Rugby World Cup

Hansen welcomes rule modification after Cane confusion

Cane went for an HIA at halftime in Yokohama, and passed it, but he did not return to the field with his teammates for the second half.

Match officials determined Cane had spent too much time off the field and so could not return, despite passing the concussion test.

According to World Rugby regulations, if a player is unable to return from an HIA after 10 minutes, or directly following the 15 minute halftime break, then he must be replaced.

Billy Vunipola is unbowed after facing the music in Tonga’s hit parade

In the local paper’s front page wrap of Saturday’s match here the Hokkaido Shimbun was pleased to report to its readers that everything had gone off smoothly at the Sapporo Dome, with the exception of a single subway train to the ground, which had run precisely three minutes late. The express that hit Billy Vunipola during Sunday’s game, on the other hand, arrived right on time. It was called Zane Kapeli and it caught him flush in the chest just as he was breaking into a sprint upfield off the back of a lineout.

Tongan captain Piutau impressed with performance against England

Tonga managed to hold the England onslaught in the the first 23 minutes as both teams were leveled at 3-all.

In an interview with World Rugby after the game, Piutau says their plan was to bring a lot of physicality to the game, but that was not enough to tackle England.

Schmidt's frustration over injured Ireland stars

Flanker O’Mahony and centre Aki failed Head Injury Assessments (HIAs) in Ireland’s stunning 27-3 bonus-point win over Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday.

Head coach Schmidt revealed neither Ireland star was showing any concussion symptoms after their opening Pool A encounter – but was left to lament the coupling of a six-day return-to-play process with the same length of time to his side’s next match.

England boss Jones grateful for 'Fergie time'

It took until the 77th minute to deliver the fourth try through Luke Cowan-Dickie that sealed a 35-3 win at the Sapporo Dome, but a laboured performance left plenty of areas for improvement.

Hodge cited for dangerous tackle against Fiji

More than 24 hours after the incident, citing commissioner John Montgomery of Scotland ruled Hodge had a case to answer following the tackle on flanker Peceli Yato which appeared to be high and involved no arms midway through the first half of Australia's 39-21 victory.

The 25-year-old Melbourne Rebels utility back will attend an independent judicial committee hearing in Tokyo but a date and time are yet to be determined.

Tonga show improvement in opening defeat

The 'Ikale Tahi restricted England to four tries in the 35-3 defeat in Sapporo but were unable to breach their opponents' tryline, despite shading the possession stats and forcing their opponents into more turnovers, tackles and penalties conceded.

Coach Toutai Kefu said Tonga put in a much improved performance from their last showing against the All Blacks but struggled to make any inroads against the England defence.

Flying Fijians ready for Rugby World Cup opener

The 2007 quarter finalists managed only one win apiece in the previous two World Cup campaigns but have been tipped as a genuine contender to make the knockout rounds in Japan.

The Wallabies were too strong for Fiji when they met in the pool stage four years ago but coach John McKee says his team has made massive progress since then.

"Our squad has probably been a bit more settled. Last time I came in just over a year out from the World Cup, so we were still working on our combinations going into the World Cup. I think this time we're much more stable around the team.

'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.

Eddie Jones capitalising on England's World Cup with series of Japanese commercial deals

The latest in a string of endorsements is evident in Sapporo, the host city for England’s tournament opener against Tonga on Sunday.

Posters display Jones in a blazer and open-neck white shirt, sat at a table on which sits a bottle of Japanese gin named ‘Roku’. Headlining the poster is the phrase ‘Eddie Recommend’. Roku gin is a part of brewing and distilling company Suntory, who are owners of the Sungoliath club that participates in the nation’s professional league.