WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew is leaving his position at the end of the year after 12 years in charge of New Zealand's national game.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has been fired by the Zimbabwe Rugby Union for unauthorized absence from work.
SYDNEY (AP) — A code of conduct hearing to determine the playing future of Wallabies star Israel Folau will continue on Sunday at the headquarters of Rugby Australia after a full day of testimony...
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Defence coach Shaun Edwards declined a new contract with the Welsh Rugby Union on Thursday, and declined to say what he will do.
Wales coach Gatland says England has not approached him
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland says England has not approached him about replacing Eddie Jones.
Gatland has been linked to the England job by the media since he...
SYDNEY (AP) — Rugby Australia said Wednesday that Wallabies and New South Wales fullback Israel Folau has requested a Code of Conduct hearing over his possible dismissal for making anti-gay...
SYDNEY (AP) — Israel Folau is still likely to have his Australian national team contract terminated after meeting with the country's top rugby officials about his anti-gay post on social...
Israel Folau and his anti-gay sentiments appear to have gone too far this time.
Rugby Australia said Thursday it plans to terminate the fullback's contract with the national team after he...
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has soared to new heights on the list of Super Rugby's best attacking players while simultaneously lifting the New South Wales...
Some good news in Aussie rugby: women leading the way
Led by girls and young women, the ruck-and-maul and rougher-than-rough sport of rugby union is looking to regain its relevance in Australia.
The Wallabies lost nine of their 13 test matches...
Nonu’s Super Rugby return may herald new era
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Over the years New Zealand rugby has become accustomed to saying "goodbye" to top players. But "welcome back?" Not so much.
Since rugby union went professional, New Zealand accepted that leading players near the end of their careers would seek financial security by signing lucrative contracts in Britain, France and Japan.
England prop Mako Vunipola to miss rest of 6 Nations injured
LONDON (AP) — England prop Mako Vunipola will miss the rest of the Six Nations after damaging left ankle ligaments in the thrashing of France last weekend.
Vunipola will be sidelined for about 10 weeks, the English Rugby Union said on Tuesday.
His absence will be a massive blow to England, which has a decisive match next against Wales on Feb. 23 in Cardiff. They are the only teams still unbeaten.
Israel Folau signs new 4-year deal with Rugby Australia
SYDNEY (AP) — Fullback Israel Folau has extended his Wallabies and New South Wales Waratahs contract with a deal that will keep him in rugby union in Australia until 2022.
Having switched to union from rugby league in 2013, Folau already has the fourth-most tries in Wallabies test history with a scoring rate of just over one try in every two test games he has played.
Samoa rugby player dies of head injury
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A former Samoa under-20 rugby player has died of a head injury after a club match in Samoa.
Faiva Tagatauli, 27, died Thursday, four days after sustaining the injury while playing for the Vaimoso Rugby Club against Vailele at Tuana'imato near the Samoa capital Apia on Saturday.
John Thornett, Hall of Fame Wallabies forward, dies at 83
SYDNEY (AP) — John Thornett, one of the most versatile forwards ever to play for Australia and a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame, has died. He was 83.
Rugby Australia issued a statement saying Thornett died Friday following a long illness.
He started 37 tests, including 16 as captain, among his 118 matches for the Wallabies in a 13-year international career after making his debut against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1955.
Ex-rugby player Thomas reports he was attacked for being gay
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Former Wales rugby union captain Gareth Thomas has reported he was the victim of a homophobic assault by a teenager.
The 44-year-old Thomas, who announced in 2009 that he is gay, thanked the police and the people of Cardiff for their support following the incident in the Welsh capital.
In a Twitter video, Thomas says was "the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality."
Police in Cardiff confirmed a 16-year-old boy, who was not named, admitted to assault.
Wales: Halfpenny concussed by Kerevi shoulder charge
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny was concussed by a late shoulder charge from Australia center Samu Kerevi and following recovery protocols.
The Welsh Rugby Union on Monday confirmed Halfpenny's injury.
