Rugby World Cup 2011: News round-up
2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN NEW ZEALAND
- 11 (nine in North Island, two in South)
- Fri 9 Sept - Sun 23 Oct
- From 0100 BST - 0930 BST
- 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
A round-up of the latest news, views and gossip from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Latest: England second row Simon Shaw has warned that rugby players will end up socialising with fans less if they become targets for those looking to sell videos and pictures to the media. "The more this continues, the less and less access the supporters will have to players because players will just hide away," he said.
Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis is growing impatient as he faces a third successive match as back-up to John Smit. "Show me a player content to sit on the bench and I will show you a liar," he said.
South Africa assistant coach Gary Gold has dismissed the suggestion that his team would ever attempt to do anything less than win every game at the World Cup. It had been suggested that some teams may benefit from a easier draw for the knockout stages by finishing as runners-up rather than winning their groups. " "It would be preposterous to even to suggest otherwise, every World Cup winner in the past has won every game they have participated in the competition," he told reporters.
Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara has insisted that he has no intention to retire at the end of the tournament. The 34-year-old, who has lost his place as first-choice stand-off to Jonathan Sexton, says he does not want his future to distract from the team's campaign. "It is losers who quit when things aren't going so well for them. Retirement hasn't entered my head seriously in that regard. I'm a fighter and I'll keep fighting until the end," he said.
Star fly-half Dan Carter is fit again and available for selection for Saturday's match against France according to All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hanson. "Great for the tournament, great for him and great for us," said Hanson.
Australia hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau believes his Wallaby team-mates are under no illusions about the need to improve on their 15-6 defeat by Ireland in Friday's match against the United States. "Collectively as a team, we knew that we fell short against Ireland and that's a great sign," he said. "I think if anyone individually said they played well then they would definitely be kidding themselves."
Despite a frank debrief in the wake of a disappointing performance in the win over Georgia, spirits seem buoyant in the England camp. "Lewis corporate captain Moody is telling jokes in the physio room!! We are all laughing AT YOU!! not with u!!" tweets hooker Steve Thompson.
In the build-up to their rematch against France at Eden Park on Saturday, the New Zealand Herald reports that Graham Henry made his squad sit through a recording of their 2007 quarter-final defeat in Cardiff. It was the first time many who played in the defeat had watched the match.
Former France fly-half Alain Penaud has used his column in l'Equipe to warn that Marc Lievremont's side could have their confidence undermined if an experimental line-up loses by a big score against the All Blacks.
New Zealand Herald writer Peter Bills has described Lievermont's selection as "an enormous raspberry at the International Rugby Board". He contends that it is an attempt to ensure a runners-up spot in Pool A and a favourable quarter-final draw.
A New Zealand electricity company has warned its customers to be careful how they display their support for the All Blacks after one fan in Auckland accidentally cut through cables as he attempted to erect 15 flagpoles in his garden. Another power cut was caused when bunting was blown into overhead wires, short-circuiting supplies to about 50 homes.