Celebration parade for Japan’s ‘Brave Blossoms’ | AFP

Thousands of flag-waving rugby fans cheer Japan’s national team at a celebratory parade in Tokyo, hailing the Brave Blossoms’ best-ever World Cup performance.

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Sporting ban: “We did everything we could” says Russia’s Sports Minister | AFP

Russia says it “did everything we could” to avoid sanctions, as the World Anti-Doping Agency hands down a four-year ban from major global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar over manipulated doping data. including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It accused Russia of falsifying laboratory doping data handed over earlier this year to investigators probing claims of widespread doping.

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Springboks celebrate victory at legendary Mandela site | AFP

South Africa’s rugby stars hoist the World Cup before thousands of ecstatic fans at Cape Town’s City Hall, where Nelson Mandela made his first speech after his release from prison.

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Rugby world champions parade through Cape Town | AFP

Rugby World Cup winners, the Springboks start the last day of the their nationwide trophy tour, parading through the streets of Cape Town. IMAGES

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Soweto rugby players uplifted by Springboks triumph | AFP

For the players of the Soweto rugby school academy, the Springboks’ triumph during the World Cup means everything. Some of them were able to be at the world champions’ parade in the streets of the township, a day they’ll remember all their lives.

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South Africans sing and dance as Springbok heroes return | AFP

Thousands of South Africans scream with joy, dance and sing at OR Tambo airport near Johannesburg as the Springboks Rugby World Cup winners returned home.

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Cape Town fans celebrate S. Africa’s Rugby World Cup win | AFP

Rugby fans in Cape town celebrate South Africa’s World Cup win against England. IMAGES

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Rugby: English fans watch the World Cup final | AFP

England fans watch the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa in London. IMAGES

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The physics behind a moving rugby ball | AFP Animé

Rugby World Cup quarter-finals are held on Sunday. Videographic examining the unique movement of a rugby ball through the air. VIDEOGRAPHICS

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‘It was like war’: S.Korean star says N.Korean players ‘very aggressive’ in historic clash | AFP

South Korea’s Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min says the historic World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang was a “very aggressive” match that made him fear injuries, with North Korean players even swearing at him and his teammates.

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FIFA President Infantino arrives in Pyongyang for North-South Korea match | AFP

FIFA President Gianni Infantino touches down in Pyongyang for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea – two countries technically still at war. IMAGES

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Rugby World Cup: England gear up for Aussie clash | AFP

England players train on Tuesday morning in Beppu, Japan, four days ahead of their Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia.

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History-makers Japan floor Scots to reach World Cup quarters | AFP

Japan enjoyed a historic sporting victory on Sunday as the hosts beat Scotland 28-21 in a barnstorming Rugby World Cup clash to reach the quarter-finals.

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Rugby World Cup games cancelled over typhoon | AFP

Rugby World Cup organisers cancel England’s game against France and New Zealand’s clash with Italy as Super Typhoon Hagibis bears down on Japan. SOUNDBITE

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Iran women to see football freely for first time in decades | AFP

Iranian sports journalist Raha Purbakhsh says she ‘can’t believe’ she will be among the thousands of women to freely enter a football stadium for the first time in decades to watch Iran’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. World football’s governing body FIFA last month ordered Iran to allow women access to stadiums without restrictions and in numbers determined by demand for tickets.

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France train ahead of England World Cup clash in Japan | AFP

France players train in Kumamoto, ahead of their final Rugby World Cup pool game, against England.

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Brave Blossom bonanza as rugby shirts fly off shelves | AFP

Japan’s red-and-white rugby jerseys are flying off the shelves as the home team continues to defy expectations at the World Cup, winning three from three and on course for a historic quarter-final.

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All Blacks train ahead of World Cup clash against Italy | AFP

New Zealand prepare for their Rugby World Cup match against Italy on Saturday as pool play comes to an end this week.

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PROFILE – Megan Rapinoe wins FIFA’s best player award

The US football player Megan Rapinoe has won FIFA Women’s Player of the Year award.

Rapinoe beat fellow World Cup winner Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze to the women’s title, with US coach Jill Ellis winning women’s coaching award.

The 34-year-old Rapinoe won the Golden Boot for being top scorer and the Golden Ball for the best player at the World Cup, and also became the face of the tournament for her outspoken views on US president Donald Trump.

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Twickenham-to-Tokyo cyclists hand over Rugby World Cup whistle after 20,000km ride | AFP

After cycling more than 20,000 kilometres (14,000 miles) through 27 countries from Twickenham to Tokyo, two rugby-mad fans finally arrive with a crucial item: the referee’s whistle for the opening World Cup game.

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Rugby World Cup | AFP Animé

New Zealand will be made to fight all the way for a third consecutive title as a ground-breaking Rugby World Cup gets under way in Japan on Friday with half a dozen teams confident of jockeying for the William Webb Ellis trophy. Videographic presentation.VIDEOGRAPHICS

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