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Top rugby headlines

Super Rugby

News and insight

W2W4: Jaguares and Sharks set for thriller

With the race for wild card spots going down to the wire, Friday's clash between the Sharks and the Jaguares has just become a lot more appealing to watch.

Tahs' win must be the beginning, not the end - Growden

A second Waratahs triumph in a row over a Kiwi opponent is far from a faint dream - it should be an anticipated non-negotiable. They must convince themselves they are dominators, not spectators -- Greg Growden writes.

Moody, Franks bans at odds with safety focus

Given all the talk of player safety being a priority in rugby, the two-week bans handed to All Blacks props Joe Moody and Owen Franks are grossly inadequate, Craig Dowd writes.

Super Rugby Scoreboard

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European Rugby Scoreboard

Click for in-depth finals coverage

South Africa

Willemse vs. Mallett and Botha saga

Sports minister sticks to Willemse comments

South Africa's minister of sport and recreation Tokozile Xasa says she will not retract her statement about race being a factor in Ashwin Willemse's actions last weekend.

Willemse appreciative as investigation goes on

SuperSport analyst Ashwin Willemse says he is 'appreciative' of the efforts his employers have gone to in order to resolve the issues that cause him to storm off set.

Investigation launched into Willemse incident

International broadcaster SuperSport are investigating the incident which saw former South Africa rugby player Ashwin Willemse leave the set during a Super Rugby studio show on Saturday.

England

Pre-SA Tour news and insights

Jack Willis to miss England tour of SA

Wasps' Jack Willis has been ruled out for up to a year after suffering "a significant multi-ligament injury to his right knee" in the defeat to Saracens, the club have announced.

Ban saw Solomona prep for England vs. Boks

England wing Denny Solomona has sought to make the most of his ban for verbal use by undergoing a conditioning programme as preparation for next month's tour to South Africa.

Jones: Farrell will stamp authority as captain

Eddie Jones believes Owen Farrell will rule by fear after comparing the England captain's leadership style to that of Australia great George Gregan.

All Blacks

News and insights

Taufua's All Blacks selection a lesson in persistence

Brad Shields may have decided his future lay elsewhere but Jordan Taufua's ascension to the All Blacks shows that talented New Zealanders should never give up on Test rugby, Craig Dowd writes.

Frizell among All Blacks' shock selections

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has ushered a changing of the guard at loose forward in announcing his squad to face France in June.

Hansen: Shields 'would have been an All Black'

Steve Hansen has claimed Brad Shields would have been an All Black this year had he not switched allegiance to England.

England

Reaction to Gustard's departure as defence coach

Gustard backs England to win World Cup

Paul Gustard has backed England to win the 2019 World Cup despite leaving Eddie Jones' set-up to to become Harlequins' new head of rugby.

England: Who could replace Gustard?

Paul Gustard's decision to join Harlequins has given Eddie Jones a headache he could have done without on the road to Japan. ESPN looks at three candidates to plug England's defensive hole.

Super Rugby

Weekend review

Rebooted: Jaguares among the pigeons in South African Conference

The Jaguares have thrown the South African conference wide open with their thumping of the Bulls.

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Arnold cops three week ban, Franks two

The Wallabies have suffered another blow, with Brumbies lock Rory Arnold ruled out of Australia's first Test of the year against Ireland next month due to suspension, while Owen Franks was suspended for two weeks for striking.

Super Rugby

SA Rugby looking for greener pastures?

In or out? SARU must end SANZAAR scuttlebutt

The Royal Wedding may be the headline act in London this week but a meeting to discuss a union already 20 years old will also take place. It's time SANZAAR puts the heat on South Africa and seeks some clarity around its position in the alliance.

Should South Africa ditch SANZAAR?

KweséESPN's John Goliath looks at some of the pros and the cons if SA Rugby decides to ditch their southern-hemisphere partners for their northern counterparts.

PRO14

Semi-Finals

Leinster edge Munster to maintain double dream

Leinster still have a domestic and European double in their sights after a 16-15 win over Munster in a pulsating Guinness PRO14 semifinal at the RDS.

Scarlets smash Glasgow to make PRO14 final

Scarlets stormed into the Guinness PRO14 final after dismantling Glasgow 28-13 at Scotstoun.

Aviva Premiership

Semi-finals

Exeter Chiefs set up Aviva Premiership final date with Saracens following dominant win over Newcastle

Tries from Nic White, Olly Woodburn and Don Armand helped Exeter set up a Twickenham date with Saracens with a 36-5 defeat of Newcastle.

Six-try Saracens book Premiership final place

Saracens ran in six tries to book their place in next Saturday's Aviva Premiership final with a 57-33 victory over Wasps at Allianz Park.

Springboks vs. England

Junie series draws closer

Whiteley may have 80 minutes to impress Bok coach

It's been a terrible couple of weeks for Rassie Erasmus as far as injuries to key Springboks are concerned, but the coach will be hoping for some good news about loose forward Warren Whiteley very soon.

