England head coach Eddie Jones will take charge of the Barbarians against Fiji at Twickenham after the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup.

Jones will oversee the invitational side for the game on November 16, two weeks after what he hopes will be a World Cup final appearance for England in Japan.

It is the first time Jones has been asked to coach the Barbarians, having served as assistant under Jake White when the Baa-Baas took on Australia at Wembley in 2008.

"It's a huge honour to be invited to coach the Barbarians," Jones said.

"The club perfectly embodies the values and traditions of the sport and fans can expect to see an exciting match between two sides who like to play end-to-end running rugby. 

"2019 is a massive year for international rugby and I'm looking forward to returning to Twickenham after a successful World Cup campaign to coach a Barbarians team containing some of the stars of the tournament."

The Barbarians and Fiji last met at Twickenham six years ago, when almost 70,000 were in attendance to witness a 43-19 victory for the invitational side.

Ross Ford, Scotland's record appearance maker, has retired from rugby as he plans to go into coaching.

It was confirmed in April that the hooker, who won 110 caps for his country, would be leaving club side Edinburgh at the end of the 2018-19 season.

And on Thursday, Scottish Rugby revealed Ford's plans to move into strength and conditioning coaching, helping young players in the Scottish Borders.

"I always enjoyed the S&C side of things. It was always a big part of my game and it was something I was good at," Ford said.

"Later in my career I took a big interest in it and it became something I wanted to do after I finished playing, so I was really keen when this opportunity came up, especially being a Borders lad as well.

"I've been very fortunate. I've had a long career in the sport and have been able to represent my country at the highest level, playing in a lot of great places around the world.

"I've met some characters along the way and overall just feel very lucky to have played a sport that I love and make a living in the process.

"I never had any specific targets in mind, it [reaching 110 caps] just kind of crept up on me. I recognise it as a big achievement but it's just something that came hand-in-hand with playing the sport.

"Mossy [Chris Paterson] got over 100 and Sean [Lamont] is up over 100 as well. I never set out to get to get certain number or beat them. I just kept playing because I was enjoying it."

Ford, who made his international debut against Australia in 2004, brings down the curtain on a career that encompassed almost 300 professional games and saw him capped as a British and Irish Lion on the tour to South Africa in 2009.

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has backtracked on his decision to end his ODI career after the Cricket World Cup and stated that he plans to come out of Test retirement.

The opener is due to retire from the 50-over format following the tournament in England and Wales.

Yet the 39-year-old on Wednesday revealed that he plans to feature in the ODI series against India in the Caribbean in August and the Test series that will follow.

Gayle, who has not played in the longest format since 2014, said: "Maybe a Test match against India and then I'll play, definitely play the ODIs against India. I won't play the T20s. That's my plan for after World Cup."

Not for the first time, the charismatic showman stated that he will go down as a Windies batting great.

He said: "I'm definitely up there. I'm definitely up there with the greats without a doubt. Like I say, I enjoy each and every moment of West Indies, playing for West Indies.

"Like I said, it's still not the end. I still have a few games to go. Maybe another series to go - who knows, we'll see what happens.

"It's been a lot of ups and downs. I've got to say I really enjoy each and every moment. But we share some quality moments with some quality players as well. I started my career with the likes of Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, you watch them on TV and you realise they're in the dressing room, it's just a bunch of guys.

"And Brian Lara, the first captain as well, Carl Hooper. So it's some quality moments when you look back on it.

"I'll have to analyse it and give you full details, a better exclusive interview on that particular moment, and then you can take it further. But like I said I could not have had a better career as a player representing the West Indies."

Shaun Berne has been named as Australia assistant coach three months before the start of the Rugby World Cup.

The Rebels attack coach replaces Stephen Larkham, who left his role in February due to a difference in attacking strategy between himself and Michael Cheika.

