Rugby World Cup 2011: News round-up

2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN NEW ZEALAND

Venues:
Quarters: Wellington & Auckland; semis/final: Auckland
Dates:
Quarters: 8/9 Oct; Semis: 15/16 Oct; Final: Sun 23 Oct
Kick-offs:
Quarters: 0600/0830 BST; Semis and final 0900
Coverage:
Live text commentary, scores & reports on BBC Sport website; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; watch on ITV;
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw
McCaw is New Zealand's talisman following the withdrawal of Dan Carter

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

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw has played down his foot injury ahead of the All Blacks' quarter-final against Argentina on Sunday. "It's just a niggle, I'm not running around in excruciating pain," he said. "I've dealt with niggles for over 10 years, and everyone's getting a bit too excited about it."

The teacher who coached both Dan Carter and Colin Slade at school says Slade could actually end up becoming the better player. Carter, the highest points scorer in Test rugby, was ruled out of the World Cup last week after suffering a groin injury. It was a huge blow for the tournament favourites, especially as his replacement lacks experience at the highest level. Yet Stephen Dods, head of sport at Christchurch Boys High, believes Slade could keep Carter out of the side permanently. "Colin could be better than Dan and then Dan might not get back in," he said.

South Africa lock Victor Matfield is confident that Kiwi fans will be supporting his side when they face Australia in their quarter-final on Sunday. "I think they hate the Aussies more than they hate us," he told reporters ahead of the game.

Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has slammed the International Rugby Board (IRB) for allowing a Welshman to referee his country's World Cup loss to South Africa last week, which saw Wales make the quarter-finals at their expense. He has also accused the IRB of bias towards the northern hemisphere and called for a 'British Lions' team to replace England, Wales and Scotland in the competition.

Australian scrum-half Will Genia says they are prepared to resort to "boring" rugby and even drop-goals if that's what they need to win their World Cup quarter final against South Africa.

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