New Zealand after winning the Rugby Championship last year. Photograph: Getty Images

With the Rugby Championship being seen as little more than a World Cup warmup for the southern hemisphere’s top four nations the abridged tournament c(...)

Jason Woodward of Gloucester is tackled by Joey Carbery of Munster during the Heineken Champions Cup match between the teams at Thomond Park on October 20th Photograph: Andrew Surma/NurPhoto/Getty

Heineken Champions Cup Pool Two, Gloucester v Munster Venue: Kingsholm Stadium Kick-off: 7.45pm On TV: Live on BT Sport Ever the drama kings, Munste(...)

  Gerbrandt Grobler of Gloucester Rugby beats Sam Skinner of Exeter Chiefs to the ball in the lineout last weekend. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Gloucester v Exeter (7.45pm, Kingsholm Stadium, BT Sport) With Gloucester trying to overhaul Munster at the top of Pool Two, Exeter go into Friday ni(...)

Rassie Erasmus takes his Springboks side to Twickenham without a number of frontline players. Photograph: Ross Setford/Reuters

Rassie Erasmus has challenged the rugby world to fight to support the British and Irish Lions’ future. South Africa boss Erasmus believes any impedim(...)

South African prop Steven Kitshoff   is tackled by Italian flanker Giovanni Licata. Photograph: Getty Images

Italy 6 South Africa 35 South Africa beat in Padova on Saturday, scoring five converted tries to avenge their shock loss to the Azzurri last year. S(...)

Ireland winger  Andrew Conway makes a break for the opening try during the Guinness Series match against South Africa  at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland 38 South Africa 3 In the end it was a pummelling, but Ireland had to put in plenty of hard graft and tackles before decorating the game with (...)

Ireland fullback Tiernan O’Halloran gets upended by Willie le Roux of South Africa during the Test match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: EPA.

South Africa 19 Ireland 13 There have been few more courageous Irish performances in a season-ending tour to one of the Southern Hemisphere big gun(...)

Lionel Mapoe and Springboks coach Allister Coetzee after South Africa’s second Test victory over Ireland. Photograph: Getty

What a difference a week makes. Last weekend Alistair Coetzee’s tenure as South Africa coach got off to the worst possible start as they were beaten(...)

Ireland Rugby Tour to South Africa 2016Training at Cape Stadium in Capetown 6/6/2016Quinn Roux during trainingMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

As expected Joe Schmidt has dipped into his squad for Saturday’s second test here in Johnessburg. In an interesting and exciting selection, all told (...)