Daryl Gibson held talks with Cheika over the vacancy after deciding to end his tenure as Waratahs head coach and Reds attack coach Jim McKay was also linked with the position.

But it is Berne who has got the nod for a first coaching job at international level.

"This is a huge opportunity for me personally but more importantly, I want to do whatever I can to make the Wallabies successful this year," the 40-year-old said.

"I want to contribute to the team by focusing on the things that will serve us best when we are under pressure, like passing, catching, alignment, running lines and deception - on and off the ball.

"I just want to add wherever I can to the coaching team around me – it sounds simple but simple things done really well, all the time, will get us to where Cheika wants us to be as a team."

Australia head coach Cheika said of the former Western Force and Leinster A coach: "Shaun's a great young coach and he's going to add new energy into how we coach the players.

"His job will be to help players achieve their top levels of play and stay at that level more consistently."

Dylan Hartley has been left out of England's Rugby World Cup training squad as the hooker continues to struggle with a knee problem.

England co-captain Hartley has not played since December and the Northampton Saints man's prolonged period of inactivity appears to have scuppered his hopes of featuring in Japan later this year.

Flanker and former England skipper Chris Robshaw and scrum-half Danny Care are other high-profile omissions.

Alex Dombrandt, Lewis Ludlam, Ruaridh McConnochie and Val Rapava Ruskin have been called up to the senior squad for the first time.

The 29-man party does not include any players involved in the Premiership semi-finals, with those from Gloucester and Northampton to join the camp next week.

Players from champions Saracens and runners-up Exeter Chiefs will then come into the reckoning when Eddie Jones names his final training party on July 4.

On Wednesday, Exeter's Jack Nowell was backed to recover from ankle surgery in time to feature at the World Cup by Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter.

George Kruis and Mako Vunipola will report for medical treatment when the squad gather for a week at Pennyhill Park and the Lensbury on June 30.

 

England training squad:

Forwards

Dan Cole, Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt, Tom Dunn, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Val Rapava Ruskin, Nick Schonert, Brad Shields, Kyle Sinckler, Jack Singleton, Sam Underhill, Mark Wilson.

Backs

Chris Ashton, Mike Brown, Joe Cokanasiga, Elliot Daly, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Ruaridh McConnochie, Dan Robson, Marcus Smith, Ben Te'o, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Ben Youngs.

In for medical treatment

George Kruis and Mako Vunipola.

Ben Smith will return from almost seven weeks out when the Highlanders meet the Crusaders in the Super Rugby quarter-finals on Friday.

The New Zealand star suffered a hamstring injury in the 31-31 draw with the Chiefs on May 4 and was initially ruled out for six to eight weeks.

And although the Highlanders have taken no risks with Smith, who will depart for Pau later this year, he is fit to play against the defending Super Rugby champions in Christchurch.

Smith's inclusion will come as a boost to the All Blacks, with the 33-year-old to see some club action ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan in September.

Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger told reporters: "He's trained really well in the first couple of days this week.

"He was touch and go last week, so we thought he would be a good chance for this week.

"He's done everything required and ran around at full pace yesterday, getting off the ground and getting in the air. He's 100 per cent confident that he's good to go."

England defence coach John Mitchell has extended his contract until 2021 and Eddie Jones intends to stay on as head coach for another two years.

Mitchell was appointed by Jones last September after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) agreed a compensation package with Super Rugby franchise the Bulls.

The New Zealander is reportedly a contender to replace Jones, whose future has been the subject of speculation.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney on Thursday revealed that Australian Jones plans to see out his contract.

"We have extended John's contract consistent with Eddie's, so it goes through to June 2021," said Sweeney. "Eddie has reconfirmed his commitment to stay through to 2021.

"The focus is on the World Cup and then making sure we get our plans in place post-World Cup.

"We've already started conversations of what the coaching structure will look like coming back from Japan, and Eddie has a number of names in the frame.

