Andrey Rublev celebrated his 22nd birthday in style, inflicting more Moscow woe on Adrian Mannarino to clinch the Kremlin Cup on home soil.

Home favourite Rublev had failed to win a match at the tournament in six previous visits but was a comprehensive 6-4 6-0 victor over Mannarino, who was beaten by Karen Khachanov in last season's showpiece.

Rublev broke at the first time of asking and that proved enough to clinch an otherwise tight opening set.

But it was one-way traffic in the second with Mannarino – who had not dropped a set in reaching the final – fittingly giving his opponent several gifts to capitulate in a match that lasted a little over an hour.

It marks Rublev's second ATP Tour title and he will break into the world's top 25 for the first time on Monday.

Rassie Erasmus was thankful South Africa "knew which buttons to push" to fend off the threat of another Rugby World Cup defeat to Japan.

After their stunning loss to the Brave Blossoms four years ago in Brighton, it was a different story at the Tokyo Stadium on Sunday as South Africa emerged 26-3 winners.

They will face Wales in the semi-finals next Sunday in Yokohama, and the Springboks were buoyant after seeing off familiar foes in the quarters.

But the lead had been just 5-3 at half-time, and Erasmus admitted: "We were nervous."

He and his coaching staff largely stayed out of dressing-room discussions, leaving it for the likes of captain Siya Kolisi to set minds at ease.

"Going in at half-time only being up a few points and leaving a few tries out there, there was definitely a little bit of a lull and a quietness in our changing room," Erasmus said.

"But I think, being together for 17 weeks, the guys knew which buttons to push to get ourselves out of that lull and come out and produce in the second half. We're very proud of that."

Makazole Mapimpi grabbed his second try of the game and man of the match Faf de Klerk also dotted down as South Africa gradually ground down the energetic hosts.

Erasmus praised the "intensity and tenacity" of Japan, suggesting they would be worthy additions to the Rugby Championship – currently contested by the Springboks, Australia, South Africa and Argentina – if logistics made it viable.

"I do know the brand they play is pretty exciting and it would really fit in," said Erasmus, calling it "a nice proposition" but stressing he had not been party to any such discussions.

Erasmus was thrilled with the defensive strength of his team, as they nullified Japan's attacking vibrancy when both Ireland and Scotland had succumbed.

"I think we trust our system really well and we know defence is a pretty important thing if you want to win a World Cup," Erasmus added in his post-match news conference.

The former Munster coach thinks his experience in the Pro14 competition, facing Welsh club sides, could be useful as South Africa when to clear the last hurdle before the final.

"I've got good hidings against Scarlets and those guys when I was coaching Munster, and good wins against them as well," he said.

"They are definitely a team with a lot of X factor, but one thing that strikes me about them ... is they've got a great coaching staff and I think they've created depth in every single position.

"They've got good confidence, great team spirit. It'll be a big challenge for us. Knowing the way the Welsh teams play may help me a little bit."

Tyson Fury concedes a potential rematch with Deontay Wilder could be scuppered by his WWE appearance as "anything can happen in a ring".

Lineal heavyweight champion Fury is to face Braun Strowman at WWE's Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia on October 31.

The 'Gypsy King' is pencilled in to face Wilder in February, with the two having fought to a contentious draw during their first meeting for the latter's WBC strap last December.

Fury, though, says he is not looking beyond his current run with WWE and that any thoughts of Wilder can wait.

"Potentially [the Wilder fight is at risk], anything can happen in a ring," Fury told ESPN's Get Up.

"With two big massive guys, you never know what can happen in there.

"But hopefully, touch wood, everything goes well and we roll on to February 22 [when the rematch is pencilled in for].

"I'm concentrating on Braun Strowman in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel for now.

"I only take one fight at a time as I've always said. When I get past this one, then we’ll look at the Wilder rematch."

Denis Shapovalov landed the first ATP title of a career rich in promise when he fended off Filip Krajinovic in the final of the Stockholm Open.

At the age of 20, Canadian Shapovalov has already briefly cracked the world's top 20, and a 6-4 6-4 victory over Krajinovic saw him pass another major career milestone.

Seeded fourth in Sweden, Shapovalov won four matches without dropping a set, and the left-hander faced only one break point on Sunday.

He edged a narrow opener, helped by nine aces, and grabbed a crucial break in the ninth game of the second set when Krajinovic netted from the baseline.

