Wales

Wales v South Africa

The Six Nations champions are underdogs for the last-four showdown in Yokohama City, where they will be striving to reach the final for the first time.

Wales left it late to beat 14-man France at the quarter-final stage last weekend and must do without full-back Liam Williams (ankle) and flanker Josh Navidi (hamstring) against the Springboks.

Centre Jonathan Davies has been passed fit after a knee problem, though, and head coach Gatland is optimistic his side can defy the odds to earn a shot at the Webb Ellis Cup.

Williams out of Rugby World Cup

Wales face South Africa in Yokohama on Sunday looking to reach the World Cup final for the first time.

Davies is back in Gatland's XV after missing the narrow last-eight victory over France with a recurrence of an earlier knee injury.

However, Williams is out of this clash and the remainder of the tournament due to a training-ground injury.

Wales reported Williams had suffered the blow to his ankle in an accidental collision and a prognosis was still to be established.

Fiji not looking past Wales

Victory would ensure automatic qualification for the next World Cup and also keep alive their faint hopes of advancing to the quarter finals.

But coach John McKee said they're not looking beyond the 80 minutes on the field at Oita Stadium.

"The players are very much focused on their performance in the game because, as players and as a team, what we can control is how we perform," McKee said.

"We look for our top performance and, if we can put in our top performance, then those other things look after themselves."

Hooper rues first-half failings

In what will surely be the key fixture in Pool D at the Rugby World Cup, Wales got the better of a strong-finishing Australia 29-25, having led 23-8 at the break.

Tries from Dane Haylett-Petty and Hooper himself set up a tense finish, but the Wallabies could not quite wrestle back control of the match.

Hooper was disappointed but keen to move on quickly, knowing Australia cannot afford to spend too long reflecting on a defeat that likely sends them into the same side of the draw as England and New Zealand.

Target on Wallabies halves as Wales prepare for World Cup scrap

Though both have been out of favour at the selection table at times this year but they are set to play pivotal roles in Australia’s most important pool match.

Wales flyhalf Dan Biggar said his side was certainly wary of Foley, who has found some of his best games in Cardiff over his career, and the impact of Genia as his halves partner.

“His record speaks for itself. He is an excellent player. He has success against us in the past, he has always seemed to have played well in Cardiff in particular,” he said.

Dominant first half hands Wales winning start

The Six Nations champions delivered a strong statement of intent less than a week before tackling Pool D rivals Australia as they put Georgia to the sword during a dominant first-half display.

Wales had a bonus point wrapped up by half-time after tries from centre Jonathan Davies, flanker Justin Tipuric, wing Josh Adams and full-back Liam Williams, with fly-half Dan Biggar kicking three conversions and a penalty.

Wales "shocked" by betting allegations

Wales assistant coach Howley was sent home from the Rugby World Cup on Tuesday with former Wales five-eighth Stephen Jones flying out to replace him.

"We were shocked by it," Gatland told a press conference in Kitayushu.

"At the moment these are allegations. Rob is devastated by the allegations."

The 48-year-old former Wales captain has been part of Gatland's coaching team since 2008.

"It took a bit of time to sink in. It is now how we turn a difficult situation into a positive one," Gatland said.

Wales train with 'wet balls and baby oil' ahead of World Cup opener

Head coach Warren Gatland believes that humidity is going to be a factor during the tournament in Japan.

England boss Eddie Jones feels his side are fully equipped to cope with such a scenario, and Wales have also left no stone unturned.

Day-time temperatures at Wales’ current base in the southern Japanese city of Kitakyushu are 30 degrees-plus, with 75 percent humidity, and similar weather is expected elsewhere during the 44-day competition.

Kiwi coaches seeking their fortunes abroad

Even Sir Graham and Hansen themselves were forced to take a pathway through Wales en route to the top NZ role.

If you're in doubt about which teams to support at the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand aren't playing, this list of Kiwi-coached sides may swing your allegiance.

Joe Schmidt (Ireland)

International teams coached: Ireland (2013-present)

International record: 50-18-1 (72.5 percent)

Tournament titles: Three (Six Nations 2014, 2015, 2018)

Ireland knock off Wales, France thrash Italy

The Irish, beaten 57-15 by England, won in Cardiff for the first time since August 2015 after scoring three tries in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match, two for Jacob Stockdale and a penalty try bringing Wales' 11-game home winning streak stretching back to November 2017 to an end.

 The two teams meet again next Saturday in Dublin and the defeat will rankle more with Gatland as he remains bitter about the manner in which he was dismissed as head coach by the Irish in 2001.

"It was massive for us," man of the match Jack Carty told Channel 4.