The outstanding Handre Pollard racked up a 31-point haul as ruthless South Africa hammered Argentina 46-13 in the Salta sun to win the Rugby Championship for the first time in a decade.

South Africa knew a victory in the final match of the tournament at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena would deny Australia the title after the Wallabies had thrashed defending champions New Zealand 47-26 earlier on Saturday.

Pollard grabbed a try in each half and booted 21 points as the Springboks got the job done six weeks before they start their bid for Rugby World Cup glory with a blockbuster clash against the All Blacks in Yokohama.

Mbongeni Mbonambi also touched down after Santiago Cordero opened the scoring with an early try, which proved to be a false dawn for the Pumas.

Further scores from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe rubbed salt into the wounds, South Africa running away with it to take the title for a fourth time in style.

Nicolas Sanchez scored two penalties in what was a tight contest for much of the first half, but the ill-disciplined Pumas were scoreless after the break and finished bottom of the table without a win to their name.

Joey Carbery did not suffer a fractured ankle in the win over Italy but Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is unsure how serious the fly-half's injury is.

Carbery was carted off in the second half of a 29-10 Rugby World Cup warm-up win in Dublin on Saturday, just seven weeks before the tournament starts in Japan.

The 23-year-old scored Ireland's first try and controlled the game at number 10 before doing damage to his left ankle at the base of a ruck.

Munster's Carbery was cleared of a break and must now wait to discover the extent of his setback.

"The good news is there's no fracture, it's a bit puffy on the inside of his left ankle," said New Zealander Schmidt.

"We'll give it 24 to 48 hours for the swelling to go down. He's been cleared of a fracture so that's the good news on Joey.

"We don't have anyone else who's a major concern. We're hopefully relatively unscathed but with Joey it will take 24 to 48 hours to know for sure.

"I was really happy with Joey's performance today. Defensively he got himself into the right places and that's a challenge sometimes.

"I thought he ran the game very well, with the variety of his kicking game and running game. He is a danger with the ball and he almost got through the line a couple of times. I thought as a package Joey's game was really tidy."

First-choice fly-half Johnny Sexton has been struggling with a thumb sprain but is set to return against England at Twickenham on August 24.

Mohammad Shahzad has been suspended by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) due to alleged breaches of the board's code of conduct.

The former captain faces disciplinary action for repeatedly travelling out of the country without permission, the ACB said.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Shahzad's suspension comes two months after he threatened to quit international cricket, claiming he was wrongly withdrawn from the Cricket World Cup squad.

Shahzad was replaced by Ikram Ali Khil early in the tournament after being ruled out of the rest of the competition with a knee injury, but stated he had been cleared to play by a doctor in London.

The 32-year-old is now facing an uncertain future following the ACB's decision to suspend him.

An ACB statement released on Saturday said: "The Afghanistan Cricket Board today suspended the contract of wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Shahzad for an indefinite period due to breach of ACB's code of conduct by the player.

"As per ACB's policies, any player travelling out of the country is required to seek the permission of ACB. Shahzad has not adhered to this, repetitively.

"Mohammad Shahzad has also breached the ACB code of conduct previously and was recently called for questioning by the ACB discipline committee in relation to a disciplinary matter during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

"Mohammad Shahzad did not attend meetings scheduled with the discipline committee on 20th and 25th of the last month. The discipline committee will meet after Eid-ul Adha holidays to assess the breaches by Mohammad Shahzad and make a decision to be publicised soon.

"ACB has well-equipped training and practice facilities within the country and Afghan players do not require to travel abroad for such purposes."

Michael Cheika was "pumped" after Australia crushed New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup opener but warned: "All we’ve done is bought a ticket to Auckland."

The Wallabies have not lifted the Bledisloe Cup for 17 years, but they have a great opportunity to end that drought after thrashing their trans-Tasman rivals 47-26 in Perth on Saturday.