Kerevi smashed into Halfpenny in their test on Saturday in Cardiff, after the latter kicked to touch from inside his own 22. Referee Ben O'Keeffe took no action.
Sara Cox 1st female to referee top-flight English rugby game
LONDON (AP) — Sara Cox has become the first female to referee a top-level English rugby union match.
The 28-year-old Cox, who became the world's first female professional rugby referee in 2016, took charge of Northampton's 15-14 Premiership Cup victory at Wasps on Sunday.
Cox had previously refereed in the second and third tiers of English rugby.
Wane’s Wigan beats Warrington 12-4 in grand final
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Wigan beat Warrington 12-4 in the English Super League grand final on Saturday to keep its promise to send coach Shaun Wane out on a high.
Wigan ground out a fifth Super League title in an error-strewn but compelling rugby match.
Winger Dom Manfredi, only recently back from more than two years out of the game with a career-threatening knee injury, was the Warriors' blood-spattered hero with two of his team's three tries.
England rugby player Cipriani charged over nightclub assault
England rugby union player Danny Cipriani was charged with assault Wednesday over an incident at a nightclub in the English Channel island of Jersey.
Police in Jersey said Cipriani remains in custody after being charged with "common assault, larceny, assault on police, resisting arrest and disorderly on licensed premises" in St. Helier.
Cipriani is due to appear at the magistrates' court in Jersey on Thursday morning.
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales coach Warren Gatland will be replaced by fellow New Zealander Wayne Pivac after next year's Rugby World Cup.
The Welsh Rugby Union made the announcement on Monday, saying the decision to hire the 55-year-old Pivac — coach of Welsh province Scarlets — was taken after a two-year consultation process.
Gatland will have been in charge for 12 years when he steps down in December 2019, making him the longest-serving Wales coach ever.
Govt forces Kenya Rugby Union to rehire 7s coach
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Kenya Rugby Union was forced to rehire national sevens coach Innocent Simiyu on Monday, four days after sacking him in a payments dispute.
Government sports minister Rashid Echesa intervened and announced the decision after meeting with KRU head Thomas Opiyo.
Echesa also said his ministry will work with the KRU to resolve the latter's failure to pay the national sevens team its salaries since May, plus government-approved bonuses.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Kenyan parliamentary committee will investigate the Kenya Rugby Union in a player payments scandal which has cost the national sevens team its most successful coach and a big sponsorship.
Victor Munyaka, chairperson of the committee on sports, said the investigation won't risk title-contender Kenya's participation in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in a month. Kenya has reached the semifinals in the last two editions.
Fiji, Georgia to fight out Pacific Nations Cup
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fiji and Georgia will fight out the 2018 Pacific Nations Cup rugby title when they meet in the second round of the tournament at Suva on Saturday.
Both teams were narrow first-round winners last weekend and the outcome of Saturday's match at the National Stadium will determine whether Fiji claims the Pacific crown for the fourth consecutive year.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The New Zealand and Australian rugby unions have reached an agreement which will allow backrower Pete Samu to join the Wallabies squad for its June test series against Ireland.
The unions had previously been at loggerheads over the selection of Samu, who was born in Melbourne but plays Super Rugby for the Christchurch-based Crusaders.
Santa Fe Santos beat Tucson, 27-19, advance to regionals in California
The Santa Fe Santos moved one step closer toward a dream of a rugby national championship.
After watching the Tucson Magpies score 19 straight points for a 19-13 lead in he second half, the Santos held them scoreless for the rest of the match and went on to a 27-19 win in the championship of the Rio Grande/Arizona Rugby Union playoffs at Balloon Fiesta Park on Sunday.
Santa Fe’s next stop is a regional competition in California.
The Santa Fe Santos Rugby Football Club defeated No. 1 Phoenix of the Arizona union 22-19 on Saturday at Balloon Fiesta Park in the first round of playoffs for the Rio Grande/Arizona Rugby Union playoffs.
The team, rated No. 2 in the Rio Grande union, will play Tucson at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Albuquerque venue for a chance to advance to the regional competition in California.
