Ben Mccalman

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Australian head coach Michael Cheika speaks to the media in Sydney after announcing his squad. Photograph: Getty Images

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has cut his squad for next week’s first test against England at Lang Park, Brisbane. Cheika has cut six players (...)

Sonny Bill Williams offloads to Ma’a Nonu, who shredded the Australia defence to score New Zealand’s second try of the final. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 34 Australia 17 So sometimes sport leaves no room for argument and does do perfect finales after all. The best team of the last fou(...)

All Blacks prepare to perform the Haka before last week’s semi-final victory over South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph: Getty Images.

The top-two sides in the world. The two most complete sides in the tournament. The world’s best referee. The forecast is set fair, for Twickenham, (...)

 David Pocock of Australia passes the ball during a training session at The Lensbury Hotel in London. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The state David Pocock and Israel Folau show up in may dictate this result. Their loss, along with Scott Sio’s busted-up elbow, would equate to Ire(...)

David Pocock returns from injury and will play at number eight for Australia in Sunday’s World cup semi-final. Photograph:   Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Australia’s chances of toppling Argentina in Sunday’s World Cup semi-final have improved after David Pocock and Israel Folau were passed fit for the T(...)

Australia’s outhalf Kurtley Beale in action against Wales. Beale did superbly when coming on as an early replacement against England. Photograph: AFP Photo

The preamble has been dominated by suspensions and injuries. Scotland’s appeal of the three-match bans imposed on hooker Ross Ford and secondrow Jo(...)

Drew Mitchell scored two of Australia’s 11 tries in their 63-3 rout of Uruguay at Villa Park. Photograph: Reuters

Australia 65 Uruguay 3 As warm-ups for the main event go, this was more pointless than the scoreline suggests. Not many, if any, of Australia’s line-u(...)

Ireland’s Rob Kearney tackles Israel Folau during Saturday’s international rugby match against Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

On Friday I noted the key to Ireland’s success was high-tempo, low-error rugby. This of course was partly true, especially as Ireland rattled up 17 qu(...)

Paul O’Connell takes on Australia’s Luke Jones as Mike Hooper closes in at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Eventually, with nine minutes to go, Michael Cheika unleashed Godzilla on Dublin. Will Skelton’s 24-stone frame immediately bounced Dave Foley into t(...)

Rob Kearney 7/10 - Excelled, but this could have been his greatest game for Ireland. Missed a couple of tackles, understandably steered clear of aerial duels with Israel Folau and hit the post with a drop at goal.

Rob Kearney 7/10Excelled, but this could have been his greatest game for Ireland.Missed a couple of tackles, understandably steered clear of aerial du(...)

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