Reece Hodge scored two of Australia's six tries and Scott Barrett was sent off on the stroke of half-time after being deemed to have shoulder-charged Michael Hooper in an emphatic win at Optus Stadium.

Head coach Cheika challenged his players to pull off a repeat when they do battle with the world champions at Eden Park next Saturday.

Cheika said: "Pride is something I always have in these players. It was some game because there was plenty of action.

"When you get that atmosphere brewing it makes you want to do better and play better. A few things went our way but I was really pleased for the lads, they have been working hard. It's a nice little reward for them."

He added: "I know we're all pumped but at the end of the day all we've done is bought a ticket to Auckland, that's it.

"Great atmosphere and great for the players to get the win but in the bigger scheme of things we've got a ticket to go there and take the opportunity we're going to get given there."

Cheika knows facing Steve Hansen's side without home advantage will be a very different proposition.

"We're trying to work out how we can get around obstacles in games and not lose our way there when obstacles occur. We got through a few tonight and there will be a few presented to us next week as well.

"We won't have this big Perth crowd behind us but we'll go with the fact there is a lot of camaraderie in the team. We'll do our absolute best to get it done."

New Zealand suffered the joint-heaviest loss in their history on Saturday as Australia thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth.

Michael Cheika's side took full advantage of Scott Barrett's red card on the stroke of half-time, with the Wallabies ending a run of six successive Rugby Championship defeats against the All Blacks in style.

The loss ensured New Zealand will not win the tournament for the first time in four years, while they could also relinquish their grip on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

Here, we take a look at the heaviest defeats in the All Blacks' history.

AUSTRALIA 47-26 NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 10, 2019

The All Blacks were only one point behind when Barrett was dismissed in the 40th minute for an apparent shoulder charge on Michael Hooper at Optus Stadium.

Australia scored six tries against the 14 men, Reece Hodge adding to his first-half effort while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale also went over.

The 47 points are the most New Zealand have ever conceded, surpassing the 46 South Africa put up 19 years earlier.

AUSTRALIA 28-7 NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28, 1999

Unlike Saturday's try-fest, the Wallabies only ran in one five-pointer through Mark Connors the last time they beat New Zealand by 21 points.

It was Matt Burke's boot that proved the difference in the Tri Nations clash as he converted seven penalties, while the All Blacks were restricted to a lone score from Andrew Mehrtens.

New Zealand still won the tournament but Australia's victory meant they did retain the Bledisloe Cup.

SOUTH AFRICA 17-0 NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 30, 1928

Twenty-five years after their inaugural Test, the All Blacks toured South Africa for the first time and won six of their seven tour matches before coming up against the Springboks in Durban.

New Zealand failed to put a point on the board that day and the 17-0 triumph remains South Africa's biggest victory over them.

The four-Test series was drawn, though, as the All Blacks recovered to win at Ellis Park and Newlands.

ENGLAND 38-21 NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 1, 2012

Despite winning the Rugby World Cup the year before, New Zealand proved no match for a rampant England side at Twickenham in 2012.

The All Blacks were unbeaten in 20 matches but found themselves 15-0 down thanks to Owen Farrell's kicking before tries from Julian Savea and Kieran Read reduced the deficit to just one point.

Yet Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi all went in to hand England their first win over New Zealand in nine years.

AUSTRALIA 26-10 NEW ZEALAND - JULY 12, 1980

Nearly 50,000 were at the SCG to witness the Wallabies face a New Zealand side who had been hit by an illness bug in the build-up.

The final score was therefore perhaps not surprising, with Australia 14 points up by half-time.

Test debutant Peter Grigg scored two of his team's four tries at a time when dotting down was worth only four points rather than five.

Joey Carbery was carted off with an ankle injury just over a month before the start of the Rugby World Cup as Ireland eased to a 29-10 victory over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.

The fly-half had been hugely impressive in Dublin on Saturday, scoring his team's opening try and controlling the game with ball in hand and the boot before he was forced off in pain with damage to his left ankle sustained at the bottom of a ruck.

