Cheslin Kolbe has been declared fit for South Africa's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Japan after overcoming an ankle injury.

The star winger missed the Springboks' final pool match against Canada but has been restored to the side for Sunday, as coach Rassie Erasmus opts for the team that defeated Italy 49-3 a fortnight ago.

It means 13 changes are made from the team that hammered Canada last weekend with hat-trick hero Cobus Reinach left out of the 23-man-squad completely.

Duane Vermeulen wins cap number 50 as a number eight for the Springboks.

Sunday's clash is a repeat of the 2015 World Cup Group B clash where Japan stunned the two-time champions with a 34-32 win in Brighton and Erasmus was looking forward to another tough challenge from the hosts.

"We were satisfied with the performance against Italy and want to build that," he said during Thursday's team announcement.

"We have been improving and building momentum this season and will be looking for further improvement this weekend.

"Japan are a well-coached team and have deservedly climbed to seventh in the world. It will be a good challenge but we're definitely up for it."

A place in the semi-finals next Sunday is at stake, with the winner of South Africa and Japan facing off against either Wales or France.

South Africa: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Tendai Mtawarira, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn.

The New Zealand All Blacks are fully fit and have named their strongest possible squad for Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

The defending champions rotated their squad for what proved to be their final two pool games against Canada and Namibia, with the final game against Italy abandoned due to Typhoon Hagibis.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen makes one change to the pack which started the first pool game against South Africa with Brodie Retallick back from a dislocated shoulder to replace Scott Barrett.

There's also a change in the back line from that 23-13 win over the Springboks in Yokohama as Jack Goodhue earns a recall, with Anton Lienert-Brown switching to inside centre and Ryan Crotty missing out altogether.

Skipper Kieran Read returns from a rest against Namibia to earn his 125th cap.

Hansen said he had a full squad of players to choose from for Saturday, as excitement builds for the clash in Tokyo.

"This is a great reflection on the players themselves and the staff who have done a great job getting them through the pool phase of the tournament," he said.

"We are very happy with where the team is at, at this stage, and it feels like the team is where it needs to be for [a] physical and fiercely fought encounter.

"There's a lot of energy and excitement in the team which is normal for this stage of the tournament where the winner takes all. It will add extra pressure to both sides."

The winner of the England-Australia quarter-final earlier in the day awaits the winner of New Zealand and Ireland.

All Blacks: Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Scott Barrett, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett.
 

Billy Vunipola has been declared fit to start Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Australia in Oita, as Eddie Jones makes three changes to the team which defeated Argentina 39-10.

Vunipola has recovered from an ankle injury suffered against Los Pumas a fortnight ago and will take his place alongside brother Mako, who replaces Joe Marler at loose-head prop.

Courtney Lawes is preferred to George Kruis in the second-row, while in-form George Ford has been dropped to the bench in favour of Exeter Chiefs' back Henry Slade.

It means captain Owen Farrell will switch from inside centre to fly-half with Slade playing alongside Manu Tulagi, as the pair that started four of England's five Six Nations matches reunite in midfield.

In the only other change to the 23-man squad that faced Argentina, Jack Nowell is out with a hamstring injury having not trained this week, with Jonathan Joseph earning a recall.

"We feel Mako (Vunipola) is ready to play a significant part in this game with his ability to scrummage and be effective in general play," said England coach Eddie Jones.

"George Ford will finish the game and will have a significant role for us. We just feel at the start of the game it's going to be brutal and having Owen at 10 will serve the team in the best interests.

"The game of rugby is pretty simple. You've got to win the ball, control the ball and score points when you've got it.

"The Australians are a clever team who will have some specific attacking strategies against us, so we will need to have a greater situational awareness, to defend with brutality and play on top of them"

England: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willie Heinz, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph.
 

Quarterback Brock Osweiler has retired from the NFL after seven seasons at the top level.

Osweiler, 28, was drafted by the Broncos with the 57th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Arizona State.

He would go on to spend four years in Denver and help the Broncos win Super Bowl 50.

