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WORLD CUP 2015 RUGBY

Thursday September 17 2015 www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk

UNLOCKING JOE SCHMIDT

Vincent Hogan on the enigmatic Ireland head coach Stephen Ferris a brilliant career brought to book YOUR PULLOUT RWC WALLCHART

2015 RUGBY WORLD CUP

IRELAND’S BEST CALL Nowisthetimefortheteam to deliver ontheworldstage

PLUS: ConorMurrayonwhyIrelandlookgood+AlanQuinlan’splayerprofiles+Team-by-teamguide


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Time to deliver as the world awaits F OUR years on from that spectacular night in Auckland when New Zealand ended their long wait for the William Webb Ellis Cup, the world regathers in England to do it all again. On Friday night in Twickenham, the eighth Rugby World Cup gets underway when the hosts take on Fiji and, over the next seven weeks, the great and good will clash until a champion is found. Since its inception, the World Cup has come to define the sport, delivering historic moments like Michael Lynagh’s try to deny Ireland in 1991, Nelson Mandela’s arrival at Ellis Park four years later and Jonny Wilkinson’s drop-goal in 2003. Only four countries have captured the small gold trophy since 1987, and that closed shop of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England make up the leading favourites once again.

However, the list of those in the running can be extended to include perennial contenders France, Six Nations champions Ireland and a Wales side who reached the semi-final four years ago. From humble origins, the competition has grown into a global force and organisers this time around are confident of pulling off a show to remember. Although Ireland’s games will be confined to London and Cardiff for the duration of the tournament, they will combine traditional rugby venues with some of English football’s most iconic grounds during the coming months, while the Olympic Stadium will add something different altogether. That the tournament takes place so close to home offers Irish fans a chance to support their team in large numbers despite some astronomical ticket prices, and that backing

should help Joe Schmidt’s side out of some tight corners in the weeks to come. New Zealand, the world champions, remain the No1 team in the game and will be determined to win an away World Cup for the first time. However, they have a history of losing their way during these tournaments and won’t want to meet France along the way, given their history together. They have expectation to deal with, as do England, who will have to cope with the burden of hosting the competition and all that goes with it. Waiting in the wings are Ireland, two-time European champions and primed to make history by reaching the semi-finals at least. It’s time to deliver, bring it on.

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WORLD CUP 2015 RUGBY

Wednesday September 17 2015

www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk

UNLOCKING JOE SCHMIDT

Vincent Hogan on the enigmatic Ireland head coach Stephen Ferris a brilliant career brought to book YOUR PULLOUT RWC WALLCHART

14

2015 RUGBY WORLD CUP

IRELAND’S BEST CALL

Nowisthetimefortheteam to deliver ontheworldstage

PLUS: ConorMurrayonwhyIrelandlookgood+AlanQuinlan’splayerprofiles+Team-by-teamguide

4-7 NO ORDINARY JOE Vincent Hogan unravels theJOE 4-7 7 NO ORDINARY Joe Schmidt enigma Vincent Hogan unravels the Joe Schmidt enigma

8 SEVEN RWC KINGS Duncan Bech RWC assesses who is the 8 SEVEN KINGS

Duncan Bechfacet assesses is the ‘king’ of each of thewho game ‘king’ of each facet of the game

10&11 THE TIME IS NOW 10&11 THE IS NOW France game the TIME key for Ireland as they

France game the than key for Ireland look to go further ever beforeas they look to go further than ever before

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12 SIX SHOOTERS 12 SHOOTERS The SIX players who are set to make a lasting

The playersduring who are to make a lasting impression thisset year’s tournament impression during this year’s tournament

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14 BROUGHT TO BOOK 14 KEARNEY’S GAMES Ulster legend Stephen MIND Ferris prepares to

Rob reveals how meditation helps him to tell all get in the zone during big-match build-up

16&17 RWC WALL CHART 16&17 CHART Keep trackRWC of everyWALL team’s progress with

Keep track of every team’s progress your complete match-by-match guidewith your complete match-by-match guide

