Senior players Brian O'Driscoll and Sean O'Brien have been ruled out of Ireland's World Cup warm-up against England in Dublin on Saturday as coach Declan Kidney errs on the side of caution ahead of the global showpiece.
All Black flank Adam Thomson says his Wallaby counterpart, Rocky Elsom, could pose a renewed threat to New Zealand in the deciding Tri-Nations match Saturday now that he is unburdened by the Wallabies captaincy.
Sharks coach John Plumtree has tweaked his backline and brought back skipper Keegan Daniel into the starting XV for the top-of-the-table clash with the Lions in Johannesburg this weekend.
The International Rugby Board has written to Tonga's prime minister demanding assurances the parliament of the Pacific nation will cease meddling in its rugby administration.
Richie McCaw may be the All Blacks captain, but Dan Carter is indisputably the on-field director - a peerless pivot responsible for keeping the All Blacks at the top of the world.
Manawatu made heavy work of it but in the end they ground out a late 27-23 victory over Tasman in Nelson to secure their spot in the NPC championship final next month.
Brian O'Driscoll and Sean O'Brien will miss Ireland's clash with England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday through injury.
England coach Martin Johnson has handed the captaincy reins of a strong team to veteran centre Mike Tindall for their World Cup warm up clash with Ireland at Lansdowne Road this weekend.
So important is Quade Cooper to the Wallabies that pundits believe Australia cannot win their third World Cup without the gifted flyhalf.
Imanol Harinordoquy's favourite saying is 'live until you die; until then don't panic' which is reflected in his play on the pitch - making the most of it and remaining calm while others around him have lost their heads.
Martin Johnson has named a new-look midfield of Jonny Wilkinson, Mike Tindall and Manu Tuilagi for England's final World Cup warm-up game.
The new Top 14 season gets underway on Friday but while most fans can't wait for the World Cup to begin in September the quadrennial global showpiece is a headache most of the domestic coaches could do without.
With apologies to, inter alia, Boishaai, Oakdale, SACS and Wynberg, the major question on the lips of Western Cape rugby followers is whether or not Rondebosch can inflict double misery on Bishops when the Platinum Blues visit Canigou Avenue for the traditional end of season showdown.
The Wallabies have undergone massive changes under Robbie Deans since their traumatic exit to England in the quarterfinals of the last World Cup, and they have set their sights on a record-breaking third title.
Italy will as-ever be relying on their pack when they tackle one of the toughest groups at the World Cup in New Zealand next month but their Achilles Heel remains the lack of a top-class flyhalf.