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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. (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. (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. (MORE)

Europe-based players in US squad

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. (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. (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. (MORE)

Rokoduguni handed England call-up

LONDON (AP) England gave a Fijian-born serving soldier his first call-up and left out big-name backs Chris Ashton and Danny Cipriani from its 33-man squad Wednesday for four November tests against the southern hemisphere's heavyweights. (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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Uale Mai has withdrawn from Samoa's rugby sevens squad for next month's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi to take up a playing contract in Spain.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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