Australia flanker David Pocock has been ruled out of the World Cup Pool C clash against Ireland because of a sore back. The influential back rower will be replaced by Ben McCalman, with Wycliff Palu coming onto the Wallabies bench for the Eden Park match. "It's more of an ongoing irritation than anything serious, scans have shown nothing sinister, but David is a key member of our group. We would rather give him a bit of time to get it right before putting him back out there," said Australia coach Robbie Deans.
France prop Nicolas Mass will be sidelined for at least two weeks, with a strained hamstring ruling him out of France's remaining group games. Les Bleus play Canada on Sunday, with two more gruelling encounters against New Zealand and Tonga still to come. Coach Liveremont admitted: "If one of the props gets injured this weekend, it will become complicated."
Flanker Tom Wood believes England will have to be "very alert" during their Rugby World Cup tie against Georgia on Sunday as the match is unlikely to end in the same scoreline as in 2003 when England, then captained by Martin Johnson, beat the underdogs 84-6 in the pool stages. "They're very physical, they play off scraps a lot of the time and they make things work for them," said Wood.
France coach Marc Lievremont abruptly ended a news conference after a terse exchange with a journalist over his team selection against Canada and whether he should have demanded that Toulouse release their utility back Jean-Marc Doussain earlier. Doussain was called up on Wednesday to replace injured fly-half David Skrela, but will not arrive until Tuesday because Toulouse insisted he played on Friday. Asked why he didn't pressure Toulouse, Lievremont said: "I'm not going back over this issue. We'll stop there." Then he got up and walked away.