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O'Connell voted player of the tournament

DUBLIN (AP) Paul O'Connell has been named the Six Nations' best player, less than a week after leading Ireland to successive championships. (MORE)

Hurricanes beat Melbourne Rebels 36-12

(AP) -- Replacement Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two late tries as the Hurricanes extended their unbeaten start in Super Rugby to six matches with a 36-12, bonus-point win over the Melbourne Rebels on Friday. (MORE)

England Rugby World Cup CEO quits

LONDON (AP) The chief executive of the Rugby World Cup in England has suddenly quit less than six months before the tournament starts. (MORE)

Higginbotham to play 100th Super match

(AP) -- Three South African teams, led by the conference-leading Stormers, provide the fly-in opposition for New Zealand and Australian sides as Super Rugby reaches the one-third point of its season this weekend. (MORE)

Ritchie says 2nd place 'not acceptable'

LONDON (AP) The head of English rugby says the national team's latest runner-up finish in the Six Nations is "not acceptable" and rejected excuses that the side is still in a development phase under coach Stuart Lancaster. (MORE)

Italy flyhalf Haimona out for 3 months

ROME (AP) Italy and Zebre flyhalf Kelly Haimona will be sidelined for three months following an operation on a broken right arm. (MORE)

Springboks hooker Du Plessis suspended

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) Springboks and Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis was suspended for four weeks on Monday for kicking an opponent in the head during a Super Rugby game. (MORE)

Springbok's Smit out of Autumn series

JOHANNESBURG (AP) Captain John Smit will miss South Africa's end-of-season Grand Slam rugby tour to Britain and Ireland after undergoing a back operation. (MORE)

Elsom confident ahead of Hong Kong test

HONG KONG (AP) Australia may have lost 10 straight matches to New Zealand to break a 63-year record, but captain Rocky Elsom still believes the All Blacks can be beaten in their final Bledisloe Cup game of the season next month. (MORE)

Mai out of Samoa's sevens squad

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Uale Mai has withdrawn from Samoa's rugby sevens squad for next month's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi to take up a playing contract in Spain. (MORE)

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