Rugby World Cup 2011: News round-up

2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN NEW ZEALAND

Venues:
11 (nine in North Island, two in South)
Dates:
Fri 9 Sept - Sun 23 Oct
Kick-offs:
From 0100 BST - 0930 BST
Coverage:
Scores & reports on BBC Sport website plus live text commentaries on home nations and other major games; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; watch on ITV; commentary on TalkSport
Jeremy Guscott's Rugby World Cup Ones to Watch

A round-up of the latest news, views and gossip from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Latest: New Zealand wing Zac Guildford has apologised for his "excessive drinking" and has vowed to take full advantage of his opportunity after escaping a playing ban. The 22-year-old had already held discussions with All Blacks coaches after several alcohol-related incidents but was involved in another in Brisbane last month in the wake of New Zealand's Tri-Nations defeat by Australia.

Samoa centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu could face disciplinary action for his foul-mouthed Twitter rant following his country's 17-10 defeat by Wales.

The Gloucester back accused the International Rugby Board of "unfair treatment" after Samoa were forced to play for the second time in four days while Wales had a week off. Fuimaono-Sapolu accused the IRB of exploitation and compared Samoa's treatment to slavery, the holocaust and apartheid.

New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith says injured stars Richie McCaw (calf), Dan Carter (back) and Mils Muliaina (hamstring) trained on Monday and should be available to play France in the World Cup on Saturday.

"Richie had quite a big session, Daniel got through a bit of work," said Smith. "(He is) still not 100%, but he got through a pretty good training run. Mils got through a lot more sharply than he has done in the last few weeks."

Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy and lock Paul O'Connell are to have scans on hamstring injuries sustained during the 15-6 win over Australia and will be monitored throughout the week.

They have not been ruled out of Sunday's World Cup Pool C encounter with Russia as Ireland's team for the game in Rotorua will be announced on Friday.

IRB secretary general Mike Miller says he is "very happy" that the governing body's investment in second and third tier nations is reaping dividends at the World Cup.

"We've invested millions of dollars in them to give them the same sort of competitive structure, the same sort of strength and conditioning and match analysis as the top 10 countries," he told Reuters. "They don't tire in the last 20 minutes like they used to now that they're stronger and fitter and they are more sophisticated in the way that they play."

Scotland centre Graeme Morrison missed training on Sunday as a precaution because of a slight knee strain, while full-back Rory Lamont rested a tight Achilles. Hooker Scott Lawson also missed training, although his calf injury is improving.

Ireland second-row Donncha O'Callaghan says there has been a "buzz" around the Irish camp after Saturday's victory over one of the World Cup favourites Australia.

But the Munster forward warned: "It guarantees us nothing. We have two games left against two teams who will challenge us physically across the park, so we want to get ourselves right for that."

United States captain Todd Clever has been cited for two incidents of foul play during his side's 13-6 victory over Russia in their Rugby World Cup Pool C clash in New Plymouth on Thursday and is set to appear before independent judicial officer Jeff Blackett for dangerous tackling and dangerous charging.

Australia have been on the receiving end of some harsh words in the media following their 15-6 defeat by Ireland at Eden Park, with the Sydney Morning Herald describing the loss as "embarrassing" and "dumb".

Team manager Paul McNaughton has revealed Ireland will try to convince Ronan O'Gara to continue playing for Ireland after the World Cup even though the outside-half indicated his 11-year international career was almost over.

McNaughton said: "He's contracted for the next couple of years. Undoubtedly (coach) Declan Kidney and the management will be encouraging him to stay on. He's a very, very important part of the set-up here."

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