Tuesday 20 March 2018

Wallabies take Championship

Australia have won the Rugby Championship and ended a long barren run against New Zealand, firing a World Cup warning shot to England and Wales as well.

The Wallabies, who will contest Pool A alongside the home nations this autumn, were behind for long periods, but tries from Sekope Kepu, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Nic White gave them a 27-19 win.

It is the first time in four years Australia have beaten New Zealand - for whom debutant wing Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two tries and Dan Carter booted nine points - and they can regain the Bledisloe Cup if they win at Eden Park next Saturday.

Richie McCaw equalled Brian O'Driscoll's record as the most capped player in international rugby history in his 141st Test.

Seven cut from England squad

England have narrowed their back-three options after removing three wings, including Chris Ashton, from their World Cup training squad.

Ashton is the highest-profile casualty among the seven axed on Friday, with his fellow wings, Semesa Rokoduguni and Marland Yarde, centre Kyle Eastmond, scrumhalf Lee Dickson, flanker Matt Kvesic and prop Matt Mullan also dropped.

The departures reduce the number of players who will return to the squad's training camp at Pennyhill Park to 39, with August 31 the deadline for Lancaster to name his final 31-man party.

The removal of Ashton, Yarde and Rokoduguni limits England to only three wings, with Anthony Watson, Jack Nowell and Jonny May the trio who are due to return to camp today.

Imhoff leads Argentina rout

Juan Imhoff's hat-trick led Argentina to a stunning 37-25 upset in Durban as South Africa's World Cup preparations continue to falter with a fourth straight defeat.

The Pumas led 27-13 by half-time, with Juan Martin Hernandez converting Marcelo Bosch's early score and two from Imhoff - who completed his treble immediately after the interval.

Willie Le Roux's try narrowed the gap but Bosch's drop-goal made Argentina comfortable again, despite Bryan Habana's late try.

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