Dawid Malan broke an England record with a stunning century against New Zealand in the fourth Twenty20 international in Napier on Friday.

The left-hander reached his century off just 48 balls, the fastest ton by an England batsman in T20 internationals.

Malan became just the second Englishman to make a century in the format, but was far quicker than Alex Hales' 60-ball effort against Sri Lanka in 2014.

He finished with nine fours and six sixes, making an unbeaten 103 as the tourists – who trail in the series 2-1 – reached 241-3.

The total was England's highest in the T20 format, surpassing the 230 they made against South Africa in 2016.

Eoin Morgan made a stellar 41-ball 91 as England posted the equal 13th highest total ever in T20 internationals.

The 182-run partnership between Malan and Morgan was also England's highest in T20s.

Dropped wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has been added to the England Test squad to face New Zealand as cover for the injured Joe Denly.

Denly has played no part in the ongoing Twenty20 International series with the Black Caps after suffering ankle ligament damage.

The tourists are hopeful that batsman Denly will be fit for a three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand Cricket XI, which gets under way on November 15.

Bairstow will remain in New Zealand when the T20 series finishes at Eden Park on Sunday and will join the Test squad for two warm-up games, providing another option if Denly cannot prove his fitness.

The 30-year-old was left out of the Test squad due to a lack of runs in a drawn Ashes series, but national selector Ed Smith said the Cricket World Cup winner can still be a top player in the longest format.

England and New Zealand start the Test series at Mount Maunganui on November 21.

Toronto Wolfpack have billed Sonny Bill Williams as "rugby's LeBron James" after he joined the Super League newcomers in a move likened to David Beckham's switch to LA Galaxy.

Williams swapped codes again to sign a lucrative two-year deal with ambitious Toronto after the New Zealand centre added two Rugby World Cup titles to his union CV.

The Wolfpack have pulled off a major coup to land the 34-year-old following their promotion to the top flight in only their third season.

Toronto chairman and chief executive Bob Hunter said the acquisition of Williams can raise the profile of rugby league across the globe.

"The excitement he will bring to the sport of rugby league in this country will be incredible," said Hunter. "Having someone of his talent join the Wolfpack will greatly raise the profile of the club, and also help move the game forward globally.

"Sonny is a phenomenal athlete and we believe he is rugby's LeBron James and his addition to our league is comparable to when David Beckham joined LA Galaxy."

Wolfpack head coach Brian McDermott expects Williams to make a big impact in his first stint in Super League.

"We have signed one of the highest profile rugby players, if not sports stars in the world and he will enhance the world of rugby in Toronto and certainly push the brand of the Wolfpack onto another level," said the former Leeds Rhinos boss.

"The main point of excitement for our club is that we are signing a great rugby league player who has the hunger to be successful in Super League much as he was in the NRL and rugby union."

Leicester Tigers issued a hands-off warning after Toronto were linked with Manu Tuilagi, while fellow England centre Ben Te'o is also reportedly on their radar.

He may be heading over 15,000 kilometres from home, but Sonny Bill Williams is back where it all began.

The 34-year-old has returned to rugby league after signing a lucrative two-year deal with Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.

It is another fascinating move for the New Zealander, who has represented his country in both codes, holds a 7-0 record in professional boxing and was Googled more often than Kim Kardashian by Kiwis in 2010.

Here, we take a look at Williams' career so far.

BULLDOGS BEGINNINGS

Fifteen years ago Williams, then 18, burst onto the scene with a brilliant display in his NRL debut as Canterbury Bulldogs thrashed Parramatta Eels 48-14.

The teenager scored a try and made 184 metres that night and, one month later, he became New Zealand's youngest ever Test player.

Canterbury went on to win the 2004 NRL Grand Final, with Williams coming off the bench in the victory. A star was born.

TO TOULON

After four seasons with the Bulldogs, Williams controversially switched codes, and countries, joining Top 14 side Toulon, despite having five years left to run on his deal with Canterbury.

