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opinion

Reason: England intend to bludgeon

England coach Stuart Lancaster defended his selection of one-cap ex-league player Sam Burgess.

OPINION: But at least the 2003 champs are likely to be competitive, which is more than we can say for sure about France.

Gifford: Dramatic ABs selection

OPINION: Delusional or a stroke of genius? With rugby selections it can be a fine line.

Robson: Dagg, Jane out

Knowler: Dagg may get favour

super rugby

Hurricanes sign Lions loosie Fifita

Wellington loose forward Vaea Fifita in action during last season's national provincial championship.

Sacrifice and hard work have paid off for Wellington loose forward Vaea Fifita.

Super Rugby crisis in Japan

Expansion plans under threat as national coach Eddie Jones set to depart amid struggles to get players for a competitive team.

Crusaders boss Hamish Riach is looking for a new general manager to oversee professional rugby in the franchise.

Crusaders search for new GM

Crusaders going global in their search for a new off-field supremo to oversee Super Rugby franchise squad.

sevens

Top ref Joubert eyes Rio 2016

Craig Joubert has earned his reputation through decisive officiating and good communication skills.

Craig Joubert switches focus from 15s to sevens with a dream of officiating at next year's Olympics.

Tietjens starts long Olympic trial

SBW aside, it wasn't quite the star studded announcement NZ sevens coach Gordon Tietjens envisaged 18 months ago.

Bay of Plenty will continue to play host to the national tournament until 2018.

BOP keep sevens nationals until 2018

The national sevens tournament will remain in the Bay of Plenty until at least 2018, although the location could change during that time.

international

Wales edge Ireland in warm-up

Ireland's Paul O'Connell (left) and Wales' Alun Wyn Jones contest a lineout during their Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Dublin.

Wales hung on to beat Ireland 16-10 in an intense Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Dublin.

Reason: England intend to bludgeon

OPINION: But at least the 2003 champs are likely to be competitive, which is more than we can say for sure about France.

Scotland's John Barclay wrestles his way over in the clutches of Italy's Angelo Esposito and Leonardo Ghiraldini.

Scotland score six in Italy rout

Scotland ran in six tries to overwhelm Italy 48-7 in a one-sided World Cup warm-up game at Murrayfield.

all blacks

A nation holds its breath

The phone calls wouldn't have been easy for Steve Hansen, fellow coach Ian Foster, manager Darren Shand, or selector Grant Fox.

D-Day has arrived for possibly the most eagerly awaited All Blacks squad naming in history.

Cruel cut leaves dejected All Blacks

Israel Dagg and Cory Jane could be the All Blacks' biggest World Cup selection casualties.

Jonah Lomu, seen here in action at the 1995 World Cup, has to receive kidney dialysis several times a week.

Lomu's greatest goal

All Blacks great reveals his major ambition is to live long enough to see his two sons turn 21.

provincial

Waikato hammer Bay of Plenty

Waikato flanker Whetu Douglas makes a break against Bay of Plenty at Tauranga Domain.

5:05 PM  Visitors put their exciting backline to good use in Tauranga to take out 43-10 NPC win.

Lions fairly proud after easy win

Encouraging signs weren't hard to find at Westpac Stadium, on Saturday night.

North Otago lock Taua Limoloa makes a charge for the tryline during their 18-16 win against Wairarapa Bush on Saturday night.

Bush falter on new artificial turf

4:30 PM  Wairarapa Bush hosted a first-class rugby match on an artificial turf for the first time on Saturday night in Masterton, losing 18-16 to North Otago.

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