Carbery looked emotional as he was taken off early in the second half, with Jack Carty coming on to replace Johnny Sexton's understudy.

Dave Kearney, winning his first cap since 2017, was also among the try-scorers as he staked his claim for a seat on the plane to Japan, and fellow wing Andrew Conway touched down in a man-of-the-match display.

Chris Farrell also caught the eye with Andy Farrell watching on as stand-in coach, while Jordi Murphy and Kieran Marmion crossed after the break.

Tries from Maxime Mbanda and Carlo Canna had put Italy in front during the first half and they caused problems with their kicking game, but Ireland were worthy winners over Conor O'Shea's men.

Lock Jean Kleyn made his presence felt and fellow Ireland debutant Mike Haley was given a 20-minute run out at full-back 42 days before Ireland face Scotland in their Pool A opener in Yokohama.

The main concern for Ireland will be the extent of the injury suffered by playmaker Carbery.

Steve Hansen slammed his New Zealand side for playing "dumb footy" after Australia consigned them to a 47-26 Bledisloe Cup drubbing in Perth on Saturday.

The Wallabies eased to a rare win over their trans-Tasman rivals in a high-scoring contest at Optus Stadium, where Scott Barrett was sent off by referee Jerome Garces in the first half after being adjudged to have shoulder charged Michael Hooper.

Australia outscored the world champions by six tries to four to go top of the Rugby Championship table ahead of second-placed South Africa's clash with Argentina later in the day.

The All Blacks will slip off the top of the world rankings if Wales beat England on Sunday and head coach Hansen was not impressed with their showing in Western Australia.

Hansen said: "I'm obviously disappointed. Australia played particularly well and deserved the win. They were the best side on the day.

"The red card didn't help us, but we didn't help ourselves either. Our discipline was poor in the first half.

"There were numerous occasions when we got offside when we didn't need to.

"It was dumb footy and we've got to be smarter than that.

"Our changing shed is very disappointed because of how we performed and that's how it should be. Australia gave us a lesson in what to do when you have a side down by one man.

"At the same time, I'm extremely proud of the way they hung in. Australia wanted to play footy, they wanted to play fast. In the end we couldn't cover the extra space."

Ruaridh McConnochie will have to wait a little longer for his England debut after a hip injury forced him out against Wales.

The former Sevens star had been set to make his Test bow on the right wing in Sunday's Rugby World Cup warm-up after just a single season in 15-a-side action.

But McConnochie is among three players to miss out with ailments, making room for Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph and Lewis Ludlam to come into the team.

Cokanasiga replaces club colleague McConnochie on the wing, while fellow Bath team-mate Joseph - who had not been named in the 23 - plays at outside centre due to Henry Slade's knee problem.

Sam Underhill, another Bath man, has a troublesome toe and makes way, with Tom Curry switching to openside flanker and Ludlam playing blindside.

Courtney Lawes and Manu Tuilagi have joined the matchday squad as replacements.

Revised England XV: Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson, George Ford (captain), Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Lewis Ludlam, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi.

Rahkeem Cornwall has received a surprise maiden Test call up for West Indies for their upcoming series against India.

Antiguan off-spinner Cornwall has been included in the 13-man squad selected for the Windies' squad, having impressed for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship.

The six-foot five-inch 26-year-old has taken 260 wickets in 55 first-class matches and will be handed his chance to shine on the international stage in the two-match series, which begins on August 22.

Cornwall, who featured in an ODI against England for the West Indies Cricket Board President's XI in 2017, has also proven himself as a lower-order batsman, averaging just under 25 in 97 innings.

"Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time," said chief selector Robert Haynes.

West Indies claimed a 2-1 victory over England earlier in 2019, though Alzarri Joseph and Jomel Warrican have not been recalled despite featuring in that series.

All-rounder Keemo Paul, a replacement for Test captain Jason Holder when he was forced to miss the final Test of the England series, has retained his place.

West Indies Test squad for India series in full: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.

