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Carter targets World Cup curtain call

(AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

LONDON (AP) Dan Carter has unfinished business at the Rugby World Cup.

A deep desire to lead the All Blacks to victory in a final has driven the superstar flyhalf to extend his career to the next World Cup in England next year.

To that end, he's four months into a six-month sabbatical from rugby to give his 32-year-old, beaten-up body as much chance of making it to a fourth and final World Cup.


Wallabies see tour as World Cup warm-up

SYDNEY (AP) Ewen McKenzie will use the November tour to Europe to fine-tune his Wallabies for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with clashes against group rivals England and Wales highlighting a five-match program.

The tour will start and finish at Twickenham, venue for the World Cup final, with an opening match against the Barbarians on Nov. 1 and a test against England on Nov. 29. (MORE)

Nucifora given Ireland director role

DUBLIN (AP) Former Australia hooker David Nucifora has been hired as Ireland's new performance director, a wide-ranging role that will see him take responsibility for the country's national game at both domestic and international level.

The 52-year-old Nucifora held a similar role with the Australia Rugby Union and will start his five-year deal on June 1. (MORE)

Melbourne beat Western Force

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Wallabies back-rower and Melbourne captain Scott Higginbotham's try off the back of a scrum helped the Rebels to a 22-16 win over the Western Force, ending the Perth-based side's five-match winning streak on Friday.

The Rebels, in last place in the Australian conference, won for only the third time in eight matches and after consecutive close losses to the Highlanders and Chiefs in New Zealand. (MORE)

In-form Hurricanes beat Blues 39-20

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) The Hurricanes stretched their mid-season winning streak to three games, scoring three second-half tries to claim a record 39-20 win over New Zealand conference rivals the Blues in Super Rugby on Friday.

The Wellington-based Hurricanes squandered an early 13-3 lead to trail 17-13 at halftime but recovered with four second-half tries - to All Blacks Julian Savea, TJ Perenara and Conrad Smith and to replacement hooker Motu Matu'u - to post their fourth win from eight games. (MORE)

Sharks beat Lions 25-12 in Super Rugby

JOHANNESBURG (AP) A late opportunist try from flying fullback Lwazi Mvovo broke open a grinding South African derby and gave the Sharks a hard-earned 25-12 win over the Lions in Super Rugby on Saturday.

Mvovo swooped on turnover ball and used his blistering pace to chase his own chip kick for the only try in the 67th minute at Ellis Park, finally breaking the Lions' dogged resistance and helping to put the Sharks back on top of the standings. (MORE)

Crusaders beat Cheetahs 52-31

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (AP) The Crusaders scored four of their six tries in the last 17 minutes to beat the Cheetahs 52-31 in Super Rugby with a powerful finish on Saturday. Wing Nemani Nadolo collected a hat trick.

Trailing by five points after 63 minutes, the Crusaders found late energy to subdue a Cheetahs team in a free-flowing 10-try game at Free State Stadium. Super Rugby's most successful team also made it two wins from two from its tour of South Africa, lifting it within range of the playoff places. (MORE)

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