A bitter court case followed, and Williams only spent two years in France before turning down an extension that would have reportedly made him the highest-paid player in union.

Williams had other ideas. He wanted to become an All Black.

WORLD CUP WINNER

Williams signed a contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union in 2010 and returned to Canterbury, this time with the region's union team, while representing the Crusaders in Super Rugby.

He made his much-anticipated All Blacks debut in November 2010, starting at outside centre against England, becoming the first man in almost a century to represent the country in both league and union.

New Zealand would end their long wait for a second World Cup title in 2011, with Williams scoring a World Cup record three tries as a substitute.

A HIT AT HEAVYWEIGHT

In 2009, Williams traded passes for punches when he made his debut as a professional boxer, stopping Gary Gurr in the second round.

That was thought to be a one-off but Williams clearly had a taste for the sweet science and he fought four more fights - winning them all - before taking on a title shot against Francois Botha in 2013.

Williams would walk away with the WBA International Heavyweight belt with a points win over a man who had fought Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis previously.

However, there was an element of farce to the bout as it was cut short by two rounds, with the Kiwi clearly struggling by the end of the 10th.

RULING THE ROOST

Five years after his last NRL appearance - and after a stint in Japan - Williams returned to league with the Sydney Roosters, scoring a try on his debut in front of a record crowd.

He would be named the Roosters' player of the year that season and won a second NRL title.

Already a World Cup winner in union, he came close to claiming league's most coveted international prize too but was part of the New Zealand side beaten by Australia in the 2013 final.

Another return to union followed, though, and Williams added another World Cup winners' medal to his collection with the All Blacks in 2015.

Sonny Bill Williams has returned to rugby league by signing a two-year deal with Super League newcomers Toronto Wolfpack.

The 34-year-old, a two-time Rugby World Cup winner with New Zealand, has switched codes again having signed a contract reportedly worth 9million Canadian dollars that will make him the highest-paid rugby league player in the world.

Williams, who featured for the All Blacks in their run to the World Cup semi-finals last month, began his professional career in the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs.

After winning a Premiership with the Bulldogs, he switched to union to play for Top 14 club Toulon but returned to the NRL in 2013, winning a second title with Sydney Roosters.

It has been five years since Williams played league and his signing is a coup for a Toronto side that will spend next season in Super League having won promotion in just their third campaign.

Centre Williams, a two-time World Cup-winner with the All Blacks with 58 caps to his name, is ready to play a big role for ambitious Toronto on and off the field.

"Toronto Wolfpack is a club that represents Toronto which is a very multicultural city," he said.

"The club has big ambitions and big goals. I want to be part of all this and do all I can to help reach those lofty goals.

"On the field I'd like to bring high quality play and do all I can for the betterment of the team. Off the field I'd like to use my experience to mentor the young players and be helpful where I am needed.

"Super league will be a new challenge and one I'm looking forward to. It will be a new experience and one I'm ready to embrace."

Super League should seek to make drastic changes to salary-cap rules to facilitate the arrival of high-profile stars such as Sonny Bill Williams.

That is the view of Toronto Wolfpack director of rugby Brian Noble, whose side are set to bring in Williams in a move they hope will raise the profile of the club and the sport, similar to the way David Beckham's switch to LA Galaxy shone a light on Major League Soccer. 

Toronto will embark on their maiden top-flight campaign in 2020, when clubs will be allowed to spend £2.1million on player salaries, although All Black Williams' impending arrival will fall under the marquee player rule.

"[Lifting the cap] would help for everybody's shopping lists," Noble told BBC Sport amid reports Williams will earn around £5m a year.

"It's not carefree abandoning of all the principles we've put in place in Super League, but if we're genuine in our aspirations to bring stars and have events, to make the game as vibrant as it was [when Super League started] in 1996 – or 1895 when northern union first broke away – then we are at the moment in the game where we need to make the pivotal decisions.

