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France name World Cup training squad

(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

PARIS (AP) Seven months after breaking his leg, Montpellier flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc was picked on Tuesday in a 36-man France training squad for the Rugby World Cup.

Trinh-Duc returned to competition with his club only in March after he was injured in the Top 14. He has 49 caps, but has not played in a France jersey for more than a year after enduring a difficult relationship with coach Philippe Saint-Andre. He played an hour of the 2011 World Cup final defeat to the All Blacks.

"It's a great reward and a real privilege to be named," Trinh-Duc said after finding out about his selection on the radio. "All the choices I've made over the past three-four years were guided by the World Cup. I have a special thought for the people who helped me when I was all alone, stuck on my sofa."


Burgess, Ashton picked in England squad

(AP) -- The last two players of the year in European club rugby were overlooked when England announced its 50-man training squad for the Rugby World Cup on Wednesday.

Yet there was room for a rugby-league convert just 19 games into his union career. (MORE)

Chiefs beat Bulls 34-20 in Super Rugby

(AP) -- Former All Blacks Ross Filipo and Augustine Pulu played starring roles for the Chiefs on Friday, rallying from 15-3 down to beat the Pretoria-based Bulls 34-20 in a Super Rugby match at Rotorua, New Zealand.

The bonus-point win, which lifted the Chiefs to within eight points of the Hurricanes in New Zealand, strengthened their playoff claims and jeopardized the Bulls' lead in the South African conference. (MORE)

Crusaders, Waratahs face crucial clash

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) The New South Wales Waratahs and Crusaders meet Saturday in replay of last year's Super Rugby final that could exclude either team from this season's playoffs.

The Waratahs edged the Christchurch-based Crusaders 33-32 in Sydney last August to claim their first Super Rugby title and deny the Crusaders their eighth championship; their first since 2008 when they beat the Waratahs 20-12 in Christchurch. (MORE)

Hurricanes beat Chiefs 22-18

(AP) -- The Wellington-based Hurricanes ensured this season will be their best-ever in Super Rugby when they beat the Hamilton-based Chiefs 22-18 Saturday to likely clinch first place in the New Zealand conference.

The win was the Hurricanes' 11th in 12 matches this season, topping the franchise record of 10 wins in a season. It took them 14 points clear of the Chiefs in New Zealand and on the overall championships table. (MORE)

Tuilagi misses World Cup after assault

(AP) -- England center Manu Tuilagi will miss the Rugby World Cup after being convicted of assaulting a taxi driver and two female police officers in the latest off-field indiscretion by the powerful Samoa-born player.

Tuilagi grabbed a cab driver by the throat and kicked the taxi's wing mirror on a night out in the central English city of Leicester on April 26, British prosecutors said Friday. When the police officers arrived, he pushed them hard in the chest as they attempted to place him in handcuffs. (MORE)

Blues surprise by beating Bulls 23-18

(AP) -- A late try to center George Moala sealed the Auckland-based Blues 23-18 win over the Pretoria-based Bulls in Super Rugby on Friday and likely did little to quieten calls for the replacement of Blues coach John Kirwan.

The Blues' win was only their third in 13 matches this season, and improved their record under Kirwan to 16 wins from 45 matches over the past three years. (MORE)

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