Sonny Bill

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Ireland players face the New Zealand Haka before kick-off in Tokyo. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The player who illustrated the true difference between the rugby cultures of New Zealand and Ireland was nowhere to be seen on Saturday night. Rieko I(...)

Johnny Sexton walks out for the captain’s run ahead of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final date with the All Blacks. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Spiky, bullish, funny and calm. If Johnny Sexton can repeat the masterly performance of this lone ranger Captain’s Run in Chofu - way out in deep west(...)

 Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks run through drills during a  training session at Tatsuminomori Seaside Park  in Tokyo. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

15 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) Age: 28 Height: 6’2” Weight: 91kg (14st, 5lbs) Caps: 80 The world’s best outhalf is now doing a pretty good job from f(...)

 New Zealand’s  Sonny Bill Williams stretches to score the  All Blacks’ third try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match against  Canada at the Oita Stadium. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images

Day 13 of the Rugby World Cup. To which the obvious reaction can only be – hang on, are you certain it’s only Day 13? Wasn’t Ireland’s win over Scotla(...)

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(...)

Now, with Scotland in their sights, all that torture has been moulded into something resembling peak performance. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Small island, big dreams. There’s nowhere to hide on this green rock. Six hours cruising in his vintage mustang can have Jacob Stockdale beside Conor (...)

New Zealand’s Richie Mo’unga  and teamates take part in a training session in Koto on Tuesday. Photograph: Getty Images

As the thunderstorms gather for the weekend hereabouts, there has simply never been a thunderous collision on the opening weekend of a World Cup to co(...)

All Blacks’ Sevu Reece celebrates his try with Beauden Barrett in the 2019 Investec Rugby Championship at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday. Photograph: Marty Melville/Inpho/Photosport

The Rugby Championship crown may have rested uneasily on their heads, but the Bledisloe Cup still sits snugly in place. Steve Hansen has always mainta(...)

Sevu Reece celebrates scoring the All Blacks’ fourth try against the Wallabies. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty

New Zealand 36 Australia 0 New Zealand bounced back from their record Test defeat to thrash Australia 36-0 in Auckland. Australia had beaten New Zea(...)

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