Rugby World Cup LIVE: England to announce Argentina team plus All Blacks and Springboks latest

Rugby’s new Nations Championship is an answer to the wrong question

“It is really, truly, a historic day,” smiled Alan Gilpin, CEO of World Rugby. He would go on to use the word ‘historic’ another three or four times in the following few minutes of his press conference.

After years of wrangling – 16 years, according to Gilpin, since discussions about how to sort out rugby’s messy global calendar first took place in the salubrious surroundings of Woking, Surrey (don’t worry, the location wasn’t the reason it took more than a decade and a half to reach an agreement, a chuckling Gilpin assured everyone) – World Rugby had finally come up with a solution that will transform rugby “for the many, not the few” ushering in a “new era of opportunity, certainty and growth for the game.”

It’s fair to say they were pretty pleased with the outcome of the seemingly endless negotiations. Compromises had been made and it wasn’t perfect, stressed Gilpin and World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, but rugby would be “more relevant and more accessible to more people around the world.”

Rugby’s new Nations Championship is an answer to the wrong question

The new competition locks out smaller nations just when rugby should be trying to grow the game globally

How the incredible Barrett brothers rejuvenated the All Blacks

The old story goes that when Kevin Barrett hung up his boots, the man they called ‘Smiley’ was asked what he was going to do next. “I’m going to go breed some All Blacks,” Smiley replied, returning to the family dairy farm and setting to work.

By that stage, sons Beauden, Scott and Jordie had already been born, and how they’ve lived up to their father’s assertion. On Saturday night, they will become the first trio of brothers to appear in a Rugby World Cup final, all close to certain starters for the All Blacks ahead of a meeting with South Africa.

There are many tales of successful sporting siblings, from the Williams sisters to the Kelce brothers; the Waughs or the Charltons. But for three brothers to be so integral to a potential World Cup win is special. Smart international rugby coaches build their side around a spine of players from a single club; Ian Foster has been able to build his All Blacks around a single family.

How the incredible Barrett brothers rejuvenated the All Blacks

Beauden, Scott and Jordie Barrett are all set to start Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final for the All Blacks against the Springboks

Rugby World Cup team news and build-up to New Zealand v South Africa

Welcome as the Independent brings you all the latest news from Paris ahead of the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday.

New Zealand battle South Africa in a mouthwatering clash at the Stade de France.

Before that, England look to go again after their agonising defeat to the Springboks, with a chance to claim third in Friday’s play-off against Argentina.

Follow all the latest updates, analysis and reaction with our reporters Luke Baker and Harry Latham-Coyle in Paris.

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