Experts have warned rugby players not to rely on neck-braces to stop spinal injuries but to focus on prevention as concerns grow over increasingly heavy collisions following the three neck fractures suffered by Australia's Pat McCabe.
Troubled international James O'Connor and code-hopping star Karmichael Hunt have signed for Queensland Reds, the team said Friday, in a boost for the struggling side and putting both players in the frame for next year's World Cup.
Welsh rugby's bitter civil war appeared to be at an end on Thursday after it was announced that a six-year £60 million ($100 million, 75 million euros) agreement had been struck between the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the country's four professional regional teams.
International Rugby Board chief executive Brett Gosper said Thursday he was optimistic a deal between England's Rugby Football Union and the country's Premiership clubs would be agreed ahead of next year's World Cup.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen on Wednesday defended special treatment given to code-swapper Sonny Bill Williams, saying it was needed to ensure he is ready to join the All Blacks' World Cup defence next year.
The All Blacks and Wallabies are up for a new quest outside of Saturday's Rugby Championship encounter after being named by former Springboks great Joost van der Westhuizen to take an "ice bucket challenge".