“That type of expectation is what has driven the All Blacks to keep training hard and to give of their best”.
Sky Sports presenter Alex Payne, who was MC for the event, joked beforehand on Twitter that he was tempted to lock them in and “pop the key in the Thames”, a thought that must have crossed the mind of a few other England fans. What’s more, they entertain. Ditto for pool rivals England and Wales.
However, if Japan have to back down from hosting the World Cup, then Gosper will look to Italy or South Africa.
“(The World Cup) is the pinnacle of anyone’s rugby career. But he let them go out and have a blow out.
The only way is up for Romania at this year’s Rugby World Cup after a disastrous outing four years ago when the “Oaks” lost all four of their games in New Zealand, including a 25-9 humbling by east European rivals Georgia. Who knew there were so many Romanians in Palmerston North, or Russians in Rotorua?
It’s hardly any better in Gauteng, Free State, the Northern Cape and even the Eastern Cape where around 85 percent of boys NEVER have access to rugby at school.
At least the tournament’s legacy is being secured.
England open the Sept.18-Oct.31 tournament when they take on Fiji in Pool A at Twickenham next Friday.
Plans have been published for 50 percent black representation in the 2019 Springboks World Cup team.
South Africa Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins has defended his administration’s record in providing opportunities to non-white players at the highest level and urged the country to get behind the team for the World Cup.
And Dave Walder added: “I’m very impressed with Blind Side and it’s a great initiative with the Rugby World Cup coming up to launch a beer with a rugby theme”.
Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has also come through.
Barring a disastrous experience similar to what happened in France in 2007, Ireland are likely to be involved in a quarter-final on the weekend 17-18 October. Match officials will have Hawk-Eye technology for the first time, but the referees could also help themselves.
One of Fiji’s breakthrough results came in the North-East where they hammered a powerful Barbarians, featuring Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett, 29-6 at Gosforth Greyhound Stadium in 1970.
The Rugby Championship title boosted Australia’s confidence but doubts remain that the Wallabies have either the depth or sufficient players of world class to win a third World Cup title.