Rugby World Cup

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.

Scott Barrett set for a start in World Cup semi-final

Barrett's extra size would be key to counter the size and strenght of the England pack.

RNZ understands that Barrett will take the number six jersey, with Ardie Savea moving to the openside and Sam Cane dropping to the bench.

Scott Barrett came on at half time of the All Black's quarter-final win over Ireland and Sam Cane left the field at the same time.

Cane would replace the injured Matt Todd on the bench, while Patrick Tuipolotu is set to come into the reserves as lock cover.

All Blacks prepared for a kicking shootout

New Zealand will face England in an expected evenly contested semi-final in Yokohama on Saturday, with neither side red-hot favourites for a place in the Nov. 2 final.

Under tournament rules if a knockout match is locked at full time, the sides will play two 10-minute periods of extra time.

If they are still deadlocked a further sudden-death period of 10 minutes will be played where the first points scorers win.

After that, five players from each team will take shots at goal from pre-determined positions on the field before it then goes to sudden death.

Sebastien Vahaamahina retires from France just 24 hours after his red card against Wales

The France lock received a red card from referee Jaco Peyper, following a TMO review, for elbowing Aaron Wainwright in the face when France were leading 19-10 in early stages of the second half. Wales subsequently fought back to win 20-19.

And while Vahaamahina has come in for heavy criticism for his role in France’s defeat, some media outlets in France are reporting that the lock had decided before the World Cup that he would retire following the tournament, regardless of how far France advanced.

Stars aligning for England ahead of ABs clash, says Woodward

Two tries in three first-half minutes by winger Jonny May helped Eddie Jones' side underline their World Cup credentials and gain a measure of revenge over the Wallabies who sent them packing from their own tournament four years ago.

Despite facing a daunting task against the All Blacks, who also advanced with a 46-14 demolition of Ireland, Woodward believes England can pull off an upset win when the teams meet on October 26.

"Never underestimate the value of momentum," Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003, wrote in a column for the Daily Mail.

South Africa end Japan's World Cup fairytale

In what was a first World Cup quarter-final for the Japanese, neither an entire nation seemingly now besotted by rugby, nor a raucous 50,000 crowd packed into Tokyo Stadium, could carry the hosts to victory on Sunday.

"Test match rugby is all about creating opportunities and capitalising, but unfortunately they kept us out and with their set-piece... they played well," Japan skipper Michael Leitch said.

"Credit to them."

Justin Marshall completely writes off Ireland's chances of upsetting All Blacks

The 46-year-old pundit – who won 81 caps for the All Blacks – slammed Ireland’s playing style and tipped his countrymen to put a big score on Joe Schmidt’s side.

Talking to News hub, Marshall explained: “I’m not convinced they’re as good a side as they have been in the past.”

“They’ve got a little laborious in the way they’ve been attacking. They’re predictable.

“The All Blacks will be up for it and I think we could actually see them put some points on them and win quite comfortably.”

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.

Lote Tuqiri highlights what he reckons is the key to beating England

The winger, who scored the opening try of the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, has also predicted on Twitter that the Wallabies will win by six points.

This is a bold prediction from Tuqiri seeing as the Wallabies have lost all six matches against Eddie Jones’ England, and last beat them at the 2015 RWC.

Then again, the two-time world champions showed that they have a world class performance in them against the All Blacks earlier this year, with their record 47-26 win against them in Perth.

Tonga’s PM expresses gratitude to Ikale Tahi

He released a statement expressing his appreciation to the players.

“It is with utmost respect, on behalf of His Majesty King Tupou VI, the government and the people of Tonga, to convey herein our hearty congratulations, deep love and appreciation, to the coach, captain and respective member of the Ikale Tahi team for their overwhelming diligent and divinely empowered triumph at their recent Rugby World Cup game versus United States.”

“It is indeed a personification of national pride and solidarity and inspiration for the generation of today and tomorrow.”