Bryan Habana scored a hat-trick to move level with Jonah Lomu as the World Cup’s all-time leading try scorer as South Africa routed the USA at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Reuters

South Africa 64 USA 0 No one expected the Brave Blossom heroics of several weeks ago. Lightning striking twice in Pool B with South Africa on t(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud, who looks leaner and fitter, in action against Canada at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes. Photograph: Reuters

A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire. Roughly translated: To win without peril (is) to triumph without glory. There was a time when French(...)

Uncompromising Springbok secondrow Eben Etzebeth manhandles Samoa’s Ken Pisi at Villa Park. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Wales think they have it bad; South Africa are torn to ribbons after this wincingly brutal Samoan affair. Thirty-eight-year- old Victor Matfield must (...)

South Africa captain  Jean De Villiers has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with a fractured jaw. Photograph: Getty

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers is out of the World Cup after sustaining a fractured jaw in Saturday’s 46-6 win over Samoa. The Springboks resp(...)

 Samoa’s Viliamu Afatia is tackled by South Africa’s Lodewyk De Jager and Frans Malherbe during the Rugby World Cup  Pool B match at  Villa Park in Birmingham. Photograph:  David Jonjes/EPA

Laager – definition: an encampment formed by a circle of wagons; an entrenched position or viewpoint that is defended against opponents. “I see you ar(...)

The England team arrive at Twickenham for their match against Wales in the RBS Six Nations in March last year. Photograph: David Rogers/RFU/via Getty Images

Up from Richmond, along the river Thames and into Twickenham village, the George Cross flags and Rugby World Cup banners remind visiting fans of wh(...)

 South Africa’s Duane Vermeulen: “If we don’t win we are out. We have to give our all. I’m ready to do that.” Photo:  Steve Haag/Gallo Images

A history of violence. Recent cuddlings of these gargantuan men is drenched in bloody yet wincingly enjoyable rugby. There have been 50-pointer(...)

South Africa’s Jean de Villiers with his team following defeat to Japan  at the Brighton Community Stadium. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/PA

South African coach Heyneke Meyer apologised to his country for what he said was an “unacceptable” performance by the Springboks as they lost to Japa(...)

South African international Schalk Burger, who plays for Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath. He says  Japan will bring a high-tempo game to clash with Springboks. Photograph:  Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images

A wary South Africa are unsure of what lies in wait for them when they take on Japan, but are conscious of the need for a bright start in their openin(...)

South Africa’s centre and captain Jean de Villiers will start in their opener on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

Fiji coach John McKee named his team on Wednesday for the opening Rugby World Cup Pool A match against hosts England at Twickenham on Friday. “(...)