18 CHEIKA’S AUSSIE RULE 18 CHEIKA’S AUSSIE RULE Rocky Elstrom on how the ex-Leinster Rocky Elstrom on howthe theWallabies ex-Leinster coach has rejuvenated coach has rejuvenated the Wallabies

20&21 DIGGING DEEP 20&21 DIGGING DEEP Conor Murray tells why he believes IreConor Murray tells why he believes land can draw on their Six Nations sucIreland can draw on their Six Nations cesses as they take on the world successes as they take on the world

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22&23 PLAYER 22&23 PLAYERGUIDE GUIDE

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Alan Quinlan’s Alan Quinlan’sprofiles profilesIreland’s Ireland’s Rugby World Rugby WorldCup Cupsquad squad

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24&25 MAGIC 24&25 MAGICMOMENTS MOMENTS

Cian Tracey’s Cian Tracey’sten tenmost mostmemorable memorableIrish Irish events in events in the the Rugby RugbyWorld WorldCup Cup

26 TAKE 26 TAKE YOUR YOURSEATS SEATS

Your stadium-by-stadium Your stadium-by-stadiumguide guidetotothe the venues hosting venues hostingthe theRWC RWCmatches matches

28&29 THE 28&29 THEPOOL POOLOF OFDEATH DEATH

Who will Who will go go on onto tothe theknockout knockoutstage stagefrom from the toughest the toughestgroup groupininthe thetournament? tournament?

30&31 TEAMS 30&31 TEAMSIN INPROFILE PROFILE We assess assess each eachsquad’s squad’schances chances of winning winning the theRugby RugbyWorld WorldCup Cup

Published byby Belfast Telegraph Published Independent Newspapers, 124 RoyalTalbot Avenue, Newspapers, 27–32 Belfast BT1 Street, Dublin 1, 1EB Ireland Editor: David David Courtney Courtney Editor: Production: Backbench Backbench Production:

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ABOUT SCHMIDT

H

E IS two people really, two strangers it can be a struggle to reconcile. Out of a tracksuit, Joe Schmidt emits the bashfulness of a scout being lauded for a perfect reef knot. Chat-show compliments disarm him. He blows his cheeks out, his eyebrows arch. He looks to the world like a man faintly startled by his own body of accomplishments. But, in uniform, that personality stiffens. He becomes intense, instinctively controlling. At times, he can seem as pre-occupied as a scholar bent over sacred texts. Schmidt’s genius communicates itself at two starkly different settings then. He can be Huckleberry Finn.

His shy and affable manner away from the training ground belies an intense obsession that is at the heart of his success. Vincent Hogan profiles the enigmatic head coach who leads Ireland into the World Cup He can be Rommel. Either way, he makes things work. There is an exchange in Tom English’s book ‘No Borders — Playing Rugby for Ireland’ that captures the efficacy of Schmidt’s authority. It relates to a training camp at Carton House and the coach’s response to one of his players unwittingly dropping his key-card in a hotel corridor.

Rory Best recalls: “Joe found it and brought it into the team-meeting. He says, ‘Just to let you know that somebody on their way to their room dropped their key and holder on the floor and that sort of stuff won’t be tolerated. If we’re sloppy off the pitch, then we’ll be sloppy on it.’ I was sitting there thinking ‘Oh my God!’”

Paul O’Connell recounts how Schmidt likened the lost key-card to “littering in a hotel”. The tone with which the players’ speak of their national coach transmits a quiet understanding that standards set are not negotiable. In the same book, Andrew Trimble talks of one of Schmidt’s earliest Ireland squad gatherings and how,

when the coach entered the teamroom, he noticed one particular Leinster player suddenly sit “bolt upright”. As Trimble puts it, “It was like the head teacher had walked into the room.” Schmidt may just be the best coach in world rugby today but, with the tang of autumn in the air, he has begun to hear quiet scrapings of scepticism from the press box. The World Cup looms like a gigantic, onrushing machine and it would scarcely have been his plan to meet it on the back of consecutive warm-up defeats. Those close to him have little

