Jofra Archer is as ready as ever to make his red-ball debut for England but has warned he cannot work miracles ahead of the second Ashes Test against Australia.

Archer looks set to earn his first Test cap on Wednesday, with the Sussex paceman likely to replace the injured James Anderson in the XI.

The 24-year-old featured as a substitute fielder as England lost by 251 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston but is now set to start at Lord’s as the hosts look to even up the five-match series.

Archer returned to Sussex last week to play for their second XI, taking 6-27 from 12.1 overs with the ball as Gloucestershire were skittled for just 79 on the opening day before following up his devastating spell by hitting a century, casting aside any doubts over whether he had fully recovered from a side strain.

"I'm probably more ready than I've ever been," Archer told a news conference on Monday.

"Don't expect any miracles, firstly. Hopefully I'm going to make my debut sooner rather than later, but I can only come in and do what I can. I can't work miracles. I'll try to, but I don't think that's how it will work out. I can only give my best.

"I believe in Test cricket you get a lot more opportunities to redeem yourself. In 50 overs, if you don't have a good 10 overs that's it, you have to wait until the next game. You have ample chances to do it in the red ball game.

"Test cricket is the same as first-class cricket. You know what you've got to do, know what your strengths are. You've just got to stick to them."

When asked how Australia planned to deal with Archer, coach Justin Langer suggested to the media his side must look to wear the Barbados-born bowler down.

Archer, however, responded by insisting he will not wilt under a heavy workload.

"I've bowled 50 overs in one game already for Sussex, so I'm usually the one bowling the most overs anyway," he said.

"I think Justin Langer's got another thing coming."

Wales will be without key man Gareth Anscombe for the Rugby World Cup after the fly-half was ruled out with a knee injury.

Head coach Warren Gatland confirmed Anscombe would undergo a scan after the 28-year-old went off during the first half of the 33-19 defeat to England at Twickenham on Sunday.

Anscombe's chances of being involved for the tournament in Japan are now over, however, after it was confirmed the New Zealand-born player had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

No timetable has been set for his return, with his absence leaving Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Rhys Patchell as the three fly-halves remaining in a 40-man squad that will need to be trimmed down to 31 by September 8.

"Gareth Anscombe is out of Rugby World Cup contention after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the match against England," read a statement from the Welsh Rugby Union.

"His prognosis and management with be determined following further specialist reviews."

Anscombe's superb performances in Wales' triumphant Six Nations campaign had established himself as first choice for the World Cup.

The loss of a first-team regular is a further setback for Gatland, particularly as British and Irish Lions back-rower Taulupe Faletau was already out of contention with a collarbone issue.

Wales start their Pool D campaign against Georgia on September 23, with Fiji, Uruguay and 2015 finalists Australia also in the same group.

Ruaridh McConnochie has been named in England's 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup - but there is no place for Ben Te'o ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Wing McConnochie, who claimed a silver medal on sevens duty for Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games, is the only uncapped player selected by Eddie Jones following an excellent season with Bath.

Having impressed on their debuts in a 33-19 win over Wales at Twickenham on Sunday, Lewis Ludlam and Willi Heinz both make the cut.

However, there is no place for experienced centre Te'o, Jones instead opting for Piers Francis.

Taniela Tupou has signed a four-year contract extension with Rugby Australia and the Reds.

The Tonga-born prop agreed a deal to remain with the Queensland Super Rugby franchise and continue to be available for the Wallabies until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Tupou has won 13 caps for Australia since making his debut against Scotland in 2017, having made a big impact with the Reds after joining them straight from high school five years ago.

The 23-year-old said: "I'm very excited to sign for the next few years. Queensland and Australia offered me the first opportunity out of school and I feel I have more to do to repay that faith.

"I only started playing consistently in the last two or three years, so I think there's still more for me to offer in Australia for the Reds and Wallabies.

"We have a really good young group in Queensland who have been working hard the last few years and I know we're heading in the right direction.

"I love playing for Australia. Obviously growing up as a kid, watching them, and now being able to pull on the jersey is an honour. To know that I will be here for the next four years is exciting because it means I may have the opportunity to pull on the jersey again if I continue to work hard."

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: "It's good to see Taniela Tupou re-commit to Queensland.

"To have him here at Ballymore for the next four years is a great result. He's come through the system with the Queensland U20s and is only four caps away now from playing 50 games for Queensland.

"Taniela's developed a lot since he arrived at Ballymore as an 18-year-old. He's a threat to any opposition. He's a strong ball runner and is even tougher in defence. With more hard work he can only better."

Eddie Jones hit out at World Rugby over a "ridiculous" red card shown to New Zealand's Scott Barrett and allayed injury concerns over Tom Curry after England's Rugby World Cup warm-up win over Wales.

England ended Grand Slam winners Wales' run of 14 consecutive victories with a 33-19 triumph at Twickenham on Sunday.

Tries from Billy Vunipola, Joe Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie and a perfect kicking display from stand-in captain George Ford prevented a strong Wales side from replacing New Zealand at the top of the rankings.

It was events in Perth a day earlier that Jones was more keen to discuss, taking aim at the governing body for Jerome Garces' dismissal of All Black Barrett.

Barrett was ordered off for a no-arms tackle on Michael Hooper in Australia's Bledisloe Cup victory over the world champions.

"I thought there was an issue with the referee [Mathieu Raynal in England's win]. We saw a red card yesterday which affected the game, and potentially I think we need to get some consistency in that area of the game." said the England head coach.

"In the World Cup, if you lose a player to a red card - as New Zealand did yesterday - it makes the game very difficult.

