South Africa’s captain Fourie Du Preez runs in to score the winning try against Wales six minutes before the final whistle  at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

South Africa: 23 Tries: Fourie du Preez, Pens: Handre Pollard (5) Wales: 19 Tries: Gareth Davies, Cons: Dan Biggar, Pens: Biggar (3) At the fina(...)

Fourie Du Preez and Schalk Burger embrace after South Africa’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over Wales. Photograph: Getty

South Africa 23 Wales 19 Wales fell agonisingly short, a defeat they might haunt them for some time. Not because they didn’t give their all, th(...)

Wales captain Sam Warburton

There is a temptation to portray Warren Gatland as the poker-faced gambler, a man who follows a hunch, from his days in charge of Ireland, through hi(...)

Wales’ George North will start in the centre against Australia. Photograph: Getty Images

Gareth Anscombe will make his Rugby World Cup debut for Wales at fullback one of six changes that coach Warren Gatland made from the side that beat Fi(...)

Leigh Halfpenny of Wales receives medical treatment after suffering an ACL injury during the World Cup warm-up against Italy at the Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny has been ruled out of the World Cup after suffering knee ligament damage in the World Cup warm-up win over Italy at the(...)

Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland has been hit with a pre-tournament injury crisis. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters

Wales boss Warren Gatland looks set to summon World Cup replacements this week after being hit by a savage double blow just a fortnight before his tea(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in relaxed mood with head coach Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Jamie Heaslip noted, time was when players re-introduced themselves to the game with a modest pre-season friendly for their provinces, maybe a leag(...)

Wales winger George North was concussed three times in five months. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins has delivered an upbeat bulletin on winger George North as the World Cup countdown moves into its Test match warm-up p(...)