Before the 2016 season, Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million contract with the Texans. His time in Houston lasted one season before getting traded to Cleveland and then he was released at the start of 2017. He returned to Denver on a one-year deal before spending the 2018 season with Miami. 

“I’m extremely grateful for the time I did receive playing in the National Football League,’’ Osweiler said (via KUSA). "The experiences I did have, people I did meet, relationships I did make - I’m not going to dwell on the things that didn’t happen in my career."

AEK became the first team to reach three figures in this season's FIBA Champions League when they beat EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez 102-82 in their Group B opener, while Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem showed their teeth on the road.

Keith Langford starred for the Athens outfit, amassing 27 points as Jonas Maciulis weighed in with 17. Matt Mobley's 25, including four of seven from three-point shooting, was in vain for EB Pau-Lacq-Orthez.

A third-quarter burst of 18-8 proved pivotal for Hapoel against Teksut Bandirma in Turkey and they hung on to win 73-69 as the hosts battled back in a thrilling finish.

Dyshawn Pierre was Dinamo Sassari's hero as he sunk two free-throws with 2.9 seconds remaining to seal a 79-78 win against Lietkabelis. It meant Pierre capped a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds in style.

San Pablo Burgos were 11 points adrift at one stage before turning their game against Antwerp Giants on its head.

Goran Huskic led the way with 19 points for the Spanish newcomers, who were better to the tune of 21 during the third and four quarters to win 90-76.

Telekom Baskets Bonn followed their domestic win over Bayern Munich by beating Casademont Zaragoza 85-71, while Ryan Toolson starred in the closing stages for Manresa to see off Torun 85-81.

There were comfortable wins for Nymburk and Dijon over Bamberg and tournament debutants Falco Szombathely respectively.

American boxer Patrick Day has died at the age of 27 from the brain injury he suffered in a fight against Charles Conwell on Saturday.

Day was knocked out in the 10th round of Saturday's super-welterweight bout in Chicago and taken from the ring on a stretcher.

Fighting on the undercard of Oleksandr Usyk's heavyweight victory over Chazz Witherspoon, Day was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and placed in a coma.

Promoter Lou DiBella announced on Wednesday that Day had died, saying: "Patrick Day passed away today, October 16, 2019, succumbing to the traumatic brain injury he suffered in his fight this past Saturday, October 12, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL.

"He was surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team, including his mentor, friend and trainer Joe Higgins."

Karen Khachanov thrilled the Moscow crowd as he saved five match points before overcoming veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Kremlin Cup.

The world number eight, top seed and defending champion at the ATP 250 event, found himself 5-3 down in the decider but refused to buckle as Kohlschreiber eyed a notable scalp on his 36th birthday.

Khachanov – now the focus of home hopes after Daniil Medvedev's withdrawal due to fatigue - repelled three match points to force a tie-break and his calmness from the baseline saw him through more trouble to prevail 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

Andreas Seppi is up next for Khachanov after the experienced Italian similarly came from a set down to beat Roberto Carballes Baena 5-7 6-1 6-3.

Serbian fourth seed Dusan Lajovic also went the distance against Lukas Rosol, coming through 6-4 6-7 (8-6) 6-3 to beat his Czech opponent and set up a quarter-final clash against last year's runner-up Adrian Mannarino – a straight-sets winner over Mikhail Kukushkin.

Stan Wawrinka returned to action at the European Open, competing for the first time since his US Open quarter-final loss, and his troublesome knee was given a thorough workout by Feliciano Lopez.

The two seasoned campaigners provided plenty of entertainment - a sumptuous backhand half-volley at the net in the first set serving as a particular highlight from Wawrinka, who came through 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

The 34-year-old Swiss will take on Gilles Simon in the quarter-finals after the world number 47 came through his all-French clash against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 7-5.

Andy Murray will face Pablo Cuevas in round two after the eighth-seeded Uruguayan beat Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3, while Guido Pella ensured further South American success by beating Kwon Soon-woo 7-5 7-5 to earn a quarter-final place.

Frances Tiafoe's reward for breaking a three-match losing streak, defeating Yannick Maden, will be a meeting with another German opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff.

