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Rugby News

Wednesday 16th May 2018

Rugby World Cup 2019: Russia qualify after Spain, Belgium and Romania sanctioned

Russia have qualified for next year's Rugby World Cup after Spain, Belgium and Romania were sanctioned for fielding ineligible players.

Spain had hoped for a reprieve after an investigation into their defeat by Belgium, which meant Romania qualified.

But the panel ruled that all three countries broke eligibility rules and have been deducted points.

Russia therefore join Ireland, Scotland and hosts Japan in Pool A, while Germany meet Portugal in a play-off.

The winners of that go into a Europe/Oceania play-off against Samoa for the chance to complete Pool A at next year's global showpiece.

Romania have now appealed against the ruling, and claim they took all the appropriate steps to determine the availability of Sione Faka'osilea, who has been deemed ineligible after previously representing the Tongan 7s team.

The unions of Spain, Belgium and Romania have a 14-day window in which to appeal against the panel's decision.


Danny Cipriani named in England squad to tour South Africa in June

Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani has been included in a 34-man England squad for the tour of South Africa in June.

Owen Farrell has been named captain with hooker Dylan Hartley unavailable.

There are eight uncapped players in Eddie Jones' squad including Sale back Cameron Redpath, Wasps flanker Jack Willis and New Zealand-born flanker Brad Shields.

Experienced players such as scrum-half Danny Care and Lions tourists Dan Cole and James Haskell have been rested.

Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola is recalled after an injury-hit 12 months that mean he last played for England in the 2017 Six Nations.

Fly-half Cipriani, who will leave Wasps at the end of this campaign and has yet to reveal where he will play next season, won the last of his 14 England caps in 2015.

England tour of South Africa
1st Test: Saturday, 9 June in Johannesburg (kick-off 16:05 BST)
2nd Test: Saturday, 16 June in Bloemfontein (kick-off 16:05)
3rd Test: Saturday, 23 June in Cape Town (kick-off 16:05)


Six Nations: Ireland beat England to win Grand Slam

Ireland thumped England on St Patrick's Day to win only the third Grand Slam in their history in thrilling fashion.

First-half tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale lit up a snowy Twickenham as Joe Schmidt's men opened up a 21-5 lead despite having Peter O'Mahony in the sin bin.

A double from Elliot Daly and Jonny May's try with the clock in the red at the end of the game brought only faint consolation for the home side on another chastening afternoon for Eddie Jones.

Clinical with their chances, composed on an afternoon of immense pressure, Ireland were fully deserving of their triumph.

This team now joins the heroes of 1948 and 2009, their thrilling blend of experience and youth a class above their northern hemisphere rivals.

England had won 14 matches on the bounce at Twickenham but their poor Six Nations went from disappointing to disastrous under a green-shirted onslaught.

Not since the dark days of 2006 have they lost three matches in a single Six Nations campaign, and with Scotland beating Italy and Wales beating France in the late kick-off, they eventually finished fifth in the table for the first time.


2023 Rugby World Cup: South Africa recommended to host tournament

South Africa has been recommended to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup ahead of Ireland and France, the tournament's organising board has announced.

The World Rugby Council will meet on 15 November in London for a final vote.

South Africa, who won the 1995 cup as hosts after returning to international sport, were endorsed after reviews of each host candidate evaluation.


Rugby World Cup 2019: England drawn with France and Argentina in pool

England have been drawn with France and Argentina in a tough Pool C for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Scotland and Ireland are in Pool A, along with the hosts.

Wales will face Australia in a repeat of the 2015 tournament, at which both beat hosts England to qualify from the group stage. Georgia join them in Pool D.

Defending champions New Zealand will take on South Africa and Italy in Pool B.

The 2019 World Cup runs from 20 September to 2 November.


Six Nations unchanged in international rugby calendar shake-up

Rugby administrators worldwide are nearing an agreement on a new rugby union calendar, which will come into effect after the World Cup in 2019.

The Six Nations will not move from its traditional February to March slot.

The British and Irish Lions series and the World Cup will retain their places in the calendar.

The Lions are set to tour in July and August in 2021.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont and vice-chairman Agustin Pichot have been leading negotiations, with the changes expected to be ratified at the next council meeting at the end of November.

While a full-on global season is not feasible, there is confidence the new calendar will see a greater alignment between the two hemispheres.

Under the proposals, the Premiership and Pro12 leagues would start later and then would finish at the end of June, with the Super Rugby competition in the southern hemisphere ending at a similar time.

There is also a determination to have less overlap between international rugby and domestic tournaments, which is currently a point of consternation among clubs in Europe.