Alain Rolland: With the aid of World Rugby’s elite referee manager, the referees will have worked at  mental strength, fitness, consistency and teamwork. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield

Let’s spare a thought for the 21st team travelling to Japan – the match officials. For the last four years, exactly the same as the players, these wi(...)

Too high: Malakai Fekitoa of New Zealand receives a yellow card from referee Jaco Peyper during Saturday’s  match between Ireland and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile/Getty Images

As usual, in the eyes of much of the New Zealand media and of course the team themselves, the All Blacks can seemingly do no wrong. The reaction in Ir(...)

Ireland captain Rory Best in conversation with South African referee Jaco Peyper during the All Blacks’ 21-9 win at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho/Billy Stickland

ALL BLACKS DESERVED THEIR VICTORY There were a number of issues arising from New Zealand’s 21-9 victory over Ireland at the Aviva stadium on Saturd(...)

 Wales’ Rhys Webb receives medical attention after sustaining an injury against Wales. Photograph: Reuters

World Rugby has issued a crackdown on dangerous play involving the head by reminding referees to punish any severe examples with a red card. On the (...)