Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Latest rugby world news

French exile in Cardiff lifts eyebrows in France
French rugby fans, facing a struggle to get a ticket for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand in Cardiff, find it difficult to understand why the tournament hosts have to play a crucial match in Wales.

The reason is an agreement reached years ago between France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland under which those countries would get matches if France were awarded the 2007 tournament.

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Fiji’s stunning victory may signal seismic change in rugby world

FIJI’S historic win over Wales in the Rugby World Cup may not have inspired headline writers in the Pacific but it may have helped to change the accepted order of world rugby.

The Fiji Daily Post’s front page headline yesterday simply said, “Job well done”.

And the Fiji Sun’s front page headline was also somewhat muted, proclaiming, “Mission on track. Historic win to unite Fiji, says Tabua.”

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Ashton facing familiar midfield dilemma
Jason Robinson is expected to return to the England team for Saturday's quarter-final against Australia leaving coach Brian Ashton with the trickier decision over his midfield.

Ashton had originally planned to reveal his side for the first of the four quarter-finals on Tuesday but, with several positions still in the mix, the announcement has been delayed for 24 hours.

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NZ rugby creating plenty of 5/8th options
Some of the silliness which has surrounded much of the World Cup rugby tournament was best summed up by one of the country?s Sunday papers last weekend when it persuaded a couple of religious leaders to suggest the nation should pray for an early recovery from injury by Daniel Carter.

Instead of stating the obvious in their belief in the power of prayer they might have dismissed the queries by replying that the man upstairs is not all that interested in sport, let alone rugby. Otherwise, teams like Marist or YMCA would never suffer a loss.

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Coin toss decides who will lose shirt

New Zealand has been rebuffed repeatedly in its demands for teams to play in their traditional colours at the Rugby World Cup.

The latest appeal by NZRU chief executive Chris Moller during this tournament was met with another refusal by his International Rugby Board counterpart Mike Miller. Instead, the All Blacks face a coin toss against France to decide what jerseys they will wear for their Cardiff quarter-final.

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Rugby world cup 2007 Fixtures

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