"There are some really intelligent people in and around Super League that agree with what Toronto are doing and the city is doing, while some are more head-scratching and wondering what it's about.

"It's time to have the debate and be positive and proactive about expansion, with all the right regulatory rules that should be in there.

"Sonny Bill Williams, if his name is on that piece of paper, is part and parcel and forefront of our view of making decisions that are good for the game and not just Toronto."

The Wolfpack have also been linked with Leicester Tigers and England centre Manu Tuilagi.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced the launch of its recruitment process to replace All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen, with an appointment to be made in December. 

Hansen's eight-year tenure at the New Zealand helm ended following the Rugby World Cup bronze final win over Wales, a semi-final defeat to England having denied him a shot at a second title.

NZR confirmed the search for his successor was under way in a statement released on Wednesday, in which the organisation said it had invited "applications from a small group of coaches familiar with New Zealand's professional rugby environment".

Chairman Brent Impey revealed the process – conducted by a five-strong panel – would take place throughout November and next month, with a head coach announced prior to Christmas.

"This is a hugely exciting time for New Zealand Rugby," said Impey. "We know that the All Blacks and New Zealand have been served well by exceptional coaches, so we are well aware of the importance of the task ahead.

"We believe we have an excellent group of people on the panel, balancing the experience of winning, high-performance teams and leadership with external perspective and experience."

Beauden Barrett would welcome the appointment of Ian Foster as head coach to provide "continuity" for New Zealand.

Steve Hansen's trophy-laden reign came to an end after the All Blacks failed to win an unprecedented third successive Rugby World Cup.

Assistant coach Foster is reportedly among the leading contenders to step up and replace Hansen.

Two-time World Rugby Player of the Year Barrett believes Foster fits the bill for the top job.

"He's a very intelligent coach. A great team man and hopefully we can have some continuity going forward," he told the New Zealand Herald.

"Steve's legacy is a very strong one. His win percentage speaks for itself. I think the biggest thing with Steve is the way he makes his players feel. Trust and confidence.

"We know he 100 per cent has our back. As a player that's all you can really ask for. He's taught me a lot along the way and I'm very lucky for that."

Barrett says New Zealand were happy to see South Africa lift the Webb Ellis Cup on Saturday with a defeat of an England side that dethroned them at the semi-final stage.

"To be fair we were probably supporting them. It's nice to see a Southern Hemisphere team and players that we are so familiar with and have friendships with lift the trophy," he added.

"If it couldn't be us, we were encouraging them to win."

Eoin Morgan put England's collapse in the 14-run defeat to New Zealand down to a lack of experience as they fell behind in the five-match Twenty20 international series.

The tourists were coasting towards their 181-run target at Saxton Oval on 139-2 in the 15th over on Monday.

However, captain Morgan holed out to Mitchell Santner to spark a loss of five wickets for just 10 runs as New Zealand moved 2-1 ahead in Nelson.

"I think that's one that got away from us," Morgan said in the post-match presentation. 

"I thought we were in control the whole chase, probably until we went three or four down - then the lack of experience in the chase possibly cost us.

"But the guys that have come in need to play more games and get in more situations like that, in order for us to find more out about them.

"I think it's great the series has been so competitive so far, we're integrating everybody into the squad, but certainly we feel that's one that slipped away.

"The game plan remains the same. Everything about what we do is positive, smart, aggressive cricket - in the field, with the bat, with the ball - and we want young guys to come in and adapt to that.

"There are a lot of positives to take from today but, certainly moving to Napier and a must-win game to level the series, we'll need to up our game."

Opposite number Tim Southee acknowledged the Morgan wicket swung the match towards New Zealand, but he was confident his side were always in the contest and praised Colin de Grandhomme's ultimately crucial knock of 55 off 35 in the team's 180-7.

"It showed that if we could keep taking wickets, it would get tougher and tougher for the news guys coming in," Southee said. 

