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Steve Bardens - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images
6hTom Hamilton

Lancaster takes huge gamble on Burgess

England coach Stuart Lancaster is pinning his World Cup hopes on the rookie Sam Burgess, but the inclusion of the equally-inexperienced Henry Slade is a good call, writes Tom Hamilton.

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Tindall: England must top their group (0:43)
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Lydiate: Wales ready for group of death (2:25)
TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/GettyImages
11hPA Sport

Barclay to make first Scotland start since 2013

Scarlets back-row John Barclay will begin a Scotland Test for the first time in almost two years when Vern Cotter's men face Italy on Saturday.

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images
14hESPN Staff

World Rugby set Japan September deadline

The 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts have been given until the end of next month to provide assurances over the "financial security" of the tournament.

Amilcar Orfali/LatinContenti/Getty Images
2dJohn Griffiths

Will tournament history haunt the Wallabies?

How have Tri-Nations/Rugby Championship winners performed in past RWC tournaments and does any nation have a 100% win-record at the pool stages? ESPN's resident expert has the answer.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
15h

Palu welcomes Pocock challenge at No.8

Wallabies enforcer Wycliff Palu has welcomed the challenge of David Pocock to his No.8 jersey ahead of the Rugby World Cup and says he isn't the only player gunning for the spot.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
13hESPN Staff

Burger to captain Namibia at World Cup

Namibia head coach Phil Davies has named his Rugby World Cup squad, with Saracens flanker Jacques Burger confirmed as captain.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)
2dESPN Staff

Salesi Ma'afu to face court over scuffle

Former Wallabies pro Salesi Ma'afu will appear in a French court next month to face charges over an alleged assault linked to a carpark bust-up.

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
1dPA Sport

Warburton: Wales can go one step further

Sam Warburton has underlined Wales' burning desire to go further than four years ago and lead his country into the Rugby World Cup final.

David Rogers/Getty Images
1dPA Sport

Wales monitoring Anscombe ankle injury

Wales say that Gareth Anscombe is 'continuing to be assessed' after the fly-half suffered an ankle injury in training ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
2dESPN Staff

Genia's return adds uncertainty to Wallabies halves

Legendary Wallabies five-eighth Stephen Larkham has defended Quade Cooper and says half-back Will Genia hasn't missed a beat after rejoining the battle for the contentious halves positions.

David Rogers/Getty Images
2dPA Sport

Veteran Easter pushing for World Cup spot

Forwards coach Graham Rowntree admits Harlequins number eight is doing everything possible to challenge Ben Morgan for a place at the World Cup.

David Rogers/Getty Images
2dPA Sport

Ireland on tenterhooks over Healy fitness

Defence coach Les Kiss admits "each hour matters" as loosehead prop fights neck injury ahead of Rugby World Cup squad announcement.

David Rogers/Getty Images
2dPA Sport

England players seething over France defeat

Forwards coach Graham Rowntree opens up on pack review after Stade de France defeat - and warns mistakes cannot be repeated at the World Cup.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
2dESPN Staff

Canada name inexperienced World Cup squad

Head coach Kieran Crowley, himself a World Cup winner as a player with the All Blacks in 1987, confident his young side can cause an upset in England.

Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images
2dPA Sport

Laidlaw lined up for Scotland return

Greig Laidlaw will return to captain Scotland in their third World Cup warm-up match against Italy.

Steve Bardens - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images
3dESPN Staff

Italy announce final 31-man World Cup squad

Mauro Bergamasco will play in his fifth World Cup for Italy but former captain Marco Bortolami misses out in Jacques Brunel's final squad.

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