Shapovalov served out for his first trophy success at main-tour level, with Krajinovic slapping an aggressive backhand into the top of the net on match point.

"We've been working really hard to try and lift an ATP title," said Shapovalov, after thanking his support team. "Now we're here, so thanks to everybody."

It was pointed out to him at the trophy presentation that Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas - both grand slam semi-finalists this year - won their first tour titles at Stockholm, too.

"It's definitely a big step for me," said Shapovalov.

"I've struggled to get past the semi-finals and to lift my first title here in Stockholm out of all places. I love this city so much, it's incredible for me.

"All of the names up there [on the list of past winners] are unbelievable players so hopefully I can back that up as well."

Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the former world light-heavyweight champion who lost to Artur Beterbiev by TKO on Friday, was released from hospital on Sunday after staying two nights as a precaution.

Gvozdyk, 32, was stopped in the 10th round of an action-packed 175-pound unification bout Friday at the Liacouras Center.

Referee Gary Rosato waved off the fight after two minutes and 49 seconds of the 10th after Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) dropped an exhausted Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KOs) three times.

According to ESPN, Gvozdyk walked alongside Atlas to an ambulance to make the short trip to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.

Atlas confirmed he stayed with Gvozdyk a second night to be safe before the 32-year-old was released with a minor concussion.

"All is clear," Atlas told ESPN. "No [brain] bleed or anything. Thank God, just a minor concussion from the hits to the back of the head they said, but we needed to be sure."

Gvozdyk, a Ukrainian who is based in California, won his WBC title in December 2018 - stopping Adonis Stevenson in a bout that saw the long-reigning champion put in an induced coma and treated for a traumatic brain injury - and made one successful defence before being stopped by the undefeated Beterbiev on Friday.

A Russian based in Montreal, Beterbiev, 34, defended his IBF title for the third time since winning it in November 2017. 

Jelena Ostapenko claimed her first WTA singles title for over two years as she saw off Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open.

Ostapenko was playing in her second final in as many weeks after losing in the Linz showpiece to teenager Coco Gauff.

However, the former French Open champion went one better in Luxembourg, cruising to a 6-4 6-1 win over Goerges.

The championship marks Ostapenko's first since the Korea Open in September 2017, three months after her French Open final triumph over Simona Halep.

Ostapenko needed only one break to take the first set and it came in the ninth game when Goerges fired long, the Latvian then consolidating to wrap up the opener.

Goerges' resistance faded in much shorter order in the second as the German faltered on the forehand side, allowing Ostapenko to race to victory having lost her previous two finals of 2019.

Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the former world light-heavyweight champion who lost to Artur Beterbiev by TKO on Friday, remained at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia for a second straight night as a precaution, his trainer Teddy Atlas confirmed.

Gvozdyk, 32, was stopped in the 10th round of an action-packed 175-pound unification bout Friday at the Liacouras Center.

Referee Gary Rosato waved off the fight after two minutes and 49 seconds of the 10th after Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) dropped an exhausted Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KOs) three times.

According to ESPN, Gvozdyk walked alongside Atlas to an ambulance to make the short trip to the hospital to be checked out as a precaution.

However, they were each still at hospital on Saturday.

"I'm still here with him," Atlas told ESPN. "I just brought him last night because he had pain behind his head from the punches he got hit there, so they did a scan and saw a possible small something and did another scan six hours later and [the doctor] wanted us to stay 24 hours to be safe.

"So we cancelled his flight, and I will stay with him here another night, then [on Sunday] bring him to my home [in New York] - just again to be safe. Then Monday, he will fly home.

"He's fine, but we are still here just as precaution and will stay the night. [Sunday] morning, if all is the same, they will discharge him."

Gvozdyk, a Ukrainian who is based in California, won his WBC title in December 2018 - stopping Adonis Stevenson in a bout that saw the long-reigning champion put in an induced coma and treated for a traumatic brain injury - and made one successful defence before being stopped by the undefeated Beterbiev on Friday.

A Russian based in Montreal, Beterbiev, 34, defended his IBF title for the third time since winning it in November 2017. 

Belinda Bencic came from behind to defeat home favourite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and claim glory at the Kremlin Cup.

A 3-6 6-1 6-1 victory in one hour and 44 minutes on Sunday earned Bencic a fourth career WTA Tour title and a second of her resurgent 2019.

