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

Wales have named an unchanged starting line-up to face Samoa on Sunday, but prop Gethin Jenkins returns on the bench. Samoa are forced into one switch - injured flanker Tasina Tuifua is replaced by Ofisa Trevaranius for the clash in Hamilton.

Meanwhile in Samoa, a 17-year-old named Wales after a famous win by the islanders in 1994 will celebrate whoever wins the Pool D encounter.

Wasps centre Riki Flutey has emerged as favourite to replace the injured Andrew Sheridan in England's World Cup squad, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Captain Richie McCaw has pulled out of the All Blacks team to face Japan on Friday due to a calf muscle strain. The 30-year-old, who was due to make a record 100th Test appearance, picked up the injury during training on Wednesday and now joins fly-half Dan Carter on the sidelines. Full-back Mils Muliaina also withdrew with a hamstring problem sustained in training with his potential replacement, Israel Dagg, out of action with an abdominal strain.

Australia have recalled James O'Connor to the starting line-up for the first time since he was suspended for indiscipline for Saturday's Pool C fixture against Ireland at Eden Park. O'Connor missed an event to announce the Wallabies World Cup squad and was subsequently dropped, but the 21-year-old returns on the wing to replace Digby Ioane who fractured his thumb in their opening victory over Italy.

Stade Francais lock Tom Palmer is hoping to become an England regular again in place of the suspended Courtney Lawes. Palmer came on for the last 15 minutes in England's opening victory against Argentina, the third successive time he has come on as a replacement. England are due to announce their team to face Georgia on Friday at 0330 BST.

Full-back Patrick Lambie, who has been battling a shoulder injury, says his selection in the South Africa team to play Fiji on Saturday is "a million times better than Christmas morning". The 20-year-old is set to make his World Cup debut at the same ground at Wellington where he made his first starting appearance for the Springboks.

South Africa lock Bakkies Botha, whose chances of playing at the World Cup looked uncertain when the team doctor said his chronic Achilles tendon injury was not responding to treatment "as we had anticipated", has recovered sufficiently to be named in the squad to team to face Fiji. "Definitely I'll still feel a little bit of stiffness but it's like old farm vehicles in the morning," said the 75-test veteran. "It smokes a bit when you drive it around for half an hour then it's hot and it will go. So hopefully everything will run smoothly for me."

Romania coach Romeo Gontineac has made five changes to his starting 15 for his side's fixture against Argentina on Saturday at the windy Rugby Park Stadium. Tiberius Dimofte will start at fly-half as Marin Dumbrava drops to the bench and will partner Florin Surugiu who was preferred at scrum-half to veteran Lucian Sirbu. Centre Constantin Gheara and wing Ionel Cazan were also called up.

Tonga coach Isitolo Maka refused to blame his decision to make sweeping changes for their shock defeat to Canada on Wednesday. Maka made 11 changes to the starting 15 who faced New Zealand in their opening fixture. "I thought we needed some fresh legs on the field," said Maka. "We certainly had that, we just made the wrong decisions at the wrong time."

Fiji coach Sam Domoni has made three changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's Test against defending champions South Africa. Sakiusa Matadigo comes in at number eight in place of Netani Talei and Akapusi Qera on the openside flank ahead of Mala Ravulo.

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