Samoa’s Viliamu Afatia is tackled by South Africa’s Lodewyk De Jager and Frans Malherbe during the Rugby World Cup  Pool B match at  Villa Park in Birmingham. Photograph:  David Jonjes/EPA

Laager – definition: an encampment formed by a circle of wagons; an entrenched position or viewpoint that is defended against opponents. “I see you ar(...)

 South Africa’s Duane Vermeulen: “If we don’t win we are out. We have to give our all. I’m ready to do that.” Photo:  Steve Haag/Gallo Images

A history of violence. Recent cuddlings of these gargantuan men is drenched in bloody yet wincingly enjoyable rugby. There have been 50-pointer(...)

Luke Fitzgerald was impressive for Ireland at 12 against Canada. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

What a start. Twickenham was bursting at the seams on Friday night. Standing pitchside, the Fijians swarmed around taking pictures of the crowd, engag(...)

South Africa’s centre and captain Jean de Villiers will start in their opener on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images

Fiji coach John McKee named his team on Wednesday for the opening Rugby World Cup Pool A match against hosts England at Twickenham on Friday. “(...)

As in other sports, there’s nothing quite like it; the only tournament that brings all the leading and developing nations together on a relatively equ(...)

Bulls scrumhalf Rudy Paige is the only uncapped player in the South Africa squad for the World Cup. Photograph: Theo Karanikos/AFP/Getty Images

Several key South Africa players, including captain Jean de Villiers and Duane Vermeulen, have won their fitness battles and were named on Friday in t(...)

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer says he has the full backing of his players after the country’s largest trade union accused him of making ‘racist choices’ when picking his squad. Photograph: Getty

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer says he has the full backing of his players and is committed to a transformation in Springbok rugby after coming unde(...)

England give South Africa a guard of honour after the Springboks destroyed them 36-0 in Pool A of the 2007 World Cup. Photograph: Getty

In 2007 England came to the World Cup more in hope of defending their crown than with any real expectation. In the four seasons which had passed sinc(...)

Jean de Villiers has not played a competitive fixture since last November having had a complete reconstruction of his knee. Photo: Nick Bothma/PA

Jean de Villiers is set to make his return for South Africa when they face Argentina in their final Rugby Championship test of the year in Durban on A(...)

Richie McCaw of New Zealand during the Rugby Championship clash against Argentina last weekend in Christchurch. Photograph: Reuters.

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw will play for potentially the last time in what he considers the “ultimate” challenge of a Rugby Championship Test a(...)

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