Rugby World Cup 2011: News round-up

2011 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN NEW ZEALAND

Venues:
Third-place play-off and final: Eden Park, Auckland
Dates:
Third-place play-off: Fri 21 Oct: Final: Sun 23 Oct
Kick-offs:
Final 0900 BST; Third-place PO: 0830
Coverage:
Live text commentary, scores & reports on BBC Sport website; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; watch on ITV.
Referee Craig Joubert of South Africa
Joubert will be the second South African to referee a World Cup final

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

Craig Joubert of South Africa will referee the World Cup final between New Zealand and France on Sunday. His assistant referees will be Welshman Nigel Owens and Ireland's Alain Rolland, who sent off Wales captain Sam Warburton in their semi-final defeat by France on Saturday.

The New Zealand media were understandably overjoyed after their 20-6 win over Australia to reach their first World Cup final since 1995. "This is our time!" ran a headline in Wellington's Dominion Post. The New Zealand Herald's front page headline screamed "Final-ly!". Under the headline "Epic All Blacks deliver on huge night", the Herald's Dylan Cleaver wrote: "Yes we can and yes we did - in style. Twenty-four years after New Zealand and France played the first Rugby World Cup final on Eden Park, the two teams will meet there again."

New Zealand lock Brad Thorn says the best way to have a stress-free build-up to the final would be to ignore the media. In a stellar cross-code career, Thorn has played in a host of big games for the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australia rugby league sides, as well as for the Crusaders and All Blacks in the XV-man code. "There's the hype and then there's reality," said Thorn. "I won't be reading much this week, just preparing for the battle, from the first minute to the 80th."

Top Stories