"We haven't approached them yet, and we wouldn't contract anyone pre-World Cup, but he has in mind how he would like to structure that when back from Japan."

Warren Gatland said he could not turn down a third stint as British and Irish Lions head coach as he has "unfinished business" to settle in South Africa.

Gatland ruled out taking charge of the Lions again after the tour of New Zealand two years ago, which he said he "hated" in part due to the press and negativity in his homeland.

The New Zealander, who will end his tenure as Wales head coach after the Rugby World Cup, has had a change of heart and will lead the Lions in 2021.

Gatland was forwards coach when the Lions were beaten 2-1 by the Springboks a decade ago and the 55-year-old is determined to settle a score.

He said: "I love the Lions as a concept. There were parts of the New Zealand tour that were incredibly challenging.

"It's probably the hardest thing that you'll ever do as a coach in terms of planning and preparation and the scrutiny of the press is always something that's at the forefront of the Lions tour.

"But one of the things about when I reflect back on New Zealand is the hospitality that we had there, the atmosphere in the games that was there was incredible.

"And being part of the Lions and the opportunity to go to South Africa and potentially finish some unfinished business, I couldn't turn my back on the challenge."

Gatland masterminded a series win over Australia in 2013 prior to a 1-1 draw with the All Blacks and he does not expect to take charge of the Lions again after facing South Africa.

Asked if it will be his last Lions tour, Gatland replied: "I think so, yeah. The challenge for me as the head coach is to go undefeated in a Test series.

"I've been privileged to be involved in what will be four tours. I appreciate the support I've had from someone like [2009 head coach] Ian McGeechan. Being head coach is incredibly special and something I'm proud of."

Warren Gatland has been confirmed as head coach of the British and Irish Lions for the 2021 tour of South Africa.

The departing Wales boss had previously ruled out a third successive stint with the Lions, stating he "hated the press and negativity" he experienced on the tour of New Zealand two years ago.

Yet after masterminding a 1-1 draw with the All Blacks in his homeland, the 55-year-old will lead the Lions in a series against the Springboks - eight years after he was first in charge for a 2-1 triumph in Australia.

Gatland will end his long tenure with Six Nations champions Wales after the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year and starts his Lions role on August 1, 2020.

"I'm hugely honoured and delighted to lead the Lions again," said Gatland.

"It is exciting and a great challenge to coach the best players from the four home nations. The Lions rightly have a truly special place in the game and I jumped at the chance to be involved again when I was approached about the role.

"South Africa is a special place to play rugby. They have some of the most iconic stadiums in the world which will be packed full of passionate fans, and the Springboks have shown in recent times that they are back to being one of the dominant forces in the game.

"Having toured there in 2009 I know the scale of the task ahead of us – playing in South Africa presents a number of unique challenges such as playing at altitude, while the Boks will always be physical, aggressive and highly motivated.

"History tells you it's a tough place to tour, but I am 100 per cent confident that we can go there and win – I would not be here if I thought differently.

"I'm delighted to now have everything in place to begin full-time in August 2020 as that gives me the best possible chance to plan for South Africa, but for the time being my focus is entirely on the Rugby World Cup and delivering a successful campaign for Wales."

Gatland could make history by becoming the first Lions coach to lead tours of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa without suffering a series defeat.

Nehe Milner-Skudder's hopes of playing in the Rugby World Cup appear to be over after the New Zealand utility-back underwent another shoulder operation.

Hurricanes flyer Milner-Skudder had surgery on his shoulder in October 2017 and suffered a setback while representing the All Blacks against Japan last November.

The 28-year-old will join Toulon following the World Cup, so may have played his last game for his country having gone under the knife again.

Milner-Skudder posted on Instagram: "Halfway through what's been a challenging year.

"There was plenty to work towards and look forward to on the rugby to-do list but unfortunately due to ongoing issues with my shoulder from a prior surgery not going as well we'd hoped, it was the best decision to go under the knife again to get it sorted.

