny Bairstow (38) lbw in a huge breakthrough before bouncers removed Stuard Broad (4) and Mason Crane (2).

Marsh brothers join Waughs, Chappells

The hosts, already 3-0 ahead in the series with the urn secured, reached 578 for five at the break after England had toiled for another session at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the reward of one wicket.

It was Mitchell Marsh who departed for 101 on the delivery after he had secured his second century of the series when Tom Curran cleaned bowled him to break the 169-run partnership between the siblings.

England's Six Nations prep underway

Eddie Jones's men were hit with a handful of injuries after last weekend's Premiership rounds, but plenty of hopefuls will still have a chance to impress before the January 18 announcement of the Six Nations squad.

Charlie Ewels (hamstring), Piers Francis (concussion), Jonathan Joseph (dead leg), Jack Nowell (ankle) and Harry Williams (concussion) were all absent from the camp, while lock Courtney Lawes was already ruled out for personal reasons.

Giant London Irish wing Joe Cokanasiga and Bath's Henry Thomas have been called up as injury replacements.

Australia continues Ashes domination

Smith struggled to contain his glee when the coin fell his way for the first time this series, guaranteeing the hosts first use of a flat pitch as they seek to further embarrass England after reclaiming the urn in Perth.

Warner pummelled England's beleaguered attack in the morning session, scoring 83 from 94 balls as Australia raced to 102-0 at lunch.

The hosts managed just 43 runs in the middle session, when Warner benefited from a no-ball reprieve on 99.

Australia regain the urn

Seamer Josh Hazlewood finished with a five-wicket haul as England were bowled out for 218 before tea at the WACA, four years after Alastair Cook's side meekly handed back the urn at the same venue, and with the same humiliating 3-0 scoreline.

Play was delayed by three hours by damp patches on the pitch and rain squalls throughout the morning, but it was not enough to save England as they lost their last six wickets for 85 runs.

"So many different emotions are coming out right now, I'm that excited," Australia skipper Steve Smith said.

England's $233m RWC plan

A record war chest of more than £120 million (NZ$233.5m) is to be invested in the professional game over the next two years and the RFU has given the green light to the "detailed and comprehensive plans" of Jones for the build-up to the tournament in Japan.

Expenditure on professional rugby in England soared last year by over 50 per cent to a record £63.7 million ($124 million). Investment going into the 2015 World Cup was £44.3 million ($86.2 million).

England lose O'Loughin for World Cup final

The inspirational loose forward suffered a quadriceps strain against Tonga but hasn't recovered in time. Sam Burgess will skipper the side, a role he performed during the 2016 Four Nations, with Ben Currie starting and Jonny Lomax moving to the bench.

Kangaroos don't buy Bennett's mind games

Bennett made the statement after England’s narrow 20-18 semi-final win over Tonga but Kangaroos prop David Klemmer said those kind of mind games won’t engender any complacency in the Australian squad.

Klemmer insisted Bennett would instil belief in the England squad that they could upset the host nation. 

Wonderful Widdop stars again

Better known as a five-eighth these days, Widdop's return to his former position has been one of the major positives for coach Wayne Bennett's side so far and in Auckland he laid on two of England's tries against Tonga and scored the other, causing constant issues with his evasive running.

Tongan comeback falls just short

Trailing 20-0 with eight minutes remaining, Tonga produced an incredible comeback to score three tries in five minutes, and were denied a fourth on the final siren, to fall agonisingly short of booking an historic World Cup Final berth.

Four-pointers to Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolohea sent the 30,003-strong crowd at Mount Smart Stadium into mayhem, and very nearly saw Tonga continue their incredible unbeaten run.