Bencic booked her place in the WTA Finals in Shenzhen with her semi-final victory over Kristina Mladenovic and capped the week with a Premier title.

It came after a shaky start in which she dropped the opening game on serve and was later broken again en route to losing the first set.

But she struck on Pavlyuchenkova's serve in the first game of the next set to immediately launch her comeback and broke on a further two occasions to level the match.

Bencic, the world number 10, was in control and raced 5-0 up in the decider, converting her first championship point soon after when Pavlyuchenkova smashed a return into the net.

After her poor opening set, the Swiss star did not allow 2014 champion Pavlyuchenkova a single break point in her dominant second and third sets.

"It feels unbelievable right now, I still can't imagine it," said Bencic, who was the third seed in Moscow.

"I had no pressure going into this match. We were so happy on Saturday celebrating Shenzhen and this is the cherry on top."

Jamie Joseph showed how much it hurt as Japan's journey at the Rugby World Cup ended with defeat at the merciless hands of South Africa.

An absorbing tussle at Tokyo Stadium was only one-sided in the closing minutes as South Africa pulled away to win 26-3 and set up a semi-final against Wales next Sunday.

After winning all four of their group games, and having beaten South Africa against all odds at the last World Cup, there were growing hopes in Japan that the tournament hosts could spring another surprise.

It was not to be though, with South Africa's resolute defence repelling the threat of Japan's scintillating backs.

Coach Joseph said: "At the end of the day I'm so proud of my team.

"[They showed] the courage, the tenacity, certainly the determination. I really have to take my hat off to the team.

"And I have to thank the fans - we wouldn't be here if we didn't have the support of the whole country. It's been marvellous."

Joseph appeared to start welling up as his post-match television interview continued, adding: "We're really proud of what we've achieved at the World Cup. We're going to enjoy that a little bit later on.

"I'm disappointed for the players because they give so much to the group and they gave so much to the country in this World Cup."

With his voice faltering, Joseph, who succeeded Eddie Jones after the last World Cup, told the tournament interviewer: "It's been a little bit disappointing, mate."

Captain Michael Leitch signed off his post-match interview with the comment: "Japan's only going to get stronger."

That remains to be seen, but recent reports that Joseph could stay on as coach appear to offer promise.

Leitch accepted the better side won the day, as the Brave Blossoms bowed out.

"Test match rugby is all about creating opportunities and taking your moments," Leitch said.

"I think we had a few opportunities to capitalise on and unfortunately South Africa kept us out, and with their powerful set-piece they had us going backwards.

"Congratulations to the South Africa team - they played their A game and they played it very well.

"I'm extremely proud of what this team's done - Jamie has done an excellent job. And the fans, the country ... I think we've done them proud."

Abandoned, crumbling stadiums and empty, cracked swimming pools. Plummeting participation and dwindling interest. Platitudes and empty gestures.

The reality of sporting legacy is it rarely delivers. A capricious concept dressed up as big-hearted altruism, often propagated by politicians fishing for likes; the cornerstone of bid documents, legacy can look great on PowerPoint but has little influence at pitch level.

Any nation can birth a sporting jamboree. The woozy thrill of conception is followed by a deliciously pregnant wait and then a rush of endorphins on arrival. Postpartum reality is rather more complicated.

Material legacy is often found in infrastructure – the road and rail and housing improvements that any responsible government should be carrying out, global sporting spectacle or not.

The real sporting legacies are bound up in memories created on the field, which is why Japan's Rugby World Cup will live long, despite Sunday's 26-3 quarter-final loss to South Africa; which is why the Springboks' 1995 home triumph - Nelson Mandela their 16th man - so resonated.

Even if the Land of the Rising Sun will not see its own heroes crowned as World Cup champions in Yokohama next month, their brand of attacking, running rugby has lit up the tournament.

By reaching the knockout stage for the first time, Japan piqued interest of millions who never previously gave rugby a second glance. Perhaps the Brave Blossoms themselves have peaked, after the huge investment it has taken to reach this point, to forge a team capable of taking on - and beating - some of the world's best. To guarantee Japan - a team who lost 145-17 to New Zealand at the 1995 World Cup - would not only avoid humiliation but become everyone's favourite second team.

Japan were named as hosts a full decade ago, and in tandem with world rugby chiefs signed up to an Impact Beyond 2019 legacy project, designed to grow rugby throughout Asia. The message seems to be that, despite Japan hosting a whole blimming bells-and-whistles World Cup, the sport still needs to be force-fed into the culture long after the tournament ends.

