Here's your round-up of the latest rugby news on Sunday, July 9.
Emotional Lydiate reflects on injury horror
Dan Lydiate says his World Cup dream is stronger than ever after emerging from his recent injury struggles.
The 35-year-old has seen his international career stunted by a string of stints on the sidelines, including a horror knee injury against Ireland in 2021, which came after a three-year Test exile.
"Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some really dark days," he told the Daily Mail. "You question yourself a lot of the time. It’s tough.
"But I’m back in the mixer and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. That’s what keeps driving you on.
"It’s about having no regrets. When I do hang up my boots, I will know I have put absolutely everything into it. I will be able to rest easy knowing I’ve left no stone unturned, especially when it comes to effort. I do still enjoy the game. I’ve had lots of injuries so if I didn’t still enjoy it, I’d probably have hung up my boots a long time ago.
"While I still have a burning ambition, I will keep going. There are times when you don’t think you’ll play international rugby again. I missed a few years through not being selected.
"Now, I’m back again. It seems to have come full circle."
Lydiate has declined to join a host of senior Wales stars who have called time on their Test careers, with fellow Wales warriors Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Rhys Webb out of the World Cup.
Jones lashes out at reporter following Springboks humbling
Australia boss Eddie Jones was involved in a heated exchange with a South African journalist after watching his side thumped in a 43-12 defeat at the hands of the Springboks in the opening game of the Rugby Championship.
The men in gold were outclassed in Pretoria in a six-try-to-two thrashing, and Jones made no excuses for the defeat, before taking exception to a reporter who asked after the game: “Eddie, you expressed your disappointment in the week that you weren’t playing the first-choice Springboks side. Is that a bit of relief now?”
The comments, which referenced South Africa's decision to send more than a dozen players to New Zealand for their Test with the All Blacks next week, clearly irked the former England boss.
“South Africans are good at winning. You don’t have to be a smartarse mate,” Jones replied.
“We were well and truly beaten today by a Springboks side that old mate is calling the B-team, right? I never knew there was a Springboks side that was called the B-team.”
After the press conference, Jones walked towards the reporter and berated him further.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, he added: “You don’t have to be a smartarse mate. You should have more respect mate. I never said that mate. I said we always want to play the best. Show some respect."
On the game itself, Jones said: “The only positive from the game was the first 20 minutes, where we tried to play with a bit of pace, we tried to shift turnover ball and we looked dangerous. We weren’t able to sustain that effort.
“Really disappointing. No excuses. We’ve got a realistic appraisal of where we are.”
Cane talks up ruthless All Blacks
All Blacks captain Sam Cane was delighted by a "ruthless" performance from his side as they blitzed their way to a 41-12 win over Argentina in Mendoza to get their own Rugby Championship campaign off a superb start.
In a performance that will likely have their World Cup rivals sitting up an paying close attention, New Zealand ran in seven tries to Argentina's two.
At the centre of the victory was a stunning first-half demolition that saw New Zealand run in three tries in the opening 12 minutes, a blitz Cane called 'outstanding'.
"I thought the key to that first 20 minutes was our discipline and how ruthless we were on attack," he told Sky Sports.
"We were really clinical, able to get the ball to space and as a result I thought we nullified the effect of the crowd.
"The Pumas came back in the second half, it was a little bit of an arm-wrestle but I'm really pleased and proud of that result."