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
Referee Steve Walsh
Steve Walsh was suspended after an altercation with England in 2003

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

Latest: Steve Walsh - who received a three-day suspension for "inappropriate behaviour" following an altercation with the then-England fitness coach Dave Reddin in 2003 - will referee England's quarter-final against France.

South Africa's Craig Joubert will take charge of the last-eight clash between Wales and Ireland in Wellington, while Nigel Owens will referee New Zealand's tie with Argentina and Bryce Lawrence is the man in the middle for South Africa's match against Australia.

Australia winger Digby Ioane could play in the quarter-finals against South Africa after recovering from the fractured thumb he sustained in the opening match against Italy.

Dan Carter's mum broke down in tears when recalling how she and her husband were unable to get a flight to Wellington to be with her son after the New Zealand outside-half was ruled out of the World Cup through injury.

France centre Fabrice Estebanez could miss the rest of the World Cup after being banned for three weeks for a dangerous tackle on Tonga's Joseph Tuineau on Saturday. The 29-year-old looks set to miss his country's quarter-final clash with England, although he has 48 hours to appeal against the decision.

Carter, who was due to captain the All Blacks against Canada, has described coming to terms with a tournament-ending injury as "pretty challenging". Speaking about the injury for the first time, the 29-year-old said: "Being around the team really spurs me on to think positively and try to help them out. Moping around isn't going to help them."

England winger Mark Cueto has defended his team's off-field conduct and insisted there are no more skeletons in the closet. "We know exactly where we are at now, and I am sure there will be no more stories like that to come out," he said.

Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes his team's captain Sam Warburton has proven himself to be one of the best flankers in the world after impressing in New Zealand. "Somebody that doesn't know the first thing about rugby would understand that Sam is doing exceptionally well," said Edwards.

"He's everything you want in a modern-day professional athlete. He's teetotal, he looks after his body and he's had a really good, strong injury-free run, which in the past he hasn't really had."

Wales full-back Lee Byrne says Wales are in "great shape" for their quarter-final clash with Ireland on Saturday. "We are here for another week, but we want to stay for longer," he said. "The boys are really enjoying being at the tournament and we have got high ambitions."

Tournament organisers have announced that more than a million fans have attended the World Cup's pool matches, with sales boosted by four sell-out Tests over the weekend.

England forward James Haskell says England should be wary of a France backlash after Les Bleus stumbled into the knockout stages on the back of a shock defeat by Tonga. "I would never say that France look weak," said the former Stade Francais number eight. "They are always very passionate, always very tough, and everyone raises their game to try to beat the English, as we saw again against Scotland."

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