Investment in Japan's team has been spectacularly well-judged, with previous coaches John Kirwan and Eddie Jones building the platform for Jamie Joseph's current squad to dazzle a domestic and worldwide audience over the past month.

Over 50 million people in Japan reportedly watched the crucial pool win over Scotland. That is almost half the nation. Even more will surely have tuned in for the Springboks clash, viewers who will dictate the long-term positioning of rugby within Japanese sport.

Baseball is number one, with sumo, football, tennis, wrestling, golf, basketball and a host more traditionally ahead of rugby.

Next year the passion of the Japanese people will shift to Olympic sport, when Tokyo stages the 2020 Games.

They are spoiled for choice. We are all spoiled for choice.

Rugby has made a breakthrough, Japan gave the world a team to adore in the Blossoms, but not every great show needs an after-party. Despite a rash of giddy think pieces - meta - Japan really aren't on track to rival the All Blacks.

Perhaps they will flower again in four years' time; perhaps the screaming, roaring fans that packed out Tokyo Stadium on Sunday will have more reasons to celebrate in France.

But after this success was created with precision tooling, enormous wads of yen, and awash with a strong flavouring of imported delicacies, now is surely the time for Japanese rugby to be left to evolve naturally.

Perhaps this isn't the start of something big. Perhaps it's the end of something big. The miracle of Brighton. Six World Cup victories in a row. Sassy wing twins Kenki Fukuoka and Kotaro Matsushima.

Sayonara for now, Japan. You played your part supremely well.

Rassie Erasmus felt the scoreline in South Africa's Rugby World Cup quarter-final victory over Japan was not a true reflection of how the game played out.

The Springboks progressed to a last-four meeting with Wales by vanquishing the demons of their shock loss to the Brave Blossoms in the 2015 World Cup with a 26-3 triumph in Tokyo on Sunday.

Makazole Mapimpi, who scored a hat-trick in a 41-7 win over Jamie Joseph's side in a warm-up match in September, put the Rugby Championship winners ahead after four minutes but Japan dominated the possession and territory in the rest of the opening period.

However, the hosts were only able to register three points from the boot of Yu Tamura while Tendai Mtawarira was in the sin bin for a tip tackle on Keita Inagaki and went into the break 5-3 down.

The Springboks showed greater discipline and control in the second period, with Handre Pollard nudging them clear via a trio of penalties before Faf de Klerk and Mapimpi crossed in the final 14 minutes to put them out of sight.

Erasmus said: "In both games we played [against Japan] the score doesn't reflect how tough it was. At half-time it was 5-3 and then we got one or two runaway tries.

"This was a five- or six-point game – the margin we got at the end wasn't a true reflection.

"They were very determined. Their substitutions made a hell of a difference. This Japanese team is well coached, they're fit, they're tough, they're tight and they've got great support, so at the end of the day we must be satisfied with the win."

The Springboks were guilty of excessive handling errors in promising areas in the opening period but Erasmus praised Japan's defence as he set his sights on the Webb Ellis Cup.

"It was frustrating, we had two or three tries in the first half that because of knock-ons we didn't score, which could've taken it away from them," added the South Africa boss.

"But then again the way they defend and the way they scramble, it just shows the character of their team.

"We want to try to go all the way. Now we've got Wales. They are ranked higher than us and they got a win against France this weekend. We will start tomorrow on them, but we'll enjoy tonight and know the next two weeks will be tough."

Captain Siya Kolisi was impressed by the fight Japan put up and was proud of his team for keeping things close in a tough first half for South Africa.

"We knew what Michael Leitch and his boys were going to bring today. They said all week they were coming for us in our set-piece and it took a lot out of us to keep on fighting," said Kolisi.

"But credit to my boys, we fought, we ground it out. You really should be proud of your team, they gave it everything out there.

"We knew how fast they can play the game and they play a style that's fearless and that's exactly what they said they'd do this week and they didn't shy away from it today.

"We knew we had to get up, especially when we were one man down - I'm really glad the boys didn't concede a lot of points there. That's what we pride ourselves on, hard-working defence."

South Africa gained vengeance for their shock loss to Japan in 2015 by comfortably defeating the Brave Blossoms 26-3 in an enthralling Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Tokyo.

