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Cooper helps sharpen O'Connor for Tahs clash

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 27: James O'Connor of the Reds keeps an eye on the action during the round three Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Reds at Forsyth Barr Stadium on February 27, 2015 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  (Photo by Rob Jefferies/Getty Images)

Phil Lutton 1:06 AM   Quade Cooper may not be able to run out against the Waratahs but could yet play an influential role in the Reds' match against their arch-rivals on Saturday.

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Reds get not-so-gentle reminders about Waratahs

Derby dual: Queenland Reds coach Richard Graham.

Phil Lutton   Waratahs week at Ballymore has started with a flood of ex-players sending messages to coach Richard Graham, reminding him of how vital it is to give the Old Enemy a decent whack.

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Latu learning from Waratahs master Polota-Nau

Fast learner: Tolu Latu of the Waratahs in Super Rugby action against the Rebels.

Rupert Guinness   When Tolu Latu gets to start a Super Rugby game, one person he will be grateful to besides the coach who selects him will be Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.

O'Connor a conundrum for Waratahs, says Kafer

Battled at 10: James O'Connor weighs his options against the Highlanders on Saturday in Dunedin.

Rupert Guinness   The limited time James O'Connor has spent playing at No. 10 and a flawed tactical kicking game last weekend might encourage the Waratahs to regard him as a weak link for the Reds.

Carter not one to be lured by overseas inducements

Sam Carter is close to signing a deal with the Brumbies.

Chris Dutton   ACT Brumbies lock Sam Carter hopes the desire to "finish off" the club's bid to build a Super Rugby dynasty helps convince some of his teammates to turn down lucrative overseas offers to chase championships in Canberra.

Butler rejects talk of rotation

Jarrad Butler wants to hold onto his starting position for as long as possible.

Chris Dutton   Reigning ACT Brumbies player of the year Jarrad Butler has rebuffed the notion of a rotation policy after a brutal start to the Super Rugby season, declaring he wants to hold on to his starting spot for as long as possible.

Ireland beat England to go top in Six Nations

Ireland's Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw celebrate scoring a try against England.

Ireland take a major step towards retaining their Six Nations title with a pulsating win in Dublin.

Injured Pocock an altitude room test dummy

David Pocock feels the strain in the altitude room.

Chris Dutton   David Pocock and injured Brumbies have been flogged in a "unique" altitude room as test dummies for a Super Rugby secret weapon.

Three Australian finalists a pipedream

Paul Cully dinkus Dinkus

Paul Cully   ARU boss Bill Pulver's pre-season prediction about three locals in the finals is already looking on the hopeful side.

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Brumbies bolstered by trio's signatures

Christian Lealiifano is poised to re-sign with the Brumbies.

David Polkinghorne   The ACT Brumbies are poised to re-sign three stars.

Melbourne Rebels fall to Brumbies

Tevita Kuridrani of the Brumbies breaks through a tackle by Nick Stirzaker of the Rebels to score.

Roy Ward   Melbourne Rebels stared down ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park on Saturday night but lost 20-15.

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Rebels coach says poise in attack will come

Dom Shipperley of the Rebels takes a big hit from Tevita Kuridrani of the Brumbies.

Roy Ward   Tony McGahan believes his side will only get better in attack after a tough loss to ACT Brumbies.

France not a great team anymore: Philippe Saint-Andre

Frank assessment: Philippe Saint-Andre.

Julien Pretot   France coach Philippe Saint-Andre admitted that Les Bleus were "not a great team" after their 20-13 home defeat by Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Bulls beat Sharks in thriller

Evasive action: Francois Hougaard of the Bulls takes on the Sharks defence.

The Bulls put a disastrous start to the Super Rugby season behind them on Saturday with a thrilling 43-35 triumph over the Sharks in a South African derby.

Stormers hold off Lions after the siren

Siya Kolisi of the Stormers scores the winning try.

Solid stoppage-time defending earned the Stormers a 22-19 away Super Rugby victory over the Lions on Saturday at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Italy stun Scotland with last-gasp victory

Italy players celebrate after winning their Six Nations match against Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

Perseverance pays off for Italy as late penalty secures unlikely Six Nations win at Murrayfield.

Wales beat France to rekindle Six Nations title hopes

France captain Thierry Dusautoir cut a dejected figure after his side's 13-20 defeat to Wales in the Six Nations.

Wales rekindle their Six Nations title hopes with a bruising 20-13 win against a struggling French outfit.

Kaino sings Blues after ref ruins big 100

Milestone: Jerome Kaino of the Blues.

Marc Hinton   Blues skipper Jerome Kaino could not hide his bitter disappointment after a contentious – some might say diabolical – ruling cost him a victory over the Cheetahs in his 100th match for the franchise in Bloemfontein.

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O’Connor gets up to speed of local game

Pleasing return: James O’Connor in action.

James O'Connor's impressive Queensland Reds debut was just a taste of what is to come from the rejuvenated former Wallaby, according to coach Richard Graham.

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Giteau backs Larkham for World Cup glory

In the frame: Matt Giteau's form for Toulon would have him firmly in World Cup calculations.

Chris Dutton   Matt Giteau says Stephen Larkham can unlock the attacking genius in the Wallabies back line, adding that the champion five-eighth can be the key to Australia's World Cup hopes.