At the Stockholm Open, US Open semi-finalist and second seed Grigor Dimitrov was dumped out by Sam Querrey, losing 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Taylor Fritz was another seed to fall – 7-5 6-4 against Yoshihito Nishioka,

Filip Krajinovic is up next for Nishioka after beating Dan Evans 7-5 2-6 6-3.

Two players from Jamaica’s Rugby League champions have been named in a strong 20-man national squad set to take on England Knights at Emerald Headingly Stadium on Sunday.

Anna Blinkova overcame a fatigued Coco Gauff as the American teenager was unable to back up her Linz triumph at the Luxembourg Open.

Gauff claimed the first WTA title of her fledgling career in Austria last week but was clinically dispatched by Russian Blinkova 6-4 6-0 on Wednesday.

The beaten 15-year-old American complained of feeling tired as she was swept aside in the second set and found Blinkova in uncompromising mood.

World number 66 Blinkova made only five unforced errors and hit 18 winners in her first-round victory.

Defending champion Julia Goerges saw off 2015 winner Misaki Doi in a gruelling three-set battle, the second seed coming back to triumph 5-7 6-1 6-3 to reach round two.

Wednesday brought a more straightforward outing for third seed Elena Rybakina, who breezed past Denisa Allertova 6-2 6-1 to earn a quarter-final place.

Jelena Ostapenko beat Caty McNally in straight sets and will meet top seed Elise Mertens in the last-16, while there were second-round wins for Margarita Gasparyan and Laura Siegemund.

At the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Belinda Bencic pulled off a stunning comeback to beat Polona Hercog 1-6 6-3 6-4 and book a quarter-final place.

As well as being blown away in the opening set, number three seed Bencic found herself 3-0 down in the decider before shifting through the gears to win six of the last seven games.

Bencic will next tackle Kirsten Flipkens, who bested fifth seed Dayana Yastremska 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Ekaterina Alexandrova had too much for fellow Russian Anna Kalinskaya, thrashing her compatriot 6-1 6-1 before their home crowd. Karolina Muchova, who stormed past fourth seed Donna Vekic 6-4 6-2, will be Alexandrova's last-eight opponent.

Jalen Ramsey is "overjoyed" to have been traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Los Angeles Rams. 

The cornerback was sent to the Rams in exchange for their 2020 and 2021 first-round picks, in addition to a 2021 fourth-round pick.

Ramsey told Sirius XM he was grateful to have been selected by Jacksonville in 2016, but that he's excited for a new opportunity in Los Angeles. 

"Big, big day for me," he said. "I'm filled with joy, I'm overjoyed right now. God is the greatest, God makes no mistakes at all. No mistakes at all. I've been so blessed.

"I was so blessed to be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars. But now I've got a new chapter starting in my life, going out to LA and going to be a part of the LA Rams."

Ramsey had been working his way from a back injury that kept him out of his team's past three games. He also missed some time last month to be with his family for the birth of his second daughter.

The two-time Pro Bowl star's back issues emerged after there was speculation around his long-term future with the Jaguars. He was involved in a heated exchange with coach Doug Marrone on the sideline during the team's Week 2 loss to the Texans, which led to Ramsey requesting a trade.

"Given the situation with Jalen, we made this decision based on what we thought is in the best interest of the Jacksonville Jaguars, for this season and well into the future," Jaguars executive vice-president of football operations Tom Coughlin said in a statement.

"We feel the trade that we struck with the Rams gives us great value for the next two drafts, and we remain very confident that our team today will compete this season for a division title. Jalen was a productive player, but the time came to move on and we wish him and his family the best in Los Angeles."

Ramsey has nine interceptions and 45 pass breakups throughout his four-year NFL career.

Daniil Medvedev felt he had no choice but to withdraw from his home tournament in Moscow after a gruelling schedule.

It was announced on Tuesday that world number four Medvedev would not take part in the Kremlin Cup, foregoing the chance to reach a seventh consecutive final on the ATP Tour.

Final number six ended in victory over Alexander Zverev at the Shanghai Masters last Sunday but, after 59 wins on tour this year, the US Open finalist felt taking to the court once again this week would have been a bridge too far.

