Tag Archives: Total Rugby

RWC Gold: Caucau braced for greatness

Caucau scored two tries against Scotland in the 2003 RWC. Photo: IRB

Caucau scored two tries against Scotland in the 2003 RWC. Photo: IRB

Few players, if any, to have won less than 10 international caps will have been talked about as much as Fijian flyer Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

Caucau, as he is known the world over, scored five tries in the first two of his eight matches for Fiji on the eve of Rugby World Cup 2003 and went on to become one of the hottest properties in the game at the tournament in Australia.

His performances against France and Scotland saw him hailed as one of the most exciting attacking players of his generation, and likened to a past Rugby World Cup legend.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Fijian players, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Uruguay hosts Hong Kong for repechage semis

Uruguay last took part in the 2003 RWC in Australia. Photo: IRB

Uruguay last took part in the 2003 RWC in Australia. Photo: IRB

This weekend Uruguay face Hong Kong in the Rugby World Cup 2015 repechage semi-finals knowing that this stage in the qualifying competition represents the last chance saloon.

On the other side of the world Russia host Zimbabwe in another one-off tie, with the winner of both matches proceeding to a home-and-away final, the winner of which will join Australia, England, Wales and Fiji in an extremely competitive Pool A at England 2015.

“I have always said that the most difficult part in getting to a World Cup is the actual process of qualifying,” Uruguay’s head coach Pablo Lemoine told Total Rugby.

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Filed under Focus on rwc, Repechage

Russian Bears loom large for Zimbabwe

Russia's talisman and fly-half, Yury Kushnarev. Photo: Getty Images

Russia’s talisman and fly-half, Yury Kushnarev. Photo: Getty Images

Ahead of their crucial Rugby World Cup 2015 repechage semi-final against Zimbabwe on 2 August, Russia invited Total Rugby behind the scenes, including one trailblazer with rugby in his blood.

While many of Russia’s players have converted from more mainstream sports to get to the top of international rugby, star fly-half Yury Kushnarev was seemingly born to play the game.

“I was born in a small town close to Moscow called Monino. My father played for the Soviet Union national team and they were based there. My brother started playing rugby, and then me, and we are still playing,” explained Kushnarev, who appeared in his country’s first ever Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 and has amassed a record 425 points from 63 Tests.

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Filed under Focus on rwc, Repechage, Zimbabwe

Japan’s Rebel with a cause

Shota Horie is a big influence for the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: IRB

Shota Horie is a big influence for the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: IRB

As a Japanese professional rugby player exiled in Melbourne, hooker Shota Horie is every inch the pioneering rebel with a cause.

While the domestic J-League is no stranger to overseas imports, examples of home-grown Japanese players moving in the opposite direction and trying their luck abroad are few and far between.

Horie is one of a handful who have bucked the trend, first moving to Otago, where he linked up with compatriot and fellow rugby missionary Fumiaki Tanaka, and then on to the Victorian capital of Melbourne, who, this week, rewarded him with a contract extension.

Hailed as ‘a big influence’ by Melbourne Rebels coach Tony McGahan, Horie, who has made 17 appearances since his move to Australia, has also attracted lofty praise from Japan national team boss Eddie Jones.

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Filed under Contract, Focus on rwc, Japan, Melbourne Storm, Personalities, Super Rugby

Mack is putting something back

Phil Mack attacks against Fiji in their PNC clash last year. Photo: Ottawa Citizen

Phil Mack attacks against Fiji in their PNC clash last year. Photo: Ottawa Citizen

Phil Mack is a small man who has made a big contribution to Canadian rugby – and not just as a star of both formats of the game.

Mack, who won his 21st cap at Fifteens against border rivals USA in the Pacific Nations Cup in Sacramento last night, is also an eight-year veteran of the Rugby Sevens circuit.

Last season he was named in the HSBC Sevens World Series Dream Team and remains his country’s all-time record points scorer with just shy of 900 points from a half-century of appearances, a total that surely would have been more had he not undergone knee surgery two years ago.

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Filed under Canada, Flying Fijians, IRB, IRB Sevens series, USA