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Northern nations may dominate in the numbers of teams in the Rugby World Cup but Southern teams tend to dominate in the play, such as Australia’s win over England to throw the host nation out of the competition. Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

It’s a battle of the hemispheres in the Rugby World Cup

Teams from which half of the planet tend to dominate when it comes to winning games in the Rugby World Cup?
Karne Hesketh, a product of New Zealand rugby, scores the winning try for Japan against South Africa. Reuters/Eddie Keogh

No place like home when playing in the Rugby World Cup

Many nations contesting the Rugby World Cup are fielding 'ring-ins' from other countries. The rules allowing this reflect the difficulty of balancing national team integrity and development.
A Springbok fan cheers before the Rugby World Cup quarter-final match between South Africa and Australia at the Wellington Regional Stadium in 2011. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

A view on the Rugby World Cup and South African national unity

When South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 the country felt invincible and united. Twenty years later it is going through a tumultuous time which is even affecting its attitude to the Springboks.
The key, as so often in sport, is timing. Joe Castro/AAP Image

Aussie Rules rules thanks to the eight-hour working day

Why is AFL the main sport in Victoria and the other southern States while New South Wales and Queensland follow rugby? That’s long been a vexed question, but we may now be closer to an answer. In Melbourne…
It’s easy to make the game safer without significantly altering the collision aspect that makes rugby so attractive. AAP Image/David Crosling

Brute force: reducing the impact of rugby collisions

The legendary American Football coach Vince Lombardi once said “Football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport – dancing is a contact sport”. This is equally applicable to the various codes of…
English and French clubs are sprinting away from the rest. Joe Giddens/PA

A hooligan’s sport, played by gentlemen. But who owns rugby?

The Heineken Cup, European rugby union’s premier competition, faces an uncertain future. English clubs continue to woo teams from France and Wales into a rival competition, with promises of increased revenue…

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