All Blacks prop Ben Franks said Monday he was willing to take a punch in the face for the good of the team if it meant an opposing player was sent off.
It's here. The 2011 Rugby World Cup is starting as the whole world watches tensely on. These are exciting times, including for referees, especially George Clancy who will blow the whistle to get it started.
When scrumhalf Alessandro Troncon was chaired off the pitch at the end of his 101st and final match for Italy one of the big questions facing the Azzurri was who would take over the No.9 jersey.
Four days before the start of the World Cup, the All Blacks insist they can overcome their reputation as chokers in the sport's biggest event.
Australia will go into the Rugby World Cup with the youngest squad of all 20 countries while Ireland has the oldest.
The Western Force has secured the signature of Fijian World Cup wing and former French Top 14 Player of the Year, Napolioni Nalaga, as the club's marquee signing for 2012.
When it comes to supporting captain John Smit in the face of media and public criticism, South African lock Bakkies Botha is as direct and uncompromising as he is on the field.
If host nation New Zealand are feeling the heat, so too are defending World Cup champions South Africa, according to Springbok wing Bryan Habana.
Jim Mallinder hailed both his fly-halves as Northampton sealed a Franklin's Gardens thriller with a late Ryan Lamb penalty against Gloucester.
Australia boss Robbie Deans has refused to confirm whether James O'Connor would reclaim his spot on the right wing against Italy on Sunday.
England have suffered a massive blow ahead of their World Cup opener against Argentina, with the news that veteran skipper Lewis Moody will not recover from injury in time to lead out his side.
Gordon D'Arcy and Cian Healy have teamed up with the Ireland squad in Queenstown following delayed departures from Dublin.
Leeds Carnegie have confirmed they have agreed a deal to sign USA scrum-half Robbie Shaw for the rest of the season.
Prop Paul James insists Wales are in the best physical and mental shape for their mouth-watering World Cup opener against South Africa.
Nick De Luca has insisted that Scotland will not be taking anything for granted against Romania on Saturday.