WELLINGTON, April 24 - This year's Super Rugby competition is shaping up to be the tightest in a decade, Wellington Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith said ahead of his side's clash with the Queensland Reds on Saturday.
SYDNEY, April 24 - Kurtley Beale needs surgery to remove a bone spur from his foot but the Australia utility back plans to delay the operation and keep on playing until he gets some off from rugby or the pain becomes unbearable.
CAPE TOWN, April 23 - Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe was suspended for three weeks on Wednesday after being found guilty of striking Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan, further deepening the crisis the South African franchise is facing among its second rowers.
April 23 - Former New Zealand rugby league captain Benji Marshall has been released from his rugby union contracts in New Zealand, officially ending the 29-year-old's brief foray into the 15-man game.
April 23 - Former All Blacks scrumhalf Piri Weepu is to return to the rugby field for the Auckland Blues on Friday, less than a month after he was diagnosed with a heart condition that had caused a minor stroke.
April 22 - Former Australia boss Robbie Deans has been appointed head coach of Japanese champions Panasonic Wild Knights, the team said on Tuesday.
April 22 - Former New Zealand rugby league captain Benji Marshall has no regrets about his aborted switch to rugby union but admits he was only an "average" player in the 15-man code.
* Marshall has played only 212 minutes of Super Rugby (updates with Blues statement)
April 21 - Former New Zealand prop John Schwalger will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season after being diagnosed with blood clots on his lungs, his Wellington Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said.
April 19 - Super Rugby results and standings after round 10 of matches (home team in CAPS). WELLINGTON HURRICANES 38 Auckland Blues 20 MELBOURNE REBELS 22 Western Force 16 Canterbury Crusaders 18 WAIKATO CHIEFS 17 NSW WARATAHS 19 Bulls 12 ACT Brumbies 23 QUEENSLAND REDS 20 SHARKS 19 Cheetahs 8 STORMERS 18 Lions 3
First Jacques Kallis retired. Then Graeme Smith called it quits. In between, South Africa lost a Test series against Australia, their first at home since the 2008-09 season. What stares the Proteas in the face now, however, is a far bigger challenge than just replacing two great cricketers.