Rugby World Cup 2011: News round-up
2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN NEW ZEALAND
- Semi-finals, third-place play-off and final: Eden Park, Auckland
- Semis: 15/16 Oct; Third-place play-off: Fri 21 Oct: Final: Sun 23 Oct
- Semis and final 0900 BST; Third-place PO: 0830
- Live text commentary, scores & reports on BBC Sport website; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; watch on ITV.
A round-up of the latest news, views and gossip from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Latest: Australia scrum-half Will Genia is "100% confident" they can beat New Zealand in their semi-final on Sunday, having triumphed in their Tri-Nations decider in August. "I don't know if I could be more confident," said Genia. "I don't want to sound arrogant, I'm not that sort of bloke. I'm not cocky or arrogant, but I really believe in the guys that we have in this group that we can do it."
Tactical briefing notes about England's on-field moves and training drills were discovered at Ireland's team hotel in Wellington. Nine pages of A3 paper inside a cardboard folder were discovered in an empty conference room at the Inter-Continental Hotel, three days before England were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France. Among other things the papers detail 'Exit Fix-Ups' and Red Zone' tactics, with the advice 'Adapt if required'. At one stage it looked as if England could play Ireland in the semi-finals.
All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has been discharged from hospital. A spokesman for Auckland City Hospital confirmed Lomu left the renal unit on Monday afternoon, after being admitted with kidney failure 16 days ago. Lomu had been undergoing intensive daily dialysis and other treatment to repair the kidney he received in a 2004 transplant.
Around 7,000 tickets across most price categories are still available for Saturday's first semi-final between Wales and France. Category A tickets cost NZ$797 (£398), while Category D tickets are NZ$296 (£148). World Cup organisers have reached 99% of their ticket revenue target with four matches remaining, having sold NZ$265.6m (£132.6m) worth of tickets. They had targeted NZ$268.5m to achieve a NZ$39m loss on the tournament. Organisers are only allowed to keep revenue from ticket sales and are forced to pay a hosting fee to the International Rugby Board and cover the costs of the tournament - about NZ$310m (£154.8m).
Australia coach Robbie Deans has given his full support to under-fire playmaker Quade Cooper. The New Zealand-born Wallabies international was criticised for his performance in his country's narrow 11-9 quarter-final victory over South Africa. ''Quade is a pretty resilient character, as you've already seen,'' said Deans ahead of Sunday's semi-final clash with the All Blacks. ''He's delighted, as we all are, that we got through that challenge [the Springboks]. He was part of that. He did some good things within that and was the point of difference on occasions.''
New Zealand's quarter-final hero Piri Weepu experienced the ultimate in highs and lows when, after inspiring the All Blacks to a 33-10 victory over Argentina, he was told his grandfather had died. Weepu's father Bill delivered the sad news of Johnny Lui's death to his man-of-the-match son just hours after the match. "He was really cut up and he could hardly talk," said Bill. "I knew he was crying."
South Africa captain and hooker John Smit and lock Victor Matfield are retiring from Test rugby in the wake of their side's quarter-final defeat by Australia. "We did set some goals which we did not achieve and we've had to put on some brave faces - it's been an emotional two days," said Smit. "But I don't want to let this loss be a reflection of the last 10-11 years. It's been a wonderful ride and I have no regrets." Meanwhile, Matfield also revealed he had left the international stage with no regrets, adding: "We did everything we could. There's no thoughts of 'if we had done that little thing differently we could have won the World Cup'. We never gave up."
Wales have risen two places to fourth in the latest world rankings after beating Ireland, who are down to seventh. Australia have leapfrogged South Africa into second place after their quarter-final win over the Springboks, while France jumped up three places to fifth after their victory over England, who have dropped to sixth. New Zealand remain at number one.