"Nobody knew that I would do so well in Shanghai to reach my sixth final in a row," Medvedev told ATPTour.com.

"I just feel that I am physically and mentally exhausted. I can't be 100 per cent. As a professional, I cannot step on court knowing that I am not 100 per cent ready to play.

"On the one hand, it is very sad, because I really wanted to play in Moscow in front of my home crowd. I've played for four years in a row in Moscow and each year my results improved.

"But, on the other hand, this is how it is. It is professional sport, and I must do what is best for my body. In this situation, I had no choice."

However, Medvedev was keen to allay fears over his readiness to compete at the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month, and he is slated to return to action at the Vienna Open next Monday.

"I feel amazing and have a great mood," Medvedev added. "I've never dreamed about six finals in a row."

Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros, scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed until Thursday, MLB has announced.

At the time of the decision shortly before midday (local time) on Wednesday, the weather forecast called for 100 per cent chance of rain in New York.

New York Harbor is under a gale warning and nearby areas are under a flash flood watch and a coastal flood advisory.

The change means Game 5 is pushed back to Friday, previously a scheduled off-day.

If required, the series will return to Houston for Games 6 and 7 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The Astros took a 2-1 lead in the series with Tuesday's 4-1 victory in New York, with the winner to face the Washington Nationals, who have closed out a sweep of the St Louis Cardinals.

The World Series is set to begin next Tuesday in either Houston or New York.

The Fitzmagic is officially back in Miami.

Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores announced on Wednesday that Ryan Fitzpatrick will start this week against the Buffalo Bills.

The move keeps second-year quarterback Josh Rosen on the bench after he was pulled for veteran Fitzpatrick in the Week 6 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Flores had given his backing to Rosen, who replaced Fitzpatrick in Week 3, following the game against the Redskins but he now loses his place.

"We're going to start Fitz this week," Flores said. "We kind of came to that conclusion over the last couple of days.

"We feel that was the best thing for this team and it'll give us the best opportunity for this team to go up into a tough environment and try to pull out a win.

"And we do that on a weekly basis. What's the best grouping, set of players, offense, defense, kicking game to help try to win the game? We felt that was the case this week."

Rosen threw for 85 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions against Washington before Fitzpatrick replaced him at the beginning of the fourth quarter. 

The 36-year-old then completed 12 of 18 passes for 132 yards with one score and no picks as he almost led the Dolphins to a dramatic first win of the season.

Joe Maddon and the Los Angeles Angels have seemed destined for a reunion for weeks and it all became official Wednesday. 

The Angels announced they have hired Maddon to replace Brad Ausmus as manager. ESPN reported Maddon, who turns 66 in February, will receive a three-year deal worth between $4-5 million a year. 

The reunion is no surprise, as Maddon spent his entire professional life in the Angels organisation before moving on to manage Tampa Bay in 2006. 

He signed with the franchise as a minor league catcher in 1975 and held a variety of roles throughout the system before ascending to the major league coaching staff in 1994. Maddon served as interim manager of the Angels in 1996 and 1999 and was Mike Scioscia's right-hand man as the bench coach from 2000-05 before leaving to take over the downtrodden Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Maddon quickly became a star in Tampa Bay, leading the franchise that had never before had a winning record to the World Series in 2008 before eventually moving on to guide the Cubs to their first title in 108 years in 2016. 

He has a 1,252-1,068 career record (.540), and only Terry Francona (1,667) has more wins among active managers. 

"We are thrilled that Joe is coming back home and bringing an exciting brand of baseball to our fans," general manager Billy Eppler said in a statement. 

"Every stop he has made throughout his managerial career he has built a culture that is focused on winning, while also allowing his players to thrive. We believe Joe will be a great asset for our club and look forward to him leading the team to another World Series championship."

The Angels fired Ausmus on September, 30 after just one season in which he went 72-90. USA Today reported Buck Showalter was the other finalist for the position. 

Japan's players will be inspired by the memory of Seiji Hirao when they face South Africa in an eagerly awaited Rugby World Cup quarter-final at the weekend.

