Russia's World Cup debut ended in an honourable 13-6 defeat despite a brave performance against USA in their Pool C clash in New Plymouth.
The USA Eagles managed to grind out a hard-fought 13-6 victory over the Russian Bears who turned in a determined debut World Cup performance at Stadium Taranaki in New Plymouth on Thursday.
The imposing figure of Sonny Bill Williams is likely to pop up in a new position in the All Blacks' World Cup match against Japan on Friday, but just where is a closely guarded secret.
The England management have defended Mike Tindall and several of his team-mates following reports of a night out in Queenstown.
Quade Cooper said on Thursday that he was looking only at the positives after being called a "boofhead" by a Wallaby Test great amid the unabated Kiwi hysteria over his public enemy status at the World Cup.
Romania head coach Romeo Stefan Gontineac has named his team for the Oaks' second Rugby World Cup Pool B match - against Argentina at Invercargill's Rugby Park Stadium - on Saturday.
The All Blacks on Thursday rejected suggestions that key players - including Richie McCaw and Dan Carter - were faking injuries to avoid playing Japan ahead of a key World Cup clash with France.
England prop Andrew Sheridan will return home with his rugby career in the balance after yet another shoulder injury cut short his World Cup stint in New Zealand.
England team bosses defended centre Mike Tindall following allegations that he had behaved inappropriately on a night out during the World Cup in New Zealand.
Argentina will aim to get their World Cup campaign back on track when they face Romania on Saturday in a Pool B game they must win to keep alive their hopes of once again reaching the last eight.
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw and full-back Mils Muliaina will miss Friday's World Cup Pool A clash with Japan in Hamilton.
James O'Connor has been recalled by Australia for the crunch World Cup Pool C clash with Ireland at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.
New Zealand will look to spoil the World Cup party of one of their former greats when they face Japan in Hamilton on Friday (kick-off 9am BST).
Fiji have made three changes to their line-up for the mouth-watering clash against South Africa in Wellington on Saturday.
Wales hooker Huw Bennett admits Sunday's clash with Samoa in Hamilton is a "massive game".