Ireland’s Johnny Sexton with his World Rugby Player of the Year 2018 award. File photograph: Inpho

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton is one of eight nominees for World Rugby’s Player of the Decade award. The other nominees are Richie McCaw, Tierry Dusat(...)

South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi, Faf de Klerk and Lukhanyo Am all had excellent tournaments. Photograph: Inpho

15 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) It’s too reactive to say that Barrett’s switch to fullback didn’t work on the basis of their semi-final exit, as Eng(...)

Rassie Erasmus, the South Africa head coach, holds aloft the Webb Ellis Cup after their victory over England in the World Cup Final in  Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Springboks issues: History is initially written by the victors but that does not mean glaring concerns surrounding the Springboks should be ignored.(...)

 Faf de Klerk, Mazakole Mapimpi and Tendai Mtawarira celebrate after the Rugby World Cup final win over England at International Stadium Yokohama in Tokyo, Japan. Photograph:  Juan Jose Gasparini/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South Africa 32 England 12 Entering the last 15 minutes of South Africa’s third final, it seemed the Boks were set to complete a third World Cup triu(...)

Flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit  has been named World Rugby Player of the Year. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty

New world champions South Africa enjoyed a memorable night at World Rugby’s annual awards night in Tokyo, landing three top awards. Flanker Pieter-St(...)

Japan’s Yutaka Nagare attempts to tackle South Africa’s Damian de Allende during the Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Tokyo Stadium. Photo: Odd Andersen/Getty Images

Tokyo may run rich in fantasy but South African rugby has always been about hard realities. In the end, the quarter-final weekend finished on a predic(...)

Makazole Mapimpi dives to score South Africa’s third try in their win ovre Japan. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

Japan 3 South Africa 26 After all the shocks and surprises, typhoons and earthquakes, The Rugby World Cup has its heavyweight semi-finals. South Afri(...)

New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett  makes a break during the Rugby World Cup Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand 23 South Africa 13 The significance of Ireland’s victory over Scotland on Sunday was heightened by the extraordinary spectacle the day be(...)

 New Zealand’s George Bridge scores the first try. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

New Zealand 23 South Africa 13 Rumours of the champions impending demise may have proved premature. South Africa’s reinvention and rejuvenation unde(...)

 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(...)

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