Tim Paine says Australia's drawn tour match with Worcestershire was not Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood's audition for the second Ashes Test.

Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle got the nod along with Nathan Lyon as pace duo Starc and Hazlewood missed out for a series-opening win over England at Edgbaston.

Starc and Cummins were back in action for the three-day tour match at New Road this week, taking 2-56 and 3-34 respectively in Worcestershire's 201-9.

The quicks were unable to make any further impact on the final day as only 13 overs were bowled due to rain, with Marcus Harris making 67 and Mitchell Marsh unbeaten on 39.

Australia captain Paine says the experienced Starc and Hazlewood did not have a point to prove against the Pears ahead of the Lord's Test, which starts next Wednesday.

Paine said: "We knew that any combination of our bowlers can get the job done. We've got some high-quality bowlers on this tour, today wasn't about seeing anything that we hadn't seen from those guys before in this match.

"We know how good the guys sitting on the sidelines are. They'll play a part in the Ashes, if and when the conditions suit. 

"We weren't looking at Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc thinking, 'I hope they bowl well'. We know how good they are and what they can do.

"Mitch is obviously coming off a World Cup, so it's good for him to get another red-ball bowl. Josh has said he feels every time he's bowled on this tour, after a long lay-off, he's got better.

"I thought both of their first spells here were really good and Michael Neser the same, in English conditions with the Dukes ball he can be a real handful."

On Friday, England tweaked their squad as they look to level the series in London.

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach replaced the out-of-sorts Moeen Ali, while World Cup star Jofra Archer is in line for a Test debut in place of the injured James Anderson (calf).

Australia captain Michael Hooper and coach Michael Cheika are confident Tolu Latu will be able to keep his cool when the Wallabies take on New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks head into the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches a point behind Rugby Championship leaders South Africa, who face Argentina in their last game of the shortened tournament.

Australia were well beaten in their opening outing against South Africa but rallied to claim a win over Argentina last time out.

Latu featured in the 16-10 win over Los Pumas and is in line to play again in Perth on Saturday.

New Zealand targeted Latu in a Test in Japan in October 2018, with the hooker cautioned after he clashed with Codie Taylor and shoved the All Black in the face.

The Waratahs man was also suspended for six weeks during the Super Rugby season and convicted of drink driving in June.

But Hooper has faith in Latu's renewed sense of discipline and believes the 26-year-old will repay the belief shown in him by Cheika.

"I don't know if they are going to employ that tactic," Hooper said when asked if the All Blacks may target Latu once more.

"Tolu has grown as a player and as a person a lot in the last 12 months, and he is playing really good rugby. That usually takes away from the other stuff."

Cheika added: "His attitude has been excellent and against Argentina there was many times where he was on the ball and the ref called him off the ball and he got straight off it.

"I think that shows he's starting to understand that he's got skill but he's got to know when to use it and when not to."

One week after meeting in Perth, Australia and New Zealand will go head to head again in Auckland as their World Cup preparations continue.

Adil Rashid's hopes of playing any part in the Ashes are over after the England spinner was ruled out for the rest of the domestic season due to a chronic shoulder injury.

Rashid played through the pain barrier as England made history by winning the Cricket World Cup for the first time last month.

The 31-year-old tweaker withdrew from Yorkshire's Vitality Blast squads to undergo further treatment last week, revealing the pain in his shoulder was "the worst it has been this summer".

Yorkshire on Friday confirmed Rashid's campaign is over, so he will definitely not feature in the ongoing five-match series against Australia.

Rashid told Yorkshireccc.com: "The aim was to come back after the World Cup and play for Yorkshire. I enjoy playing for Yorkshire, but it just wasn't meant to be.

"I've had a shoulder problem for a little while and I got through the World Cup with an injection. Obviously, as time has gone on the injection has worn out and, after the World Cup, I started feeling a bit of a pinch in my shoulder.

