Italy withdraw from 2023 RWC bid
Italy have withdrawn from the Rugby World Cup 2023 host selection process saying it would cost the city of Rome too much money.
"As it has always been closely connected to that of the Olympic Games of Rome 2024, the candidacy for the 10th edition of the Rugby World Cup has no more conditions to continue," said President of the federation of Italian Rugby Alfredo Gavazzi.
"We are aware that we have missed a fantastic opportunity to further embed our values and our sport in the Italian social fabric, but we have to recognise that as of now there are no grounds to continue this journey."
With Italy out, they leave France, Ireland and South Africa still in the run to host the tournament.
Vern Cotter to become highest-paid coach in rugby union
Vern Cotter will become the highest-paid coach in rugby union when he leaves Scotland to take charge of Montpellier next summer.
Cotter has signed a three-year deal with the Top 14 club worth more than €3 million (about £2.5 million), according to sources in France.
The deal makes him the first coach to break the €1 million-a-year barrier and puts him in the same bracket as the world’s leading players.
He will take over at Montpellier from Jake White, the former South Africa coach whose contract expires at the end of this season.
Springbok team to face the Wallabies
Rudy Paige will make his starting debut for the Springboks on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld in the team’s penultimate Rugby Championship fixture of the year.
The only other change to the starting line-up sees Pat Lambie return to the team for the first time since he suffered concussion in the series opener against Ireland in June. Lambie will play fullback, where he is preferred over Johan Goosen. The Cell C Sharks player, who will earn his 52nd Springbok cap, has already scored 137 Test points in the Green and Gold jersey.
See full team here
Wallabies team to play South Africa
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made just one change to his starting side for The Rugby Championship Test against South Africa at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
Melbourne Rebels backrower Sean McMahon will step in at number eight with David Pocock ruled out with a hand injury.
McMahon hasn't started in the Gold jersey since the Wallabies went down to England at Sydney's Allianz Stadium in the third Test of the June series.
See full team here
Shaun Berne joins Force coaching staff
The Western Force have strengthened their coaching team with the appointment of Shaun Berne as the club’s Attack Coach for the 2017-2018 Super Rugby seasons.
The former Bath Rugby playmaker joins the club with more than 200 professional playing caps including stints with the Waratahs, Calvisano, Leinster and was most recently involved in elite player development at the Irish powerhouse club.
Shaun Berne Playing Career:
1999-2006 Bath 122 (287)
2001-2006 NSW Waratahs 38 (57)
2009-2011 Leinster 19 (55)
2011-2012 Calvisano 23 (70)
2015-2016 Leinster Elite Player Development
Tamanivalu to join Crusaders in 2017
The Crusaders have announced the signing of sensational back Seta Tamanivalu for next season.
The Fiji born Tamanivalu, currently in Argentina with the All Blacks squad, said the offer to play for the Crusaders next year was an opportunity he did not want to miss.
“I am grateful for my time at the Chiefs and everything I have learned there, but this is a fantastic opportunity for me to develop in a different environment. I have long respected the Crusaders as a highly driven and successful team, so I am excited to be a part of that next year.”
Taliauli extends Brumbies stay
Brumbies winger Lausii Taliauli has recommitted to the club by signing a new one-year deal for 2017.
The former Australian Sevens representative will join for his third season with the Brumbies.
Bristol's Martin Roberts out for 12 weeks with injury
Bristol scrum-half Martin Roberts will be out for 12 weeks after dislocating his elbow during Friday's loss to Exeter Chiefs.
The 30-year-old former Ospreys, Bath and Northampton Saints player has made two appearances for Bristol and could miss as many as 12 Premiership, European Challenge Cup and domestic cup games.