Aaron Smith

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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(...)

Commuters walking  past posters advertising the Rugby World Cup in the Tokyo district of Aoyama. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

A variation on an old one to begin with. How many Irish journalists does it take to negotiate a route by train from Chiba, an hour or so by rail to To(...)

 Joe Schmidt:  “I think the great days have been the ones where the players have done something a little bit special, and you’ve seen players grow.”

Today really does mark the end of an era. The Joe Schmidt era at the Aviva Stadium. Previous eras have taken in a detour to Croke Park and the increas(...)

Joey Carbery: he  had been earmarked for this World Cup in part because he also covered full-back and at a push the role of third choice scrum-half

Nobody died, but it sure as hell felt like someone had. Everyone being dressed in black maybe added to the funereal atmosphere. The news had broken ea(...)

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(...)

James O’Connor retains the number 13 jersey for the Wallabies against the All Blacks. Photograph: James Worsfold/Getty

Australia coach Michael Cheika has kept faith with the team that produced a record victory over the All Blacks last weekend and made only one injury-e(...)

Reece Hodge of Australia celebrates his try during the 2019 Rugby Championship test match between Australia and  New Zealand last Saturday. Photograph:  James Worsfold/Getty Images

Uneasy lies the crown. The feeling that this year’s World Cup is undoubtedly the most openly competitive in yonks, perhaps ever, was strengthened by t(...)

Australia’s Nic White will start against the All Blacks. Photoraph:  Christiaan Kotze/Getty Images

Australia have approached fixtures against New Zealand more in hope than expectation over the last 12 years but their record against the All Blacks in(...)

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen:  he continues his “risk and reward” experimentation policy. Photograph: Getty Images

Australia v New Zealand, Optus Stadium, Perth, Saturday, 10.45am (Irish time). Live on Sky Sports Action All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes Kiera(...)

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