"I think with Morgan going they were nicely placed but we kept chipping away. It was great to see Colin come out and get a score. It's nice to win game like that, could have gone either way at the halfway mark."

England lost five wickets in the space of four overs in collapsing to a 14-run defeat to New Zealand in the third Twenty20 in Nelson on Tuesday.

Dawid Malan's half-century and a measured 49 from James Vince had the tourists cruising towards their target of 181 before captain Eoin Morgan slogged a Mitchell Santner (1-41) delivery to Colin Munro in the 15th over.

Munro then ran out Sam Billings (1), Vince scooped Beau Tickner to mid-off and Lockie Ferguson removed Sam Curran (2) and Lewis Gregory (0) in quick succession as England crumbled from a position of strength at 139-2.

Colin de Grandhomme earlier rattled off 55 from 35 balls to help give the Black Caps a 2-1 series lead going into the penultimate match of the series on Friday.

New Zealand elected to bat first and made a blistering start thanks to Martin Guptill, who continued the form that saw him make 41 in Wellington.

The experienced opener clubbed seven fours in a quick-fire 33 before falling to a fine Tom Curran catch off the bowling of Pat Brown (1-34).

Momentum stalled as Munro and Tim Seifert (7) departed cheaply but a 66-run stand between all-rounder De Grandhomme and veteran Ross Taylor (27), along with contributions from Jimmy Neesham (20) and Santner (15), bumped the total up to a defendable 180-7.

England looked set to make light work of the chase after losing only Tom Banton inside the opening 10 overs, the debutant completely missing a Tickner off-cutter on 18.

Malan threw away his wicket with the score on 90 by heaving Ish Sodhi's (1-30) full toss to Guptill in the deep but Vince and Morgan combined to add another 49 runs in less than five overs.

Vince further reduced the required run rate with four boundaries in as many balls faced, only for Morgan's exit on 18 to spark the collapse.

England lost 10-5 in all, with Tom Curran (14 not out) playing a lone hand amid the fall of wickets.

Ferguson (25-2) and Tickner (25-2) were the pick of the bowlers for the Black Caps, who now have the chance to complete a series victory when the teams meet in Napier.

South Africa were crowned champions of the world with the best player on the planet this weekend but not even Pieter-Steph du Toit could make the Opta team of the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks overpowered England at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday and lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time after a commanding 32-12 victory.

Outstanding lock Du Toit was crowned World Rugby Player of the Year the following day and Rassie Erasmus was named the top coach in the world at a ceremony in Tokyo.

Yet there were no Springboks in the Opta team of the tournament, with Japan's South Africa-born back-row Pieter Labuschagne in at number seven ahead of Du Toit.

There were four New Zealand players and as many from the host nation Japan in the Opta XV.

Players had to have been on the field for at least 320 minutes, or 240 for props, to be eligible for selection, with tries, carries, metres carried, offloads, turnovers assists and tackle success contributing to earn points.

New Zealand playmaker Beauden Barrett, twice named the best player in the world, claimed the most points in the competition.

 

Opta's Rugby World Cup team of the tournament: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Kotaro Matsushima (Japan), Manu Tuilagi (England), Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand), Semi Radradra (Fiji), Richie Mo'unga (New Zealand), Gareth Davies (Wales); Joe Moody (New Zealand), Shota Horie (Japan), Kyle Sinckler (England), Maro Itoje (England), Kane Le'aupepe (Samoa), Chris Vui (Samoa), Pieter Labuschagne (Japan), Kazuki Himeno (Japan).

As South Africa celebrate a record-equalling third Rugby World Cup triumph, the newly-crowned champions are among a host of top international sides heading into a new era.

Rassie Erasmus worked wonders in a short space of time to transform the Springboks from failures into the best side in the world after taking over as head coach last March.

He has now relinquished the role to concentrate solely on his position as director of rugby, having juggled both jobs, and he will be a tough act to follow.