Japan pulled off a stunning 34-32 triumph over the Springboks in the previous tournament but were unable to repeat the trick in their first appearance in the last eight as their dream run on home soil ended.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said in the build-up that a 41-7 victory over Jamie Joseph's side in September provided a measure of revenge, though they secured the ultimate tonic to book a semi-final against Wales.

Makazole Mapimpi scored a hat-trick in the warm-up meeting and this time touched down either side of Faf de Klerk's try as Japan were punished for failing to make the most of an impressive first-half display.

After the high of reaching the quarter-finals, Japan were brought down to earth inside four minutes when De Klerk fed Mapimpi off the scrum and the wing breezed through the challenge of Yu Tamura to race in at the left corner.

The Springboks had Tendai Mtawarira sent to the sin bin on his 100th Test start for a tip tackle on Keita Inagaki, yet a penalty won against the feed at the scrum that Tamura slotted between the posts was all Japan had to show for their numerical advantage.

Japan continued to dominate the possession and territory when South Africa were restored to their full complement, though they were unable to capitalise and move ahead before the break.

Handre Pollard atoned for failing to convert Mapimpi's try by splitting the posts with a trio of penalties within 16 minutes of the restart, helping the Springboks edge clear.

Rassie Erasmus' men were far more disciplined in the second half and moved well out of sight when De Klerk crossed following an unstoppable rolling maul.

Mapimpi put the result beyond all doubt with 10 minutes remaining when he fended off Kotaro Matsushima for a second try to keep the Rugby Championship winners in the hunt for another trophy.

 

Japan's journey ends

Victories over Ireland and Scotland - the latter in an incredibly emotional shoot-out for progression in the wake of Typhoon Hagibis - provided the hosts with unforgettable moments they will hope help continue the development of rugby union in Japan. While they were unable to replicate the miracle of Brighton from four years ago, they can be incredibly proud of their displays in 2019.

All-action De Klerk

Sale Sharks scrum-half De Klerk dictated the play and provided a calming presence for South Africa in a difficult first period littered with handling errors. He made some important tackles to keep the Brave Blossoms at bay and was rewarded with a deserved try in the 66th minute.

Warren Gatland conceded the better team lost after Wales came from behind to see off France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.

Wales recovered from 12-0 and 19-10 down to defeat a 14-man France, who saw Sebastien Vahaamahina sent off for swinging an elbow into the head of Aaron Wainwright in the 49th minute.

Gatland's men had been second best up until that point, with France wasting opportunities to take a more commanding lead in the first half.

Vahaamahina's dismissal proved a turning point but Wales had to wait until the 74th minute for the winning try, which came in contentious fashion as Ross Moriarty went over after Charles Ollivon had the ball stripped.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live afterwards, Gatland said: "I think the better team lost. The thing about our boys is they don't give up, they keep trying until the end.

"We kept working away. France came out of the blocks well. At half-time we just said we've got to score next, we did that and obviously the red card was the turning point. It was pretty special."

Back in February after Wales came back from 16-0 down to claim an away win over France in the Six Nations, Gatland declared that his side had "forgotten how to lose".

Asked in his post-match media conference if their turnaround was a prime example of that, Gatland replied: "I think it was. The message at half time was that France had started well.

"You have to take your hat off to them. I thought they were excellent and very unlucky. They've definitely improved.

"The red card was significant but that sometimes galvanises teams.

"We didn't play well but we can be excited about looking forward to the semi-final."

Number eight Josh Navidi's participation in the semi-final, where they will face either Japan or South Africa, is in doubt due to a hamstring injury.

"Josh Navidi has done a hamstring," Gatland added. "We don't know how serious it is yet."

Jacques Brunel suspects Wales' match-winning try in their World Cup quarter-final win over France should not have been awarded.

Wales came from behind to beat 14-man France in Oita on Sunday, their cause aided significantly by a 49th-minute red card shown to Sebastien Vahaamahina, who swung his elbow into the head of Aaron Wainwright.

Warren Gatland's men struggled to take full advantage of the dismissal, but found the winning try in the 74th minute as Ross Moriarty went over after Tomos Williams stole the ball from Charles Ollivon close to the France line.

The TMO awarded the try despite the suggestion the ball went forward after it was taken away from Ollivon, a decision Brunel was far from happy with.

"The red card, I don't contest it. When you see the images, it’s very clear. He had a reflex," Brunel told a media conference.