5 Spanish rugby players banned for between 14-43 weeks
PARIS (AP) — Five Spain rugby internationals have been banned for between 14 and 43 weeks for abusing a match official at the end of a controversial Rugby Europe Championship match against Belgium last month.
The Spanish team was incensed by the performance of referee Vlad Iordachescu in its 18-10 loss in Brussels that meant Spain missed out on automatic qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Tahiti loses World Cup qualifier over ineligible players
SYDNEY (AP) — Tahiti's 13-9 win over Cook Islands in a Rugby World Cup qualifier has been overturned because Tahiti used two ineligible players, meaning Cook Islands will proceed to the next round of qualifying for next year's tournament in Japan.
World Rugby said in a statement Friday that following a request from the Cook Islands Rugby Union, it investigated claims that the Tahiti Rugby Union had used the ineligible players during the match in Rarotonga on Aug. 4, 2017.
6N: England back-rowers Hughes, Lawes to have knee ops
LONDON (AP) — England back-rowers Nathan Hughes and Courtney Lawes will undergo knee surgery this week.
No. 8 Hughes is expected to be out for 12 weeks, and flanker-lock Lawes faces 14 weeks of rehabilitation, the England Rugby Union said in a statement on Wednesday.
Both were hurt Saturday when England lost to France 22-16 in Paris and surrendered the Six Nations title.
Players can go whole English Premiership without doping test
LONDON (AP) — The English Rugby Union says its anti-doping program works even though a Premiership player can go an entire season without being tested.
Figures for the 2016-17 season, published by the union on Thursday, revealed a total of 623 tests uncovered no violations within the professional game in England.
However, while England internationals are typically required to return samples eight to 12 times each in a season, that figure can drop to zero for a Premiership player.
Former Wallabies captain Nicholas Shehadie dead at 92
SYDNEY (AP) — Sir Nicholas Shehadie, a distinguished former Wallabies captain who was also a leading sports administrator and one of the architects of the first Rugby World Cup, has died aged 92.
Shehadie, a tall and powerful prop regarded as one of the best to have played the game, was the first man to play 100 games for the Wallabies during an international career stretching from 1946 to 1958. He captained Australia in four of his 30 tests and played 114 matches in the Wallabies jersey.
Former Wallabies captain Nicholas Shehadie dead at 92
SYDNEY (AP) — Sir Nicholas Shehadie, a former Wallabies captain who was one of the architects of the first Rugby World Cup, has died aged 92.
Shehadie, a tall and powerful prop, was the first man to play 100 games for the Wallabies during an international career stretching from 1946 to 1958. He captained Australia in four of his 30 tests and played 114 matches in the Wallabies jersey.
England scrumhalf Youngs out of Six Nations and season
LONDON (AP) — England scrumhalf Ben Youngs suffered a season-ending torn ligament in his left knee and will miss the rest of the Six Nations.
Youngs tore the medial collateral ligament on Saturday against Italy and will be out for four months, the English Rugby Union said on Monday.
Youngs appeared to have his left leg trapped in a ruck when he was hurt in Rome.
6N: Gatland predicted comfy win over Scotland
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — When Warren Gatland bumped into Wales Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips on Friday, the coach predicted Wales would beat Scotland by 20 points.
Gatland said Phillips was shocked.
The rest of the rugby world was, too, on Saturday when Gatland's side whipped Scotland by 27 points, 34-7, to open the Six Nations.
Wales was the bettors' underdog, but to make up for eight British Lions out injured, Gatland picked 12 Scarlets and started 10.
Injured Rhys Webb released from Wales squad
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Scrumhalf Rhys Webb might have played his last game for Wales after being released from its Six Nations squad because of a knee injury.
The Welsh Rugby Union says the injury will "restrict Webb's involvement in the campaign" and he has been replaced in the squad by uncapped Tomos Williams.
Wallaby Karmichael Hunt arrested for drug possession
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia rugby star Karmichael Hunt has been charged with two counts of drug possession after being searched and arrested by police in the early hours of Saturday in Brisbane.