"I've been through 'a few' injuries but this has easily been the toughest one - both physically and mentally. However, I'm not ready to give up anytime soon, love a good challenge and have so much love and support around me.

"Obviously I'm guttered [sic] at how the start of the year has panned out but as the great MLK [Martin Luther King] once said, 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.'"

Milner-Skudder scored six tries in New Zealand's World Cup triumph in England four years ago.

Yuvraj Singh will focus his attention on his cancer foundation, YouWeCan, after announcing his retirement from international cricket and the IPL.

The India all-rounder called time on his career on Monday, two years on from his last appearance for his country.

Yuvraj starred at the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 and then the Cricket World Cup four years later, before incredibly returning after being diagnosed with cancer and completing three cycles of chemotherapy.

The 37-year-old, announced his decision to the media and described the "rollercoaster" of celebrating huge victories before facing the illness.

And now he plans to dedicate more time to helping others, having already settled on his "next focus in life".

"I gave my blood and sweat to the game once I got on to it, especially when it came to representing my country," Yuvraj said.

"Since my childhood, I always tried to fulfil my father's dream to play for India and win the World Cup and I can say I was lucky to have achieved it.

"My life has been like a rollercoaster ride. Winning the 2011 World Cup, being man of the series, four man of the match awards, it was all like a dream, which was followed by a harsh reality, getting diagnosed with cancer.

"It was like touching the sky then falling down at light speed and hitting the ground hard. All this happened so quickly and when I was at the peak of my career.

"But in that moment, everyone I knew to whom I mattered stood together for me, my fans, my friends, my family. Thank you to both my doctors.

"This brings me to my next focus in life, which is to help cancer patients through my foundation, YouWeCan.

"At YouWeCan, we spread awareness about cancer and help the under-privileged by conducting screening camps, funding their treatments and sponsoring education to the under-privileged cancer kids.

"We have also started our own merchandising arm, YWC, for the foundation, to help generate funds for the cause. I really want to make a difference to society by setting examples through my inspiring story.

"On a lighter note, I would say I am extremely lucky to play 400 plus games for India. I would not have imagined doing this when I started my career as a cricketer.

"The adrenaline rush playing for India, singing the national anthem before each game, touching the Indian flag, stopping every run for the team, or scoring every run for the team, was a completely different high.

"To be a part of history that was made after 28 years, I mean, honestly, what more could I ask for?"

Yuvraj Singh's esteemed international career has come to an end after the India all-rounder announced his retirement on Monday.

The 37-year-old was best known for his tournament-winning turn at the 2011 Cricket World Cup, but bows out with a record rounded across all formats.

A star both with bat and with ball, Yuvraj made history in India colours.

Following news of his decision, with the help of Opta, we take a look at the key numbers behind his India career.

301 - Playing 304 ODIs in total, Yuvraj appeared 301 times for India in the format. He is sixth on the all-time appearance list for his country.

8609 - Only six India players have scored more ODI runs for their country than Yuvraj's 8609.

40 - Yuvraj also played 40 Tests, scoring 1900 runs.

58 - He made 58 T20I appearances, making 1177 runs in the shortest format.

169 - The biggest knock of Yuvraj's international career came in a drawn 2007 Test against Pakistan

12 - Yuvraj hit the fastest T20 half-century against England in 2007, needing just 12 balls. That effort has since been matched by Chris Gayle and Hazratullah Zazai, but those knocks were not at international level.

- That stunning innings against England included six sixes from a Stuart Broad over, becoming the first player to achieve that feat in a T20 International.

Explosive India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has given bowlers the world over nightmares in a magnificent career.

There would be more than a few who breathed a sigh of relief when the 37-year-old retired from international cricket on Monday.

Yuvraj has also decided to call time on his participation in the Indian Premier League, stating that he wants to "have some fun" playing without so much pressure on his shoulders.