"Of course he feels bad, he's not happy with what he's done.

"We cannot deny it. I don't have any problem with the decision. There are other decisions I don't agree with.

"I would like to see the last try again because I think there is a player who grabbed the ball and then it went forward.

"So I'd like to see that decision again and I'm a little disappointed."

Asked about his team's response to the red card, Brunel added: "We weren't really disorganised but we should have reacted differently.

"We didn't show enough character because we had opportunities to stretch the lead.

"So that's why I'm saying the outcome of the match is difficult to accept."

 

For the majority of Sunday's World Cup quarter-final with Wales, France were in control thanks to a performance that belied the reports of discord in the camp.

Arguably the most unpredictable side in world rugby, Les Bleus showed the best side of themselves for so long in a contest few expected them to have the better of, against a Wales team briefly ranked number one in the world this year.

France were aggressive, fluent with ball in hand and produced the kind of aesthetically pleasing play that is synonymous with their country's finest in full flight.

As Virimi Vakatawa stepped past Josh Navidi and found Romain Ntamack, who then fed Antoine Dupont to set up Charles Ollivon to cruise under the posts and put France 12-0 up, even the most ardent of Wales fan will have feared a vintage display from the side that controversially denied them in the semi-finals in 2011.

Even after an error allowed Adam Wainwright to get Wales on the board, France remained the superior outfit and, despite a pair of missed kicks from Ntamack, it would have been tough to find too many tipping Warren Gatland's men to make a comeback akin to the one they produced at the Stade de France in the Six Nations this year.

However, France are as well known for their meltdowns as they are for their free-flowing style, and it was a moment of madness nine minutes into the second half that ultimately proved crucial in condemning them to a heart-breaking 20-19 defeat.

Guilhem Guirado was recalled to the starting XV for France despite rumours of a bust-up with coach Jacques Brunel, and the atmosphere in the dressing room is unlikely to have been a pleasant one after Sebastien Vahaamahina made a telling contribution to his own side's downfall.

It is unclear whether we will ever be able to understand the method behind the back-row's decision to launch a swinging elbow into the side of Wainwright's head, and his dismissal will go down in World Cup infamy as it proved the turning point in a French failure.

To their credit, Brunel's men held up well despite their man disadvantage and still led 19-13 going into the final six minutes.

Yet Tomos Williams ripped the ball from Ollivon's grasp yards out from the France line and it was collected by Justin Tipuric before Ross Moriarty, whose yellow card preceded the Vakatawa try, turned from villain to hero by scoring the winning try.

France may feel aggrieved, with the try awarded by the TMO despite the suggestion the ball went forward after being stolen from Ollivon, while many in the Wales camp will feel luck has evened out after Sam Warburton's contentious red card in the semi eight years ago.

Brunel's men only have themselves to blame, though. While the crucial try was questionable, Wales' turnaround was aided by handling errors, missed kicks and an inexplicable moment of gross indiscipline.

Consistent also-ran in the Six Nations, France have lurched from one disappointment to the next since their agonising defeat to New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup final.

Gatland conceded the best team lost in Oita, but succinctly summed up the continued issue for a side that now infuriate more than they inspire.

"I thought France definitely improved since the Six Nations," said Gatland. "Losing becomes a habit, but so does winning and we are in that habit at the moment."

France are firmly in the losing habit and, with the next World Cup to be held on home soil, they have four years to change that by channelling the fire that can make them such an attractive side to watch into consistency, rather than self-inflicted collapses.

Ross Moriarty went from villain to hero for Wales as Warren Gatland's team beat 14-man France 20-19 to reach the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.

His 74th-minute try shattered the hopes of a France side who had looked like clinging on for victory after Sebastien Vahaamahina saw red for a disgraceful elbow into the face of Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright.

France scored a pair of tries inside the opening eight minutes and led 19-10 at half-time, with replacement Moriarty having spent a costly 10 minutes in the sin bin.

But Vahaamahina's moment of recklessness proved pivotal, with Wales eventually making their extra man count in a nail-biter - just as France did when beating the Red Dragons 9-8 in the 2011 semi-final at Eden Park.

Potential future top NFL draft pick Tua Tagovailoa suffered an ankle injury on Saturday that could keep the star Alabama quarterback out for a couple of weeks.

Tagovailoa got his ankle rolled up on a sack by Tennessee defensive lineman Greg Emerson in Alabama's 35-13 victory.