Rugby Australia said it had been "made aware of an incident involving Wallabies and Queensland Reds back Karmichael Hunt in Brisbane overnight."
Australian Olympic Committee names new managers
SYDNEY (AP) — The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has appointed a former police spokesman as its new media director as part of a restructure of management following complaints about a dysfunctional culture within in its administration.
Strath Gordon, who had previously worked for the New South Wales state police and the Australian Rugby Union, was named on Monday as the new head of the AOC's communications department.
Raelene Castle appointed as Rugby Australia CEO
SYDNEY (AP) — Raelene Castle will take over as chief executive officer at Rugby Australia next month, becoming the first woman to lead one of the major national unions in world rugby.
Castle, who has been CEO at Netball New Zealand and at the Canterbury Bulldogs in Australia's National Rugby League, will replace Bill Pulver on Jan. 15.
Rugby Australia Chairman Cameron Clyne announced the appointment Tuesday, saying Castle was the standout applicant among more than 200 candidates.
Wales captain Warburton will miss entire rugby season
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales captain Sam Warburton will miss the entire northern rugby season following knee surgery.
Warburton hasn't played since July, when he captained the British and Irish Lions to a series draw in New Zealand.
Following rest, he had neck surgery in September so he could return to club action in the new year and be available for another Six Nations tilt.
World Rugby bans messages on strapping in Sevens
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — World Rugby has confirmed it has introduced rules which ban players from writing messages on strapping worn on their wrists in matches in the Sevens World Series.
The move was revealed by New Zealand players who said they had been warned they could be fined up to $1,000 for breaking the rule which bans the appearance of any messages — personal, religious or political — on strapping tape.
England players not sharing match fees with Samoa players
LONDON (AP) — England's players have decided not to donate some of their match fee to Samoa's players on ethical grounds.
Veteran prop Dan Cole said it shouldn't even be a players' call.
The Samoa Rugby Union announced this month it was bankrupt, though World Rugby has since said it wasn't.
Wales without Williams against the All Blacks
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales fullback Liam Williams will miss the rugby test against New Zealand on Saturday because of injury, depriving the team of another key back as it goes for a first win over the All Blacks since 1953.
Williams sustained an abdominal injury in Wales' 13-6 win over Georgia on Saturday and he has been released back to his English club, Saracens.
The Welsh are also without center Jonathan Davies, who was injured in their opening autumn international against Australia.
Fiji rugby coach backs sharing gate money to help tier 2s
DUBLIN (AP) — Fiji coach John McKee wants global rugby administrators to force through a gate-sharing revenue model to help tier two nations like his thrive.
The Samoa Rugby Union's bankruptcy announcement last week rippled through the sport, and McKee advocates for change.
He believes host unions should pay visiting sides an appearance fee to ensure wider benefits from the sell-out crowds such as on Saturday, when 51,000 will pack Lansdowne Road to watch Ireland play Fiji.
Wales center Davies to have foot surgery, out for 6 months
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales center Jonathan Davies will be sidelined for about six months because of a left foot injury.
Davies required surgery after he was injured in the final seconds of Wales' 29-21 loss to Australia last weekend, the Welsh Rugby Union said on Tuesday.
It meant Davies will miss the rest of the autumn international series against Georgia, New Zealand, and South Africa, then the entire Six Nations.
Thorn enhances credentials with Queensland Country’s NRC win
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Brad Thorn has enhanced his coaching credentials by guiding Queensland Country from last place in Australia's National Rugby Championship in 2016 to premiership winners this season with a 42-28 win over the Canberra Vikings on Saturday.
Samoa rugby fans pledge funds for cash-strapped nation
Samoa rugby fans have rallied to the aid of their team after warnings that the Samoa Rugby Union is insolvent and players may go unpaid for tests in Europe this month.
A combined radio and telethon in Samoa on Wednesday raised 354,000 Tala ($150,000) in a nation which has a population of less than 200,000 and an average annual household income of around $15,000.