Japan winger Kotaro Matsushima dives to score against Scotland. Photograph: William West/Getty/AFP

IRFU statement an unprecedented turn of events The “IRFU statement re false claims published in Sunday Times” was an unprecedented turn of events, ce(...)

Japan’s Kenki Fukuoka   touches down to score their fourth try against Scotland. Photograph:   Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

By half-time in Yokohama you couldn’t but rethink your choice of couch attire for what was the final game in Pool A, possibly even deciding to swap yo(...)

Japan’s wing Kenki Fukuoka scores a try during the  Rugby World Cup Pool A match against  Scotland at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Japan 28 Scotland 21 Some days a country is unbeatable. Ireland against England under Croke Park’s glare in 2007. New Zealand the week after any All (...)

Bundee Aki in training ahead of Ireland’s clash with Samoa next Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Storm clouds gathering again. Ultimately the severe weather alert for the opening weekend proved unfounded, with the New Zealand-South Africa game una(...)

Tim Nanai-Williams of Samoa receives treatment during the defeat to Japan. Photograph:  Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Samoa coach Steve Jackson pulled no punches when it came to the refereeing performance of Jaco Peyper following Japan’s 38-19 victory at Toyota City s(...)

Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima saw his side’s crucial fourth try against Samoa. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

The clock had gone red at the City of Toyota Stadium when Samoa - trailing 31-19 - were penalised in the shadow of their own posts. Should they (...)

Japan’s Kenki Fukuoka runs in to score a try during the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match against Samoa. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/Getty Images

Japan 38 Samoa 19 Jaco Peyper, the South African referee, penalised a Samoa scrum five metres from their try line deep in injury time for crooked fee(...)

Jacob Stockdale in action for Ireland against Scotland in the opening Pool A win in  Yokohama. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rugby World Cup Pool A: Japan v Ireland Kick-off: 4.45pm local time, 8.15am Irish time, Saturday. Venue: Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka. How to follow: The (...)

Japan have not named Michael Leitch in their team to face Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

Japan left captain Michael Leitch out of their starting team for Saturday’s clash with Pool A favourites Ireland as a fit-again Amanaki Mafi took his(...)

Keith Earls in Shizuoka this week. ‘Potentially, this could be my last World Cup,’ says the Munster winger. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

In his own typically unobtrusive way Keith Earls has become one of his country’s greatest players, and he will look to kick-start his third World Cup (...)

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