Former Japan captain and head coach Hirao – nicknamed "Mr Rugby" in his homeland – died three years ago this Sunday aged 53 after a battle with cancer.

Full-back Ryohei Yamanaka played under Hirao, who represented the Brave Blossoms at the 1987, 1991 and 1995 World Cup, at Kobe Steelers.

"[The quarter-final] is the date he passed away, so there'll be a game on an important day for me as well," he said.

Japan's scrum coach Shin Hasegawa was handed his international breakthough by Hirao during his playing days.

"I'm a bit emotional talking about Hirao," he added. "He was the one who picked me for the national team, he was the one who played me. We have a game on a special day. I hope we can pay him back.

"The best memory is receiving a letter in my room a day before our opening match in the 2003 World Cup. It wasn't that long but had things that encouraged me and made me feel, 'I need to fight for this man'. 

"I remember heading into the game with a good motivation. I asked him one time why I was chosen and he said, 'For the scrum, of course', so I really focused on it. He really kept his eyes on me and was a great coach."

Japan stunned the Springboks with a 34-32 victory at the 2015 World Cup and hooker Atsushi Sakate explained they are leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of a repeat – combining brain and brawn.

"Our psychologist, Dave [David Galbraith] makes quizzes and writes them on the whiteboard," he explained.

"It is part of the training focusing on how to use your brain under pressure and in tough situations.

"It was started at our training camp in Abashiri. You have to make decisions during the toughest time during the match. You use your brain.

"That is why it was put up when we had tough weightlifting training."

Tiger Woods should select himself as a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup provided he is fit to play, says Justin Thomas.

Fitness woes in the backend of the season, including surgery to repair knee cartilage in August, hindered Woods, who is due to return at this month's ZOZO Championship in Japan.

Woods failed to gain automatic selection for the biennial Presidents Cup, which pits the United States against an international team not including European players.

The 15-time major champion can still feature, though, by naming himself among four wildcard selections, a scenario Ryder Cup team-mate Thomas is backing.

"I think if he's healthy and playing well, I mean, I'll take him 100 times out of 100," Thomas said in quotes reported by Sky Sports. 

"I think he knows his body and knows himself well enough to make that decision.

"He's asked me about it and I've told him that exact same thing. For him, it's all about health, and for anybody. They need to make sure their game is ready and their body is ready because it's not just something that you do just to do.

"If he's going to pick himself, he's only going to do it if he's ready and he's playing well. So I guess we'll just have to wait and see." 

Several players are vying for a pick, with Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland among them, and Thomas says Woods has been conversing with players already on the team over who should get the nod.

"[Woods] has reached out to all of us on the team about what we think and what we want," Thomas added. "It is kind of a different year, but that being said, it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing.

"It shows how deep our team is and how many great players we truly have with the chance and the possibility of having on the team playing. He's going to make the right decisions."

Brooks Koepka insists he does not have a rivalry with Rory McIlroy because the Northern Irishman has not won a major since 2014.

World number one Koepka has enjoyed a phenomenal run in golf's major events over recent years, claiming victory at the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens and 2018 and 2019 US PGA Championships.

In 2019, as well as winning the US PGA, he finished tied second at the Masters, second at the U.S. Open and tied fourth at The Open Championship.

McIlory, ranked number two in the world, finished last season by claiming the FedEx Cup and was named the PGA Tour's player of the year – voted for by his fellow professionals.

But the 30-year-old's wait for a fifth major now stands at five years, dating back to his triumph at the 2014 PGA Championship.

Speaking ahead of his CJ Cup defence, Koepka mischievously offered a reminder of this when the prospect of a rivalry with McIlroy was discussed.

"I've been out here for, what, five years. Rory hasn’t won a major since I’ve been on the PGA Tour. So I just don't view it as a rivalry," Koepka said, as per AFP.

"I'm not looking at anybody behind me. I'm number one in the world. I've got open road in front of me. I'm not looking in the rearview mirror, so I don't see it as a rivalry.

"You know if the fans do [call it a rivalry], then that's on them and it could be fun."

Koepka made sure to point out he remains a huge admirer of McIlroy's game and suggested his stance on rivalries might have more to do with golf as a sport in general.

