Latest rugby union news

Cooper sparks Reds to big win over Force

Taking aim: Quade Cooper lines up a penalty for the Reds.

9:54 PM   Quade Cooper returned to almost single-handedly guide the Queensland Reds to a 32-10 Super Rugby win over the Western Force in Perth, pressing some World Cup claims in the process

Highlanders down Chiefs in comprehensive fashion

Contact: Ben Smith just gets his pass away for the Highlanders before Chiefs opponent Hosea Gear wraps him up.

9:51 PM   The Highlanders have comprehensively outplayed the Chiefs, scoring four tries to nil, including a superb effort from winger Waisake Naholo, on the way to a 36-9 Super Rugby victory in Invercargill.

Wife's labour taught Taqele about toughness of character

Flying Fijian: Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Daniel Lane 9:18 PM   Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro has busted through defensive lines and trampled over opponents like they were ants but the 120 kilo battering ram says he's never witnessed greater calmness under pressure, or toughness, than his wife displayed when she went into labor and there was no hope of getting her to the hospital in time.

Rebels lose Weeks, Naivalu in loss to Sharks

Melbourne Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham in action against the Sharks in Durban.

Roy Ward 7:54 PM   A red card to Laurie Weeks and suspected broken leg to Sefa Naivalu hurt Rebels in loss to Sharks in Durban.

Carter's Super Rugby season over, but World Cup still a chance

Sam Carter suffered a serious knee injury on Friday night.

David Polkinghorne 7:00 PM    Wallabies lock Sam Carter's Super Rugby season is over, but his World Cup dream is still alive.

Speight can fire at World Cup: Larkham

Brumbies winger Henry Speight scored two tries on the night, to give the side a narrow win.

David Polkinghorne 6:41 PM   Stephen Larkham expects Henry Speight's form to have an impact on the Wallabies' World Cup campaign.

NSW Waratahs looking ahead to life after Michael Cheika

Matt Burke / Matthew Burke

Matthew Burke 2:30 PM   Succession planning is the key to moving forward in any organisation but that doesn't mean previous strategies will necessarily take you in the right direction for your endeavours.

Brumbies win with Speight brace, but Carter suffers knee injury

Sam Carter suffered a serious knee injury.

David Polkinghorne 8:48 AM    A Henry Speight brace has kept the ACT Brumbies' Super Rugby finals hopes alive - but it could come at a cost.

Weeks sent off as Rebels' hoodoo in South Africa continues

Referee Jaco van Heerden shows a red card to Laurie Weeks (R).

Melissa Woods 8:41 AM   A two-try haul from skipper Scott Higginbotham wasn't enough for the Melbourne Rebels to achieve a break-through win in South Africa, falling 25-21 to the Sharks in Durban.

Hartley dropped from England training squad

"What happened is not acceptable and I understand why this decision has been made": Dylan Hartley.

Julian Guyer   Dylan Hartley's hopes of playing in the World Cup have been all but ended after England ran out of patience with the volatile hooker following his latest disciplinary problem.

Complacency not an option for Waratahs against Lions

Milestone man: Waratahs centre Kurtley Beale.

Georgina Robinson   ​Kurtley Beale says the Waratahs have steeled themselves against complacency heading into a vital highveld clash with the "dangerous" Lions in Johannesburg.

Whites skipper seeing red ahead of ACT grudge match

Queanbeyan Whites captain Dan Penca.

Chris Dutton   Queanbeyan captain Dan Penca has his sights set on toppling four-time defending premiers Tuggeranong.

Sam Burgess eyes cross-code title double

Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess has a shot at a second title across two codes in eight months when Bath face Saracens in the English rugby premiership final at Twickenham this weekend.

It's Lions v Wallabies: Johan Ackerman

Dangerous runner:  Israel Folau of the Waratahs.

The NSW Waratahs may be running on to Ellis Park, Johannesburg without forwards Will Skelton and Tolu Latu on Saturday evening (Sunday morning AEST), but that has not stopped rival coach Johan Ackermann from describing the contest as "Lions versus the Wallabies".

Prop in strife after Ireland loss to Barbarians

Facing ban: Jack McGrath.

Ireland prop Jack McGrath may face a suspension that could ruin his World Cup hopes after kneeing Konstantin Mikautadze in the back during Ireland's 22-21 defeat against the Barbarians on Thursday.

Rebels bring in veterans for attempt at South African win

Experience: Veteran halfback Luke Burgess a surprise elevation to the starting side.

Roy Ward   Luke Burgess, Laurie Weeks, Colby Fainga'a and Sefa Naivalu all named to start for Rebels against the Sharks in Durban.

Waratahs fail in bid to appeal pair's bans

Unhappy: Tolu Latu (left) and David Dennis of the Waratahs look dejected as referee Marius van der Westhuizen shows Latu a yellow card during the match between the Waratahs and the Crusaders at ANZ Stadium.

Georgina Robinson   The Waratahs failed in their bid to have four and two-week bans against Tolu Latu and Will Skelton respectively quashed on appeal.

Brumbies scrumhalf search continues

The Brumbies are prepared to back Michael Dowsett at scrumhalf in 2016.

David Polkinghorne   ACT Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is continuing his world-wide search for a replacement for scrumhalf Nic White, but he will be happy taking Michael Dowsett and Joe Powell into the 2016 season if necessary.

Toomua out, but Brumbies confident in Coleman

ACT Brumbies player Robbie Coleman will line up at inside centre on Friday night.

David Polkinghorne   Sio returns to bolster scrum against Bulls.

Bad boy of England rugby's World Cup in doubt

Dylan Hartley (left) tussles with Jamie George (right) and Jacques Burger of Saracens.

English rugby badboy Dylan Hartley will not be eligible to play in the first match of the Rugby World Cup later this year if he is named in the final squad after being suspended for four weeks on Tuesday.