Rugby World Cup 2007

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Down under going to the top?

Who can save the northern hemisphere in this World Cup? It looks like either France or Ireland, but neither has had a remotely reassuring start to the Rugby World Cup tournament. The three Tri-Nations teams look safe bets for places in the semifinals, and most neutral observers would back Argentina to join them there.

William Webb Ellis: Innovator of rugby or fraud?

The Duke of Wellington may have said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the fields of Eton College, but more surely the game of rugby was founded on the fields of another British public rugby school appropriately called Rugby. And who is to blame for that? An Englishman called William Webb Ellis, who -- horrors of horrors for the English -- is buried in the town of Menton in the south of France.

Rugby win eclipses SA racial divide, for now

South Africans came together on Monday to bask in the glow of the country's victory at the Rugby World Cup, hoping the triumph would help heal the racial divisions of the post-apartheid era. But behind the jubilation over the 15-6 win against England on Saturday was the realisation that the racial unity could be as fleeting as it was in 1995.

All Blacks look to the heavens to break 20-year drought

Rugby World Cup favourites New Zealand have turned to the heavens for help in ending their 20-year quest for victory at the sport's most prestigious tournament. Ken Ring, a New Zealander who produces weather forecasts based on the movements of the moon and planets, has provided the All Blacks with weather predictions for the Cup.

Media, IRB still at odds ahead of World Cup

Days before the opening match of the Rugby World Cup, a global coalition representing news agencies and newspapers is still at odds with the International Rugby Board (IRB) concerning coverage of the event. Despite progress on several fronts over the last two weeks, two points of contention concerning photographs remain.

White 'tempted' to coach England

Jake White would love to coach England if he leaves his job as South Africa boss, he said in an interview published on Tuesday. White praised the passion and talent of the England team which will take on his Springboks at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.

IRB defends referee following threats

The International Rugby Board (IRB) has backed Wayne Barnes, who refereed the France-New Zealand World Cup quarterfinal, following reports that he had received death threats. The Englishman yellow-carded All Black centre Luke McAlister at a crucial moment of the game and also missed a forward pass in the move that brought France the match-winning try in their 20-18 triumph.

Call for Argentina to join Tri-Nations

World rugby's senior administrator has called for Argentina to join an expanded Tri-Nations tournament, saying the Pumas couldn't be "neglected" any longer. The Pumas have been the darlings of the World Cup, where last Sunday's 19-13 win over Scotland saw them into the semifinals of rugby's global showpiece for the first time.

Bryan Habana's twin World Cup targets

South Africa winger Bryan Habana has set himself a twin target at the Rugby World Cup -- helping his team win the title and collect the top try-scorer plaudits. Habana has four tries to his name so far with probably more to come against the United States in Montpellier on Sunday before the quarterfinal.

IRB digs in over tournament media row

Rugby World Cup organisers turned down requests on Thursday from the French government and the European Union to return to negotiations and diffuse a media row which threatens coverage of the tournament opening on Friday. The International Rugby Board (IRB) and its subsidiary RWC declined all requests to resume negotiations.