Tag Archives: Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallaby skipper Moore only focused on Fiji

Wallaby skipper Stephen Moore is only focused on their first match against Fiji. Photo: SMH

Wallaby skipper Stephen Moore is only focused on their first match against Fiji. Photo: SMH

Wallaby captain Stephen Moore has already started to tune out incessant references to Australia’s World Cup “Pool of Death”, saying the team was looking no further than first-round opponents Fiji once the whips start cracking in England.

The Australians have returned to train in the sweltering Indiana heat at the University of Notre Dame following their win over the USA Eagles at Chicago’s Soldier Field, a victory unlikely to take out any beauty pageants but which crucially produced no signs of injury.

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Filed under Pool A, Rugby World Cup

Krasnoyarsk, the heartbeat of Russian rugby

Arch-rivals Krasny Yar (in green) and Yenisey-STM battle it out for Krasnoyarsk's bragging rights. Photo: IRB

Arch-rivals Krasny Yar (in green) and Yenisey-STM battle it out for Krasnoyarsk’s bragging rights. Photo: IRB

The choice of England as the host nation for next year’s Rugby World Cup is a fitting one, as it is of course the birthplace of the game. There is a good sense of continuity after the 2011 edition in New Zealand, as the Land of the Long White Cloud is considered one of the sport’s great heartlands. There is a sense of the battle for the Webb Ellis Cup moving from one side of the world to the other.

The southern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk may not be the geographical halfway point between Eden Park and Twickenham but it is not too far from it at nearly 8,000 miles from Auckland and almost 4,500 miles from London. So, perhaps it is apt that the Russian city is to play host to the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier between Russia and Zimbabwe with a place in the repechage final against either Uruguay or Hong Kong up for grabs.

Krasnoyarsk is a city that represents the love and passion for rugby outside the traditional strength of Europe’s Six Nations and the southern hemisphere hotbeds of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina. Irish rugby fans may be somewhat familiar with the city as it played host to Ireland in 2002 as part of the qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2003.

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Filed under Feature, Focus on rwc, IRB, Repechage, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Island honour on line in ‘Battle of Pacific’

Samoa faces Fiji at the ANZ Stadium in Suva tomorrow. Photo: IRB

Samoa faces Fiji at the ANZ Stadium in Suva tomorrow. Photo: IRB

The final Pacific Conference match of Pacific Nations Cup 2014 will see Fiji host Samoa in Suva on Saturday 21 June to determine who will finish as the top side in the region.

Both teams have performed well in recent weeks with Fiji moving up one place in the IRB World Rankings to 10th following good wins over Italy (25-14) and Tonga (45-17) this month. Samoa, who drew against Tonga 18-all and defeated Italy 15-0 last week, also climbed up a spot to 9th.

The last time the two teams met was at PNC 2012 in Tokyo when Samoa edged Fiji 29-26. However, in 2011 in Suva, Fiji won 36-18. So it is all to play for and pride is at stake in what locals are describing as the ‘Battle of the Pacific.”

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Filed under Canada, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, International, IRB, Manu Samoa, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Nations Cup, Test, Tonga, USA