"Look, I love Rory. He's a great player and he's fun to watch," he added. "But it's just hard to believe there's a rivalry in golf. I just don't see it."

Jonny May reflected on how a decision to snub a team night out in favour of dinner with his parents paid huge dividends as he prepares to celebrate winning a 50th England cap.

The Leicester Tigers flyer made his international debut over six years ago during a tour of Argentina, when the majority of the team was on British and Irish Lions duty.

May was overlooked for the first Test in favour of David Strettle and Christian Wade and had initially missed out on selection for the second game before the latter was drafted to Australia with the Lions.

It is here where fate was on the side of May, who had shunned a drinking session with the players not in the matchday squad the night before the game in favour of a more serene evening.

"Funnily enough Christian Wade got called up for the Lions on the morning of the game," said May. 

"And basically because my mum and dad were out and I went out for dinner with them and all the other non-23 players went out on the p***, so I got the 'go on you can play' pretty much! It's funny how it works out.

"I didn't feel ashamed but I didn't feel great because my parents were out there and it looked like I wasn't going to get a game. 

"What was probably quite a challenging couple of weeks finished on a really good note as my parents got to watch me play and I got my first cap. It all worked out in the end."

It took May until his eighth cap to score a first England try but his strike rate is now an impressive 25 in 49 Tests.

The 29-year-old has established himself as one of the best wingers in world rugby and could make his landmark England appearance in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia in Oita on Saturday.

Any personal achievements are on the back burner for May, though, whose sole focus is on helping the team defeat the Wallabies.

"If you take a step back, you'd say it's an awesome achievement, something I'm very proud of and hopefully I've made my family proud," he added. 

"But it's no time to take a step back. It's a huge team game at the weekend.

"It really has been a challenge. You have to fight to be a part of the squad, let alone to start. My mindset has changed so much on that, especially with Eddie [Jones] coming in. 

"It's a squad performance. We're competing to be the best we can be, we're not competing with each other.

"I have changed a lot, not just as a rugby player but as a person. I have matured. I have become more focused, maybe a little bit more introverted as the years have gone on.

"I'm not necessarily at a stage now where I'm working harder but I'm working smarter, just to keep developing and improving."

Warren Gatland is an "incredible person" and Wales will do all they can to ensure the Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with France is not his last match in charge, says assistant and skills specialist Neil Jenkins.

The popular New Zealander is to leave his role as head coach after the tournament in Japan following a hugely successful 12-year stint.

Gatland will hope to stay in Japan for a while longer yet, with Wales looking to better the semi-final and quarter-final appearances they achieved in 2011 and 2015 respectively.

Jenkins has paid tribute to Gatland's qualities not only as a coach but away from the training field as well.

"His record speaks for itself as in the results, the success, the togetherness of the team and the squad and the staff," Jenkins said.

"Gats is not just an incredible rugby coach, he is an incredible person as well. He brings so much to this environment, it's unbelievable, really.

"It would be incredibly sad to see him go, obviously. It would be nice if we could give ourselves another fortnight in Japan for him and for everyone involved.

"Gats is the same, no matter who we are playing, week to week. It is probably us he has to calm down and the rest of the coaches.

"He is an incredibly smart rugby man and knows the game inside out, and we will be prepared for Sunday.

"He's been here for 12 years, and whatever he does, everyone looks up to him and understands why he does it.

"He's a very smart operator, he does things for a reason and there is always a plan behind things."

Jenkins also spoke of the difficulty the coaching team have had in curbing the enthusiasm of fly-half Dan Biggar, who sustained separate injuries in pool-stage matches against Australia and Fiji.

Biggar is expected to face Les Bleus in Oita on Sunday and Jenkins says the number 10 is chomping at the bit for the last-eight clash.

"Curbing him is very difficult," Jenkins added. "He's a competitor, full-stop. He's a winner. He's a very physical rugby player, he gets stuck in.

"He's done everything that's been asked of him constantly and consistently and he's ready to go. He's desperate to play. He's world-class and he'll be ready to go again, there's no doubting that."

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