"We saw two instances today when that could have happened, and I urge World Rugby – though I don't think they do anything at great pace – to get some consistency in that area.

"Otherwise, we are going to have games that are being destroyed by an inconsistent official making a decision on a law that is not clear."

Asked about Barrett's punishment, Jones said: "I thought it was ridiculous. A bloke gets tackled, he goes to be in as second man and his shoulder hits the head and gets a red card.

"We cannot have that in the game, there has to be some common sense applied. Maybe common sense was applied today really well, but what I'm saying is that we need to have some consistency in common sense. It's important for the game, really important for the game."

Jones had more positive words to say on flanker Curry, who was withdrawn in the first half with a shoulder injury the day before England's World Cup squad is announced.

The Australian said: "He's got a bit of an AC joint, we don't feel it’s too serious. I thought he was absolutely outstanding, he's worked really hard in the off-season to make himself a bit bigger and a bit more dynamic - we'll see a lot more of him."

Warren Gatland faces an anxious wait to discover the extent of a knee injury suffered by Gareth Anscombe in Wales' 33-19 Rugby World Cup warm-up defeat to England on Sunday.

The fly-half was helped off in the first half at Twickenham with a damaged left knee, after England lost Tom Curry to what appeared to be an arm injury on the eve of Eddie Jones' World Cup squad announcement.

Anscombe watched on with a pair of crutches as rusty Wales incurred a loss which prevented them from replacing New Zealand at the top of the rankings.

Wales head coach Gatland said it was too early to judge for how long Anscombe might be out of action, less than six weeks before the World Cup starts in Japan.

"I've spoken to the physios. He's [Anscombe] got to get a scan. If it's a strain, he'll be out for a few weeks. We'll find out. I wouldn't want to be naming my team on Monday," said New Zealander Gatland.

Gatland was less concerned by an injury sustained by flanker Justin Tipuric.

"He just slightly rolled his ankle. I don't think it's an issue," the Wales head coach added.

Gatland also revealed Tomos Williams (shoulder) will undergo a scan on Monday after missing the clash in London, while Adam Beard has a strained wrist.

The Six Nations champions failed to match the intensity of a fired-up, experimental England side, but Gatland says they will be much improved when they attempt to gain revenge in Cardiff next weekend.

"We went into the Six Nations match with a strategy but today we tried to play differently to work things out. England did what they do," said Gatland.

"We've got a couple of things to work on. We need to be more accurate in attack. We addressed a few things at half-time and they're pretty fixable things. We'll work on them this week and we'll be a lot better for it."

Gareth Anscombe and Tom Curry suffered injuries just six weeks before the Rugby World Cup starts as an experimental England side prevented Wales from going top of the rankings with a 33-19 win at Twickenham.

Australia's Bledisloe Cup victory on Saturday opened the door for the Six Nations champions to replace New Zealand as the top-ranked side in the world for the first time, but they were denied by a fired-up England.

Wales also have a big concern over the fitness of Anscombe, the fly-half limping off in the first half after damaging his left knee in Alun Wyn Jones' Welsh record 135th Test.

England lost Curry to what appeared to be an arm injury in the first half on the eve of Eddie Jones' squad announcement for the tournament in Japan.

Tries from man of the match Billy Vunipola, Joe Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie, 15 points from the boot of captain George Ford and an Elliot Daly drop goal gave England a morale-boosting victory, with debutants Willi Heinz and Lewis Ludlam among those to impress along with the fit-again Anthony Watson.

Gareth Davies scored a superb solo try, while George North and Jones also crossed, but a strong Wales side - who will get the chance to gain revenge in Cardiff next weekend - looked rusty and could not match England's intensity.

Wales did not know what had hit them as England made a blistering start, the brilliant Vunipola crashing over four minutes in with Heinz dictating and the forwards overpowering the Wales pack.

Cokanasiga bulldozed his way over from short range before Davies produced a moment of magic to get a flat Wales side on the board, bursting his way through from the back of a scrum at great speed and capitalising on slack defending to go under the posts.

England lost Curry before Anscombe was helped off in pain and there was more woe for Wales when Ken Owens' poor throw at a lineout sailed over captain Jones, gifting Cowan-Dickie a first Test try.

Ford converted that score just before the break and made it four out of four from the tee with a penalty early in the second half to put England 17 points to the good.

Wales finally found another gear and were rewarded with quickfire scores from North and Jones, but two more Ford penalties and a strike from Daly took the world number one status beyond Wales.

Jack Leach is not just focusing on getting the wicket of Steve Smith as he prepares to make an expected Ashes debut in the second Test at Lord's.

Leach has replaced the struggling Moeen Ali in England's 12-man squad, after Joe Root's side suffered a 251-run defeat at Edgbaston.

Australia's superb comeback from 122-8 in the first innings was led by the talismanic Smith, who rescued the tourists with a stunning knock of 144 and then followed it up with 142 in the second innings as they took command.

Minus the injured James Anderson, England looked completely bereft of inspiration as to how to dismiss Smith, who boasts a remarkable Test batting average of 62.96.

Smith's average against left-arm spin is a much less impressive 34.9, but Leach insists he is not placing any extra importance on claiming the wicket of Australia's former captain.

"It feels like I've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain," Leach told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I just want to go and do my thing.

"There has been a focus on his [Smith's] supposed weakness against left-arm spin.

"I suppose those stats are there but, if I'm in the 11, I've just got to do my thing and bowl as well as I can and see what happens.

"It's the same for every batter. I want to get every batter out. Yes, there's Steve Smith but there's 10 other guys as well and I'll be focusing on all of them."

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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."

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