Steve Hansen's glorious New Zealand reign also came to an end in Japan, while Warren Gatland's long Wales tenure is over and Ireland will start life without Joe Schmidt following their quarter-final exit.

Australia are in the market for a new head coach too, and France have moved on from the man who led them in Japan. We take a look at their situations.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Erasmus only agreed to fill in as head coach when Allister Coetzee's turbulent spell in charge came to an end, but he has ruled out staying on.

The 46-year-old became the first man to oversee a Rugby Championship and World Cup triumph in the same year, but will now focus on a job with a wide-ranging remit.

South Africa are reportedly expected to promote from within to replace Erasmus, with defence coach Jacques Nienaber the leading contender.

Mzwandile Stick and Matt Proudfoot are also members of the current coaching step up who could be in the running.

 

NEW ZEALAND

The All Blacks are likely to opt for continuity as they consider who should be charged with the task of succeeding Hansen.

New Zealand were unable to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for an unprecedented third time in a row, but Hansen has left a lasting legacy.

The 60-year-old spent 15 years on the coaching staff and was a huge success in the top job after earning a promotion.

Hansen championed his assistant, Ian Foster, to replace him. Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and Glasgow Warriors chief Dave Rennie are other possibilities.

 

AUSTRALIA

The under-pressure Michael Cheika quit as Wallabies coach after an emphatic quarter-final defeat to England.

Cheika's position had long since been called into question and the new man will take over a side sixth in the rankings and in need of a shake-up.

England head coach Eddie Jones has been linked with a second spell in charge of his country, but said before a defeat to the Springboks in the final that he has not been in contact with Rugby Australia.

Cheika said an Australian should replace him and Stephen Larkham could be in the reckoning, though Rennie may get the nod if they look overseas.

 

WALES

Wayne Pivac was confirmed as Gatland's successor last year - a reward for his success with the Scarlets.

The former policeman will have big shoes to fill, with Gatland having turned Wales into a consistent force and winning the Grand Slam in his final Six Nations.

Gatland parted by stating it would break his heart if Wales returned to the doldrums, as if his compatriot Pivac was not already aware of the standards he would be expected to maintain.

 

IRELAND

Andy Farrell gets his chance to be Ireland's main man after Schmidt decided it was time to take a break.

The experienced Englishman has made a big impact as defence coach and Irish Rugby Football Union chiefs are confident he can be a success.

One of Farrell's first jobs will be to appoint a new captain after Rory Best's retirement and he will take over a strong squad, one smarting from a World Cup quarter-final exit.

 

FRANCE

France are in need of some stability with a World Cup to come on home soil in four years' time and they will be hoping Fabien Galthie is the man to provide it.

Galthie takes over from Jacques Brunel after Les Bleus were knocked out by Wales at the quarter-final stage in Japan.

Former France captain Galthie is contracted until 2023 and could be assisted by Shaun Edwards, who has played such a big part in Wales' success under Gatland.

Eoin Morgan questioned wasteful England's attitude after they dropped five catches in a 21-run Twenty20 International defeat to New Zealand on Sunday.

James Vince put down three chances as the Black Caps posted 176-8 in the second match of the series at Westpac Stadium, Jimmy Neesham top scoring with 42 after Martin Guptill made 41.

The tourists were all out for 155 in reply to be pegged back at 1-1, spinner Mitchell Santner taking 3-25 in Wellington.

Captain Morgan said England only had themselves to blame for a poor performance in the field. 

"When you drop that amount of catches it's not a great reflection on the performance and the levels of fielding we aspire to," said the skipper.

"There were a couple of catches that went in the sun, which made it look a lot worse, but we expect more.

"I think it's an attitude thing. Because there's such a short turnaround between games, the natural default of any player is to step back and not commit to a 50-50 chance, or their mindset changes to go back in their shell.

"That's not what we want. We want guys continuing to attack the ball and find themselves in hot spots if they're good enough."

Santner hopes New Zealand can maintain their momentum with three matches to play in the series.

