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Europe-based players in US squad

(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)

BOULDER, Colorado (AP) United States coach Mike Tolkin has included a host of Europe-based players in a 35-man squad for a series of matches next month including a Nov. 1 test against New Zealand in Chicago.

USA Rugby and Premiership Rugby recently reached an agreement to allow leading American players based in Britain, France and Japan to play against the All Blacks at the Soldier Field NFL stadium. Among them: Cameron Dolan and Samu Manoa of Northhampton; Newcastle's Eric Fry; Leicester's Blaine Scully; and Hayden Smith and Chris Wyles of Saracens.

Thretton Palamon will be able to leave Saracens to play against Tonga in Gloucester, England, on Nov. 15, and Fiji in Vannes, France, on Nov. 22. The Eagles also will play Romania in Bucharest on Nov. 8.


Beale not wanted for Wallabies tour

SYDNEY (AP) The Australian Rugby Union says recently-disciplined backline star Kurtley Beale will not join the Wallabies for their November tour to Europe.

Beale was found guilty of a serious violation of the ARU's code of conduct at a hearing Friday and was fined $45,000, but not suspended, for sending an offensive photograph to a team official. (MORE)

Beale fined but avoids further ban

SYDNEY (AP) Kurtley Beale has been fined 45,000 Australian dollars ($40,000) for sending an offensive photograph to a female Australian Rugby Union employee but has avoided tougher sanctions that could have included termination of his contract.

An independent tribunal found Beale guilty of a serious violation of the code of conduct for the offensive text to the team's business manager in June, but decided there was not enough evidence to establish a second more offensive message was sent by Beale, an ARU statement said late Friday. (MORE)

Japan preferred as 18th Super Rugby team

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Japan will take the 18th spot in an expanded Super Rugby competition from 2016.

The Japan Rugby Union was told by the executive committee of governing body SANZAR on Friday that it was preferred ahead of Singapore as the 18th team when Super Rugby expands from 15 teams in two years. (MORE)

Record demand for World Cup tickets

LONDON (AP) A total of 950,000 tickets to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England were sold last month from a record application for more than five million tickets.

Tournament organizer England Rugby 2015 announced the news on Thursday. (MORE)

Folau named Australia player of the year

SYDNEY (AP) Fullback Israel Folau has won the top individual honor in Australian rugby union after clinching the John Eales Medal.

Folau won the award for Australia's international player of the year, based on voting by Wallabies teammates after each test dating to November. (MORE)

Cheika appointed Wallabies head coach

SYDNEY (AP) Michael Cheika has taken over as Wallabies head coach on a three-year contract and will be allowed to remain in charge of the New South Wales Waratahs next season in a deal rushed through before the Australian squad leaves on a five-match European tour.

Cheika's appointment was confirmed Wednesday, less than four days after Ewen McKenzie announced the end of his tumultuous 15-month stint as coach in the wake of Australia's last-minute 29-28 loss to New Zealand on Saturday night. (MORE)

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