Tag Archives: Rugby World Cup

Lloyd Williams happy to wing it for Wales

williamsScrum-half forced to play out of position reveals he and Gareth Davies re-create try that beat England for fun
The experiences of scrum-half Lloyd Williams sum up the story of Wales so far at Rugby World Cup 2015.
The Welsh have reached a quarter-final meeting against South Africa on Saturday despite suffering a remarkable series of injuries. Williams has twice been forced to play out of position on the wing when he has come on as a replacement.
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World Cup quarter-finals confirmed

The William Webb-Ellis Cup will be up for grabs for the winner of the competition which ends at the month. Photo: Planet Rugby

The William Webb-Ellis Cup will be up for grabs for the winner of the competition which ends at the month. Photo: Planet Rugby

We’re set for four epic quarter-finals at the 2015 Rugby World Cup to be held in London and Cardiff.

The headline fixture is arguably the rematch of the 2007 quarter-final between France and New Zealand as they meet at the same venue, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

There is an even split between the hemispheres with all four matches North v South clashes.

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England red-faced over shove by Fiji forwards

England skipper Chris Robshaw faces Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa in the RWC opening match at Twickenham. Photo: The Guardian

England skipper Chris Robshaw faces Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa in the RWC opening match at Twickenham. Photo: The Guardian

England’s pack under scrutiny at Rugby World Cup after scrum was pushed off own ball by supposedly inferior Fiji forwards

A game in and already England have a rallying point to crowd round. How they react will go some way to defining their progress or otherwise from Pool A. It happened just shy of the half-hour mark in Friday’s win over Fiji. Such is the incident’s notoriety that there should not be need for too much introduction. Nevertheless, let’s set the scene.

England have just been torn apart by some typically Fijian brilliance by Nikola Matawalu, who failed to score a solo try only because he dropped the ball in stretching for the line. Relief surged round Twickenham. England were awarded a five-metre scrum. They had survived the demonstration of what Fiji do; now they could resort to what they do.

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Fiji loses opener to hosts

Clash of props . . . Fiji's prop Campese Ma'afu (right) confronts England counterpart Dan Coles. Photo: Getty Images

Clash of props . . . Fiji’s prop Campese Ma’afu (right) confronts England counterpart Dan Coles. Photo: Getty Images

England left it late but came away from their Rugby World Cup opener with a bonus point 35-11 win over a punishing Fiji side at Twickenham.

Late tries from Mike Brown and Billy Vunipola in many ways glossed over a number of issues for Stuart Lancaster and the rest of his coaches to address – although they had time to do so during multiple lengthy stoppages involving the television match official.

England never hit the pace they set at their best against Ireland in their final warm-up match due to a combination of clear jitters along with Fiji’s refusal to let them settle.

Head coach John McKee and scrum coach Alan Muir’s work with Fiji means they are no longer a soft touch at the scrum, that crucial area in the past where teams have dominated them. No more, on this basis at least.

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No one is feeling comfortable in our World Cup pool, says Australia’s coach

Michael Cheika, Australia's coach, fields the questions at the MacDonald Bath Spa hotel on Tuesday. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Michael Cheika, Australia’s coach, fields the questions at the MacDonald Bath Spa hotel on Tuesday. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Michael Cheika believes that all five teams in Pool A will be feeling concerned about their World Cup prospects but welcomes the challenge

Australia does not sack its rugby coaches with quite the regularity it dumps prime ministers. However, if Michael Cheika is to keep the Wallabies job longer than Tony Abbott ran the country then results at the World Cup clearly have to go his way, no easy matter considering the opposition – three sides in the world’s top 10 – coming his way.

First up Fiji, the new Pacific champions and ranked ninth in the world, followed by Uruguay, pool outsiders but still inside World Rugby’s top 20, England, the home nation ranked fourth, and then Wales, one further off in fifth spot.

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Fiji training with ‘crowd noise’

National Fiji coach John McKee trained the Fiji team simulating noises from Twickenham. Photo: Getty Images

National Fiji coach John McKee trained the Fiji team simulating noises from Twickenham. Photo: Getty Images

Fiji head coach John McKee has revealed how the side have used loud speakers in training to prepare for Twickenham on Friday.

A sell-out crowd will watch the Pacific Island side face Rugby World Cup hosts England in the opening game of the 2015 tournament.

Expecting a raucous atmosphere, Fiji have prepared accordingly by attempting to recreate similar noise levels to Friday night.

“We had a little bit of a strategy earlier in the campaign in Fiji, we had a PA system playing crowd noise and the sounds from Twickenham,” said McKee.

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Fighting spirit; the problems Fiji must overcome

Mosese Rauluni leads the Fiji team in the cibi. Photo: Rugby World

Mosese Rauluni leads the Fiji team in the cibi. Photo: Rugby World

This feature first appeared in the January 2015 issue of Rugby World magazine

ON THE outskirts of Perthshire, Mosese Rauluni takes one look out of the window and shouts at the very top of his voice: “Stop the bus!”

The driver slams on the breaks and before he knows it, the Dundee High FP flyer emerges from the bus, two pints in hand, giggling in delight. He has never seen snow before.

His Scottish team-mates look on in bemusement – they had not really known this Australian-reared playmaker for long, though his brother Jacob did play for the club before and Mosese had given a good account of himself in a first outing against Kilmarnock – but there was something endearing about a thrilled Rauluni falling onto his back in the freshly lain powder and laughing.

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