The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) has stood down its chairman Francis Kean from the World Rugby Council amid allegations of homophobia and discrimination.

An investigation into Kean, who was convicted of manslaughter in 2007, was launched by World Rugby following the claims, which came to light in the Sunday Times.

The decision means Kean's bid to join the World Rugby Executive Committee has also been withdrawn.

The FRU's place on the council will now be filled by its CEO John O'Connor.

"World Rugby notes the Fiji Rugby Union's decision to stand down Fiji Rugby Union Chairman Ratu Vilikesa Bulewa Francis Kean from the World Rugby Council, and therefore withdrawing his candidature for the World Rugby Executive Committee, following new allegations published in the UK Sunday Times," a World Rugby statement read.

"World Rugby takes all allegations of behaviour that is not in keeping with the sport’s strong and inclusive values and Bye-Laws extremely seriously.

"While it is important to stress that any allegations must be validated, following dialogue with World Rugby, the Fiji Rugby Union recognises the seriousness of the allegations made and the need for them to be fully investigated, and that it is in the best interests of the sport that Mr Kean steps down from the Council and his Executive Committee candidature be withdrawn."

The FRU seconded World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont's bid for re-election. The body insisted the FRU as a whole backed his nomination, not Kean individually.

Former European Player of the Year Leone Nakarawa has been sacked by Racing 92 after returning two weeks late from the Rugby World Cup, the Top 14 side have announced.

The Fiji international, who claimed European Professional Club Rugby's top individual award in 2018, was scheduled to be back in Racing training on October 28.

However, Nakarawa had an "unjustified absence" until November 12 and missed the European Champions Cup clash with Saracens on November 17, Racing revealed in a statement on Friday.

The club say Nakarawa refused to answer messages and that he had been accused of "abandoning his post" previously, too.

Racing have cancelled the player's contract, stating the action was "essential", and claim his absence "caused a lot of damage".

"This is a deplorable example for the players of Racing 92," the statement read. "His title of the 2018 European Player of the Year should have encouraged him to be exemplary.

"At Racing, the only star is the team, and the individualistic attitude of Leone Nakarawa is inconceivable. It denotes a total lack of team spirit and a characteristic insubordination."

Nakarawa joined Racing in 2016 from Glasgow Warriors, who are now reportedly interested in bringing the lock back to Scotland.

The 31-year-old has 62 caps and featured in each of Fiji's four matches at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Bristol Bears have signed Fiji star Semi Radradra on a three-year contract.

The 27-year-old wing will move to Ashton Gate ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season.

Radradra lit up the Rugby World Cup pool stages in Japan this year despite Fiji winning only one match, against Georgia, and losing to Australia, Uruguay and Wales.

Formerly of Toulon before joining Bordeaux-Begles last year, Radradra also scored 82 tries in 94 appearances in the NRL for Parramatta Eels.

"I'm looking forward to coming to the Premiership and to be playing under [director of rugby] Pat Lam at Bristol Bears," he told the club's website. 

"They are one of the most exciting teams in Europe right now and the way that they are doing things is making everybody take notice.

"I visited the world-class facilities at Ashton Gate and saw the progress of the new training ground – it's a fantastic club to be joining with a bright future ahead. I can't wait to get started and contributing to the Bristol Bears vision."

"There is no doubt that Semi is one of the best players in the world – he's truly a world-class performer and we are so excited about what he can do for the team," Lam added.

"Every top club across both codes on the planet wanted him, so for Bristol to be able to bring in a player of his quality underlines the fantastic work that the club is doing. Semi has clarity about our vision and knows what the club want to achieve. As a person and a player, he is perfect for our culture which places an emphasis on community and high performance.

"I got to know Semi well at the Barbarians and we were blown away by his professionalism and dedication. He is world-class because of the relentless work and preparation he puts into his game, day in day out. It’s no surprise that he has taken the World Cup and French Top 14 by storm – Semi is the ultimate professional.

"We believe the Premiership is the best league in the world and Semi's arrival into the league will only enhance the product further. He's an unstoppable force and we are looking forward to seeing him light up the competition for the next three seasons."

John Dyer starred as Fiji clung on to beat the Barbarians 33-31 in a thriller to win the Killik Cup at Twickenham on Saturday.

Number eight Dyer scored a second-half double either side of a try from Temo Mayanavanua to put the Pacific Islanders in command.

Enele Malele and Teti Tela crossed in the first half after Mathieu Bastareaud opened the scoring with a five-pointer for the Baa-baas and Andre Esterhuizen touched down for a try that Curwin Bosch converted to leave Fiji only 14-12 up at the break.

Fiji looked to be out of sight when Dyer claimed his brace, but South Africa Rugby World Cup winner Makazole Mapimpi grabbed two tries of his own and Morne Steyn finished off a great move in a dramatic finale.

The Barbarians, coach by England boss Eddie Jones, ran out of time to complete a stunning fightback but Tendai Mtawarira was given a rousing reception in his final international when he came off after having a try disallowed.

Former Ireland captain Rory Best also came off to a great ovation during a captivating encounter.

Rory Best will captain the Barbarians against Fiji on his final appearance before he retires from rugby.

Former Ireland skipper Best is calling time on a 15-year senior career after Saturday's match at Twickenham.

It has now been confirmed the 37-year-old will lead Eddie Jones' side, with the England coach having also included three of South Africa's Rugby World Cup winners.

Makazole Mapimpi and loosehead prop Tendai Mtawarira – also making the final appearance of his career – start, with Lukhanyo Am named on the bench.

In total, there are 10 South African players within the 23-man invitational squad.

Best's final international appearance for Ireland came in their 46-14 defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Barbarians: 15. David Havili, 14. Dillyn Leyds, 13. Mathieu Bastareaud, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Curwin Bosch, 9. Joe Powell; 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Rory Best, 3. Enrique Pieretto, 4. Luke Jones, 5. Tyler Ardron, 6. Pete Samu, 7. Marco van Staden, 8. Josh Strauss.

Replacements: 16. Andrew Makalio, 17. Campese Ma'afu, 18. Hencus van Wyk, 19. Angus Cottrell, 20. Matt Philip, 21. Jano Vermaak, 22. Lukhanyo Am, 23. Morne Steyn.

Eddie Jones will coach a Barbarians side including four of South Africa's Rugby World Cup winners against Fiji just two weeks after they beat his England side in the Rugby World Cup final.

Makazole Mapimpi, Tendai Mtawarira and Lukhanyo Am were in the Springboks starting line-up for their 32-12 victory over the Red Rose at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday.

The trio are set to play under Jones at Twickenham on November 16 along with Herschel Jantjies, who was among the replacements as South Africa claimed the Webb Ellis Cup for a record-equalling third time.

Mapimpi scored his sixth try of the tournament in the final and fell just one short of Wales wing Josh Adams' tournament-leading tally in Japan.

Retiring Ireland captain Rory Best and France centre Mathieu Bastareaud have also been named in the Baa-baas squad for the Killik Cup clash with the Pacific Islanders along

The Barbarians will also face Brazil in Sao Paolo on November 20 and Wales at the Principality Stadium 10 days later.

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).

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