He limped off the field and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Afterwards, coach Nick Saban told ESPN of Tagovailoa's condition: "He's got a high ankle sprain so he'll probably be out for a week or two."

Tagovailoa was 11-of-12 passing for 155 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before leaving and being replaced by Mac Jones.

The 21-year-old is widely anticipated to be the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft next April, having compiled a superb resume in college football.

He came off the bench and replaced Jalen Hurts in the National Championship game in 2018, going on to guide Alabama to an incredible overtime win over Georgia.

Tagovailoa also dealt with an ankle injury towards the end of last season as he was hurt on a sack against Georgia in the SEC Championship game.

He was replaced by Hurts, who led the Crimson Tide back to win the game and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff.

World champion Marc Marquez equalled Mick Doohan with his 54th career MotoGP victory after winning the Japanese Grand Prix.

Marquez was scintillating as the six-time MotoGP champion cruised to his 10th victory of 2019 at Motegi on Sunday, with Repsol Honda sealing the constructors title.

The Honda star was scorching on the track, blitzing Fabio Quartararo to move level with Doohan in third on the all-time list for MotoGP wins.

After wrapping up another premier class title in Thailand last time out, Marquez made history by claiming pole position at Motegi, meaning he had earned pole at every circuit on the sport's calendar.

It was an exhibition for Marquez, who left the chasing pack in his wake and sealed a 21st successive finish inside the top-two positions.

Quartararo finished nine tenths adrift to be Marquez's nearest challenger as the Yamaha rider clinched the Rookie of the Year.

"It was not easy, especially because I was pushing from the beginning, because the strategy was clear - I tried to open a gap in the beginning because I felt very strong in the warm-up," Marquez said after celebrating his fourth successive victory.

"Honestly speaking I start to play a lot with the switches and everything, because like you see [he parked right after the chequered flag], with the fuel and everything I was on the limit. When I take these two seconds, I start to play again with the switches.

"Was not easy to ride because you needed to think many, many things on the bike, but I was able to manage in a good way to finish the race [within] the limit."

Andrea Dovizioso earned his 100th podium, while it was a miserable outing for Valentino Rossi – who did not finish the race.

 

TOP 10

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
2. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) +0.870secs
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +1.325s
4. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +2.608s
5. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) +9.140s
6. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) +9.187s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +9.306s
8. Joar Mir (Suzuku Ecstar) +10.695s
9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +14.216s
10. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +18.909s

TITLE STANDINGS

Riders

1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) 350
2. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 231 (-119)
3. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) 176 (-174)
4. Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) 176 (-174)
5. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 169 (-181)

Teams

1. Ducati 400
2. Repsol Honda 383 (-17)
3. Monster Energy Yamaha 321 (-79)
4. Petronas Yamaha 263 (-137)
5. Suzuki Ecstar 246 (-154)

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has stepped down following the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup exit in Japan.

Cheika confirmed he will not seek re-appointment after Australia were routed 40-16 by England in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

The 52-year-old, who guided the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final as he was named World Rugby Coach of the Year, bristled at questions over his future in the immediate aftermath of Australia's elimination.

However, former Waratahs boss Cheika quit on Sunday – ending his five-year stint in charge of Australia.

"It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO [Raelene Castle] and not much with the chairman [Cameron Clyne]," Cheika was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Cheika replaced Ewen McKenzie in 2014 and he made an immediate impact as the Wallabies reached the 2015 World Cup final – beaten by New Zealand.

That run to the decider saw Cheika become the first Australia coach to claim World Rugby's top coaching award since Rod Macqueen in 2001.

But the Wallabies' performances slowly regressed and pressure mounted on heading into this year's World Cup.

In a statement released by Rugby Australia, Cheika said: "I got asked the question in the press conference about what's going to happen going forward and at the time I wasn't keen to answer, but I always knew the answer in my head.

"I just wanted to speak to my wife and tell a few people up there [on the Rugby Australia board] about it.

"I put my chips in earlier in the year - I told people no win, no play.

"So, I'm the type of man who always goes to back what he says and I knew from the final whistle, but I just wanted to give it that little bit time to cool down, talk to my people and then make it clear."

New Zealander Dave Rennie – who is in charge of Glasgow Warriors having previously led the Chiefs to two Super Rugby titles – is the favourite to replace Cheika.

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