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: Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi plays down reports linking him with a move to Super 15. "I am loving playing rugby for England," says the 20-year-old. "This is my first World Cup and hopefully it won't be my last. When you do something you like, you want to do it all your life. I feel pretty lucky to be playing for Leicester and England. I am really happy."
The All Blacks will consider pulling out of the 2015 Rugby World Cup unless commercial restrictions imposed on teams are revamped, according to New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief Steve Tew. "That's obviously a last resort," he told Radio New Zealand. The International Rugby Board (IRB) says it is committed to addressing the financial concerns .
After team training in Wellington, New Zealand players and staff gather to hold up letters reading "Get Well Jonah - Kia Kaha (Be Strong)" in a message of support to former All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu, who has been admitted to hospital after a health scare relating to his kidneys.
Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi predicts a "gruesome battle" when England and Scotland meet on Saturday in a match which has the power to determine whether his Pumas squad progresses to the Rugby World Cup finals.
Russia hooker Valery Tsnobiladze's World Cup is brought to a premature end on Wednesday as he is banned for three weeks for head-butting Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien.
Captain Mahonri Schwalger insists that Samoa will hold nothing back in their critical match against South Africa on Friday. "This is our last chance," says Schwalger, whose side must win to have a chance of reaching quarter-finals. "It's going to be a hell of a Test match."
France defence coach Dave Ellis says his side are playing it "too clean" at the breakdown and need to be more streetwise to slow down opposition ball. The French face Tonga in Wellington on Saturday needing a victory to ensure their progress to the quarter-finals from Pool A.
Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy has come up with a new way of dealing with Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni when the teams meet on Sunday. "I'm thinking of leaving some baskets of chips in the corners," suggests Murphy, who co-owns an Italian restaurant with Leicester team-mate Castrogiovanni. "That should do it. The amount he eats, it should distract him quite nicely."