Jones full of praise for 'bright guy' Rassie

Eddie Jones was fulsome in his praise for the current state of South African rugby saying Rassie Erasmus has the best aligned structure to work with for a "number of years".

Kriel, Am fight for Springbok No 13 jersey

The weekend, when the Bulls take on the Sharks, the two leading candidates for the outside centre berth Jesse Kriel and Lukhanyo Am go head to head in a mini Bok trail.

All Blacks

News and insight

Tuipulotu out of All Blacks' France series

The towering All Blacks lock will be out of the struggling club's lineup for up to a month and a half.

All Blacks newbies who could face France

Injuries and form mean All Blacks coach Steve Hansen could potentially blood some new faces against France next month. But who from the Crusaders, Chiefs, Blues, Highlanders and Hurricanes deserves a maiden Test cap?

All Blacks hold onto five key players

New Zealand Rugby has extended the contracts of five key players through to the 2019 World Cup, with Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty the latest to extend their time with the All Blacks.

Boks' Pat Lambie suffers serious knee injury

Pat Lambie is almost certain to miss the Springboks' Tests against England after sustaining what is believed to be an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the European Rugby Champions Cup final.

Nacewa the hero as Leinster snatch glory

Racing 92 fly-half Remi Tales missed a late drop-goal as Leinster clung on to claim a 15-12 victory in the Champions Cup final in Bilbao.

Patience pays dividends for 'ugly' Leinster

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen admitted the final 20 minutes of his side's Champions Cup final victory were "torturous" as he praised his players' resilience.

England

South Africa tour squad confirmed

Opportunity knocks for returning Cipriani

This is no England recall for Danny Cipriani, he is being offered a chance to prove to Eddie Jones that he is the country's best No. 10 after another impressive domestic season.

England's new faces: Who are they?

England coach Eddie Jones has included seven new faces in his squad for next month's tour of South Africa. ESPN gives you the lowdown on those hoping to impress.

Springboks

Player management in the spotlight

Marx injury result of poor player management

South Africa's key rugby players are simply playing too much rugby, because winning seems to outweigh the best interests of the players or building for the future.

European Rugby

Finals weekend

Weekend predictions: Champions, Challenge Cup finals

All eyes are on Bilbao this weekend as Leinster, Racing 92, the Cardiff Blues and Gloucester contest this season's European finals.

Super Rugby

Is this the end of Super Rugby

Let Super Rugby players cross borders, says Ella

Wallabies legend says Super Rugby players should be able to play for any team in the competition

Has Super Rugby simply run its course?

SANZAAR may be operating a "clean sheet" as it looks to keep its partners on the same page into the future, but as rumours of a South African exit continue to rumble the bigger question must be asked: has Super Rugby simply run its course?

SANZAAR rubbishes SA Super Rugby exit talk

Super Rugby bosses have branded a report that three more South African teams are set to withdraw from the competition to play in Europe as "simply wrong".

Super Rugby

Folau saga

Folau a huge dilemma, says RA boss Castle

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle admits dealing with Israel Folau and his extreme religious beliefs is a huge conundrum for which she doesn't have an immediate answer to.

Super Rugby

South African matches

Majestic Sharks smash the Highlanders

The Sharks smashed the Highlanders 38-12 at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday night in one of the great South African Super Rugby performances of recent times.

Stormers gain sweet revenge over Bulls

The Stormers produced one of their performances of the season when they shocked their bitter rivals the Bulls 27-12 in an entertaining South African Super Rugby derby at Newlands on Saturday.

Lions caned as Lam scores hat-trick

A Ben Lam hat-trick has set up the Hurricanes for their eighth win of the Super Rugby season as they dispatched the Lions 28-19 in Wellington.

Super Rugby

New Zealand and Australia matches

NSW Waratahs fall to Blues in Super Rugby

Australia's Super Rugby drought continues after the NSW Waratahs crashed to a 24-21 loss to the lowly Blues in Sydney.

Crusaders punish poor Rebels

A second half masterclass from the Crusaders punished a poor Rebels outfit, as they scored six-tries-to-none in the second half.

Jaguares stun Chiefs to continue streak

The red-hot Jaguares lodged one of the great moments in their short Super Rugby history by stunning the Chiefs 23-19 in Rotorua on Friday night.

PRO14

Playoffs

Scarlets dispatch Cheetahs to ease into last four

Scarlets cruised into the last four of the Guinness PRO14 after securing a 43-8 victory over error-strewn Cheetahs in the quarterfinal at a sun-soaked Parc y Scarlets.

Munster book PRO14 semifinal vs. Leinster

Simon Zebo created the crucial try in his last game for Munster at Thomond Park to help see off Edinburgh 20-16 and set up a Guinness PRO14 semifinal against Leinster.

Springboks

June internationals around the corner

Boks have embarrassment of riches at lock

With Eben Etzebeth set to miss the Tests against England, KweséESPN looks at five options Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus could consider for the June internationals.

Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Foreign legion to boost Springboks

Unlike his predecessor Allister Coetzee, new Springbok boss Rassie Erasmus will have carte blanche when selecting overseas-based players for the South African national team.

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