We look back at some of the highlights of the clean-striking left-hander's career, which he resumed at the highest level after bravely winning a battle with cancer.

 

Maiden Test ton against Pakistan

Yuvraj scored a maiden Test century in only his third appearance in the longest format.

What made his brilliant knock of 112 extra special was that it came against fierce rivals Pakistan in Lahore back in April 2004.

He struck two sixes and 15 fours against an attack that was spearheaded by Shoaib Akhtar and although Pakistan won by nine wickets, Yuvraj had certainly announced himself on the Test stage.

 

Six sixes in an over en route to World T20 triumph

There will be no bowler with worse memories of charging in at Yuvraj than Stuart Broad.

The England paceman was hit for six sixes in an over by the India star at Kingsmead in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa 12 years ago.

Yuvraj brought up a brutal half-century in only 12 balls - a T20 international record that still stands - and India went on to win the title by beating Pakistan.

 

Inspires World Cup triumph on home soil

There was more international glory for India in 2011, thanks in no small part to Yuvraj.

He was named man of the tournament after inspiring a World Cup triumph in a showpiece that was stage in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Chandigarh native made a hundred against West Indies, four half-centuries and took 15 wickets, picking up four man-of-the-match awards in a tournament India won by beating Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai.

 

Beats cancer to make 'emotional' India return

Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer in the same year that he lifted the World Cup on home soil.

He completed three rounds of chemotherapy in the United States in 2012 and incredibly made an international comeback later in the year.

Yuvraj raced to a typically brisk 34 in a T20 encounter with New Zealand in September and described his return as "a big emotional moment".

 

Career-best demolition of England silences critics

Yuvraj's place in the India ODI side had been called into question before he silenced his critics with a vintage innings against England in Cuttack in 2017.

He smashed 150 from 127 deliveries, a career-best in the 50-over format, and MS Dhoni also cut loose as India racked up 381-6 and went on to win by 15 runs.

Yuvraj rolled back the years with an exhilarating masterclass, hitting three sixes and 21 fours.

India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has announced his retirement from international cricket and the IPL at the age of 37.

Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is in all, playing starring roles at the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 and then the Cricket World Cup four years later.

India triumphed on both occasions, with Yuvraj making decisive contributions with both bat and ball, but he is best known for his efforts in 2011, which saw him named the tournament's best player.

He had not played for his country since June 2017, though, and has decided to call time on his career on the international and IPL stages.

"I have decided to move on," he told reporters in Mumbai on Monday.

Rugby Australia (RA) insists it has acted with "complete professionalism and integrity" during the process that led to Israel Folau's sacking.

The former Wallabies full-back had his contract terminated following an investigation into an offensive social media post in April.

Folau, a devout Christian, uploaded an image to Instagram that said "hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators".

The 30-year-old had been warned for similar comments last year and was this time found guilty of a "high-level breach" of the governing body's code of conduct.

Folau opted not to appeal against RA's decision, but his legal team filed applications with the Fair Work Commission this week and he is reportedly seeking up to 10million Australian dollars in damages.

A letter reportedly sent by Folau to RA's board members in which he accused the governing body of leaking details of his Code of Conduct hearing to the media came to light on Saturday.

But RA hit back with a statement, which read: "While we accept that a PR firm has been engaged to coordinate a media campaign to promote the legal action taken against Rugby Australia, we are disappointed that this campaign is impacting on the work done by the thousands of volunteers who are delivering great experiences for the Rugby community and also that it has taken the focus away from a crucial Australian Super Rugby derby, being played by Israel's former team [the Waratahs].

"Rugby Australia has acted with complete professionalism and integrity at all times through the process in which Mr Folau was found by an independent three-member tribunal panel to have made multiple, serious breaches of the Professional Players Code of Conduct.

"While we will continue to respond to any legal action as required and will continue to defend the values that underpin our game and the work done by the hard working volunteers, we will not engage in a running media commentary."

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