"These things can happen and fortunately it hasn't happened to me earlier than it has. I've played 13-14 years of professional cricket and this is the first time I've suffered an injury to my shoulder.

"I'm very confident, after being ruled out for the rest of the season, that I can get myself fully fit before we go away in the winter. I've got two months now to get myself fully fit and it's as simple as that.

"From both the ECB's and Yorkshire's point of view, now we've identified what's wrong with the shoulder, it's important during this period that I'm not playing. I got through the World Cup due to an injection but that's just a temporary thing so the aim now in these two months is to get the rehab done and get fully fit.

"I'm confident if I do things properly I can get fully fit, not just for the winter but for the rest of my career."

Moeen Ali has been dropped by England ahead of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's, with Jack Leach and Jofra Archer coming in.

England slumped to a 251-run defeat at Edgbaston, with spinner Moeen proving expensive with the ball – taking three wickets for 172 runs – while scoring just four with the bat.

Somerset's Leach – who scored 92 as nightwatchman in a warm-up Test against Ireland – has been drafted into the 12-man squad as Moeen's replacement.

Meanwhile, paceman Archer, who proved he had recovered from a side strain with a superb performance in a Sussex second XI match this week, is set to make his Test debut having replaced James Anderson, who has been ruled out with a calf injury.

Olly Stone has also missed out, with the Warwickshire bowler struggling with a back problem.

Joe Root's side made a strong start to the first Test, but supreme batting from Steve Smith (144 and 142) in both innings helped Australia claim a resounding victory.

England team to face Australia in the second Ashes Test:

Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

Kieran Read says New Zealand have no concerns that they could be knocked off the top of the rankings this weekend ahead of a blockbuster showdown with Australia.

The All Blacks head into the Bledisloe Cup clash in Perth on Saturday knowing a defeat at Optus Stadium will open the door for Wales to become the top-ranked side in the world.

A win for the Six Nations champions over England on Sunday and a loss for Steve Hansen's side would take Warren Gatland's men to number one.

Captain Read stated that the world champions have not given any thought to the possibility they could be knocked off the top as they prepare for another battle with their fierce trans-Tasman rivals.

The back-row said: "It's not even part of our equation really, to be honest.

"We turn up here to win the game. We'll try and do that again tomorrow. We know it won’t be easy and it never is over here. We’ll put in our best performance."

New Zealand have won 10 of their last 11 Tests against the Wallabies but Read is expecting a big challenge.

"They’ve definitely had the fire in their bellies the last few years." he added.

"We know they will certainly have that again tomorrow night, so we can't just rest on what we've done over those years. It's important we reset and make sure we play as well as we can.

"These games you can't rely on your skills. It's about your mental fortitude and how you turn up and how you want to be physical. It's going to be important for us how we do that tomorrow."

Ruaridh McConnochie and Willi Heinz have been handed England debuts, while Alun Wyn Jones will become Wales' most capped player in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham on Sunday.

Versatile Bath back McConnochie has played only season as a professional in the 15-a-side format but will start on the right wing against the Grand Slam-winners a year after ending his sevens career.

Heinz is to make his Test bow at the age of 32 and the New Zealand-born scrum-half has also been named as a vice-captain alongside Sam Underhill, with George Ford skippering the side.

Anthony Watson gets the nod on the left wing for what will be his first Test appearance since March 2018 after recovering from a serious Achilles injury.

Jack Singleton, Lewis Ludlam and Joe Marchant are set to make their debuts off the bench for Eddie Jones' men.

Wales skipper Jones will make a record 135th Test appearance and a 126th for his country in an experienced team.

Fly-half Gareth Anscombe again partners Gareth Davies, with Dan Biggar having to settle for a place on the bench.

 

England team: Elliot Daly, Ruaridh McConnochie, Henry Slade, Piers Francis, Anthony Watson, George Ford (captain), Willi Heinz; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Jack Singleton, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Joe Cokanasiga.

 

Wales team: Liam Williams, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Nicky Smith, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (captain) Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.

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