"They've had the rub of the green on us a little bit lately but I think after the last performance, we were a little bit off, it was nice to get that win," he said.

"As a unit we just wanted to be a little bit better in all three aspects and I think today we were, so I guess that's the pleasing thing. You can take that momentum into the next game as well."

New Zealand defeated England by 21 runs to level the Twenty20 series at 1-1 in Wellington on Sunday.

England were too good for the Black Caps in Friday's series opener – a rematch of the heartbreaking Cricket World Cup final won by the tourists.

But New Zealand managed to strike back at Westpac Stadium, where the hosts bowled England out for 155 in reply to the Black Caps' 176-8 target.

A quick 41-run partnership between Chris Jordan (36) and Lewis Gregory (15) gave England hope after the ODI champions were struggling at 91-5, but man of the match Mitchell Santner (3-25) ended that stand – and with it – the touring side's chances.

Daryl Mitchell (1-9) claimed the final wicket with one ball remaining, while Tim Southee (2-25), Lockie Ferguson (2-34) and Ish Sodhi (2-37) also impressed with the ball.

Like game one of the five-match series, New Zealand were sent in to bat by England captain Eoin Morgan, but it did not work out as well for the visiting skipper.

A power-packed Jimmy Neesham finish led the Black Caps to a healthy total – the batsman hitting 42 off 22 deliveries after England's Jordan had starred with 3-23 and Sam Curran chipped in with 2-22.

New Zealand capitalised on a poor fielding display from England, who dropped five catches – James Vince the main culprit after shelling three himself.

Martin Guptill set the tone, but the Black Caps opener was unable to build on his 41 as he was removed by Adil Rashid (1-40), after Colin Munro (7) and Tim Seifert (16) fell cheaply – the latter becoming debutant Saqib Mahmood's (1-46) first victim.

At 96-3 through 10 overs, New Zealand looked on track for a big score, however, Colin de Grandhomme (28), Ross Taylor (28) and Mitchell (5) were unable to bat through and dominate before Neesham's late show.

The Black Caps then defended stoutly as Dawid Malan (39) and Morgan (32) lacked support from their team-mates atop the order.

South Africa were crowned champions at the end of an enthralling Rugby World Cup on Saturday.

The tournament in Japan proved a huge success, with packed-out venues and fervent support from a nation that has embraced the sport.

For their part, the hosts produced one of the great upsets by beating number-one ranked Ireland in the pool phase.

But it was the Springboks, having ended Japan's run at the quarter-final stage, who lifted the trophy after thrashing England 32-12 in Yokohama.

Here, we take a look back at the top Opta facts from six memorable weeks.

- South Africa are the only side to boast a 100 per cent win rate in Rugby World Cup finals, winning on each of their three such appearances.

- The Springboks scored two tries in the final against England, the first time they had ever crossed for a try in a Rugby World Cup final. They are still yet to concede one in the showpiece event.

- Japan reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, becoming the first Asian nation to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament. 

- Ireland suffered a seventh Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat. They have never made it past the last eight; no side has endured as many losses at that stage of the tournament.

- New Zealand have been knocked out before the Rugby World Cup final on five occasions, however only once before has the side who eliminated the All Blacks before the final gone on to lift the Webb Ellis Cup (Australia in 1991). 

- The All Blacks had won 18 games in a row at the Rugby World Cup before their semi-final defeat to England, the longest winning run in the history of the tournament.

- Scotland became the first side to 'nil' their opponents in back-to-back Rugby World Cup games, keeping both Samoa and Russia scoreless in consecutive matches. 

- There were eight red cards shown at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, at least twice as many as any other edition of the tournament (four in 1995 and 1999).

- Jake Polledri beat 27 defenders in the pool stage for Italy, the most ever recorded by a forward in an entire edition of the Rugby World Cup (Buck Shelford 22 for New Zealand in 1987), despite playing just 196 minutes. 

- Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick ever in a Rugby World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

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