Japan players celebrate their momentous victory over South Africa in the pool section – the Brave Blossoms missed out on a place in the quarter-finals but won the hearts of the rugby world. Photograph: Getty Images 2:16

Gerry Thornley Match of the tournament? Spoilt for choice. Japan provided the best finish, Australia v Argentina was the most breathless, but t(...)

Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw celebrates scoring a late try to see his team past Samoa in their World Cup Pool A match at St James’ Park. Photo: Neill Roddis/PA

Samoa 33 Scotland 36 Scotland stumbled into the World Cup quarter-finals but only after a nerve-shredding 36-33 win over Samoa in Newcastle. The Pacif(...)

Scotland have good news on the injury front for Saturday’s game with Samoa. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Scotland’s worst injury fears failed to materialise after Finn Russell, John Hardie, Ross Ford and Matt Scott were all passed fit for their do-or-die (...)

Scotland’s Finn Russell gives a thumbs up during a pool recovery session at The Royal Grammar School, Newcastle. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

Outhalf Finn Russell will miss Scotland’s potentially decisive World Cup clash with South Africa after failing to shake off an ankle knock. The influ(...)

Matt Scott scored one of Scotland’s five second half tries as they beat the USA 39-16 at Elland Road. Photograph: Reuters

Scotland 39 USA 16 We should have known a giant-killing was in the air when the USA took a trip to the nearby Royal Armouries a few days ago and found(...)

Scotland coach Vern Cotter has made 10 changes to his side ahead of Sunday’s Pool B clash with USA. Photograph: PA

Henry Pyrgos will lead out Scotland at Elland Road for Sunday’s World Cup clash with the United States after the Dark Blues made 10 changes to their s(...)

Japan captain Michael Leitch speaks to reporters  ahead of the Scotland game. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

The rugby world marvelled at Japan’s victory over South Africa in Brighton. To demonstrate the moxie to turn down a penalty kick at goal in the final(...)

Sean Lamont slides over for a score during Scotland’s 48-7 Rugby World Cup warm-up win over Italy at Murrayfield. Photograph: PA

Scotland 48 Italy 7 Scotland finally injected some momentum into their World Cup preparations as they followed up last week’s win over Italy with a 48(...)

 Vern Cotter: the New Zealander will be expecting a convincing home victory for Scotland after the success in Turin last week.  Photo  Michael Steele/Getty Images

A second win in a week over the Azzurri today would not go amiss if Vern Cotter’s Scotland side are to leave for the World Cup with anything like a (...)

Scotland’s Sean Lamont is the only player to retain his place after last weekend’s win over Italy. Photograph: Getty Images

John Barclay will make his first Scotland start since November 2013 after being named in the team to face Italy in Saturday’s third World Cup warm-(...)