Rugby World Cup: News in Brief – Thursday, October 1

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Rugby World Cup organisers have released this video of the first 100 tries scored at this year’s Rugby World Cup

 

Wales injury crisis? What Wales injury crisis?

Wales coach Warren Gatland has insisted he is confident that his squad’s injury woes will not affect chances of beating Fiji in Thursday’s crucial Pool A clash.

Warren Gatland in full Welsh pygmy mode...

Warren Gatland in full Welsh pygmy mode…

Having arrived at the Rugby World Cup without full-back and goal-kicker Leigh Halfpenny, first-choice scrum-half Rhys Webb and centre Jonathan Davies, Gatland has since lost Corey Allen to a hamstring tear and Scott Williams and Hallam Amos to knee and shoulder injuries respectively. Meanwhile, Liam Williams will miss the Fiji game as he goes through concussion protocols, but is expected to be fit for the Australia clash next week.

But Gatland refuses to pre-prepare any excuses. “We’ve dusted ourselves down and we’re ready to get on with it,” he told reporters at a press conference. “Yes, we’ve had some bad luck in terms of the number of injuries, but you won’t see anybody inside the camp making any excuses. One door closes and another door opens. There is an opportunity for the new players to come in and make their mark.”

Meanwhile, click here to see another one of those Hitler reacts to news of pastiches

 

Is Wilko really ignoring Giteau?

Australia centre Matt Giteau has said former England fly-half, his High and Mighty Imperial Galactic Majesty Lord Sir Jonny of Wilkinson has not been answering his calls this week before the crucial match between the two nations at Twickenham.

 

Joseph returns to England midfield

Jonathan Joseph has been recalled to the England starting line-up in place of Sam Burgess for Saturday’s crucial game against Australia.

Jonathan Joseph

Jonathan Joseph

Burgess returns to bench-warming duties as Joseph, who missed the 28-25 defeat to Wales with a chest injury returns to partner Brad Barritt in midfield.

Ben Morgan and Joe Launchbury replace Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes. Harlequins’ aged number eight Nick Easter, 37, is on the bench after being called up for his third Rugby World Cup as a replacement for Vunipola, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee ligament strain.

 

Another reshuffle for France

PSA leads the way... or not

PSA leads the way… or not

Tinkerman Philippe Saint-Andre has rung the changes yet again as France, looking for their third win of this Rugby World Cup, prepare to take on Canada.

Only three players from the 38-11 win over Romania have made it to the starting line-up for the Canada game – Bernard Le Roux, Brice Dulin and Wesley Fofana.

Le Roux moves from second row to openside and Dulin shifts to left wing, with Scott Spedding squeezing into the 15 jersey. Another record: Remy Grosso becomes the 83rd player to wear France colours during the PSA error era. The Castres winger dashed over to England following Yoann Huget’s tournament-ending injury and and starts against Canada.

Meanwhile, following his filmed halftime hairdryer moment earlier in the tournament, it probably would not be wise to mention to PSA that the only time Canada have beaten France in eight attempts was when he was captain of Les Bleus.

 

Locks in a hard place

From the outside, Ireland is a happy camp right now, with few injury niggles and plenty of inter-match team-building activities. But lock Donnacha Ryan would prefer to forget a recent visit to a popular theme park in Staffordshire.

Neither the 6ft 7in second-rower, or his 6ft 10in engine-room buddy Devin Toner could fit into many of the rides at the popular attraction.

Ryan claims the pair were ‘roped into’ going…

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James Harrington... Before injury brought his rugby career to a timely end, journalist James was equally useless whether he packed down in the second row or at number 8, positions in which he represented his school and university with indistinction. The prolific one now lives in France with his journalist wife and three children and watches as much Top 14, European and international action he thinks he can get away with; justifying his obsession by claiming: "But it's all work, Honey!"

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