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‘SCHMIDT HAS CHANGED THE WAY RUGBY PEOPLE IN IRELAND SEE THEMSELVES’ FROM PAGE 4 doubt he will have been stung by some of the more caustic, egocentric commentary on the apparent unravelling of momentum for the back-to-back Six Nations champions. Has his intensity simply worn them down? Or is this a giant poker table at which he is sitting with a second deck? There were discreet dressing-room grumbles after last year’s summer tour to Argentina that a scarcity of “downtime” had siphoned much of the humour from the group. That the schedule became a wearying marathon of practice and incessant review. But the coach’s record brooks no serious quarrel given his story is distinguished by a stockpile of trophies. He figures teams out, he wins things. He has, as Tommy Bowe puts it, “eyes in the back of his head”. In smart dressing-rooms, Joe Schmidt invariably gets heard.

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E COMES FROM A BIG FAMILY in a little town on the North Island of New Zealand. Woodville is a relatively nondescript dot on the Atlas just 25 minutes from the “bright lights” of Palmerston North. Go Google it and the first mention of Schmidt references him as a player in the National Basketball League. When Dave Syms, head teacher at Palmerston North Boys’ High School, hired him as an English teacher, he did so on the proviso that he helped out on the sport side. Schmidt immediately volunteered to take on the school basketball team, Syms dismissing the idea out of hand. “No mate, you’re taking over our first fifteen!” he said. “I guess I bullied him into it”. Ground staff at Palmerston sometimes confused the young Schmidt with his pupils, so much so that he was once even refused entry to the school hall. Yet, he was meticulous in everything he did, a whiteboard coach from his first day there. The unforgiving Monday morning video debriefs now considered so fundamental to his coaching style actually started in that High School. “He was a very clever young man and a fanatic for detail,” according

WORLD CUP IN NUMBERS

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to Syms. “Some people have all the wisdom in the world but can’t communicate it. Joe had an ability to get up close to people, to motivate them, to coach them.” As a player himself, Schmidt was a lightning-fast winger whose most memorable game was probably a somewhat brutal contest in the colours of Manawatu against a traveling France team at The Showgrounds Oval in Palmerston North 26 years ago. In it he scored a try, his blistering pace enabling him knife past French wing, Jean-Baptiste Lafond, onto a Glynn Champion cross-kick to tie the game at 16-16. “Joseph Schmidt, the speedster on the left side always had the measure of Lafond... ” is how the TV commentator proudly calls it. The setting is of a typical New Zealand winter, jerseys caked in mud and the terraces a grim canopy of umbrellas. Only a last-minute try under the posts denies Manawatu a famous victory. Soon after that game, Schmidt (24) and his young wife, Kellie, decided to take a year out and move to Europe. The plan was that they would find something in the UK, but they ended up persuaded by a friend, Mark Ronaldson, to try their luck in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. “I remember being picked up at the airport and being brought through a load of back roads to Con Gilsenan’s pub,” he recalled some years ago. “The roads were as bad as you could get!” That pub on Dominick Street represented a virtual operations centre for the local rugby club and, to begin with, Schmidt felt a need to challenge the predominantly social culture that signified. He set behavioural standards that flew beyond the norm for Towns Cup preparation. Under the guidance of their new player-coach, Mullingar did well in the without ever quite setting any midland ditches on fire. the number of World Cup champions to successfully defend their title

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the number of Northern hemisphere countries to have won the World Cup

But he was also persuaded by the late Joe Weafer to help out with Multyfarnham (Wilson’s Hospital School) in section ‘A’ of the Leinster Schools Cup. The two men gelled instantly, leading the school to a first ever title. During the final against St. Conleths in Donnybrook, Multyfarnham played attacking, multi-dimensional rugby, their back three running amok. A quarter of a century later, Schmidt can still recite the try-scorers. “We threw the ball around,” he reflected a couple of years back. “We scored five tries, Nico Drion and Raymond Bell got two each, Liam Plunkett

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Irish referess will officiate at the World Cup (John Lacey & George Clancy)

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scored the other!” That clarity of recall has become something of a calling-card. Soon after returning to New Zealand, Schmidt’s playing career was effectively ended by an Achilles tendon injury. And so his coaching CV slowly gathered status with jobs back at Palmerston North, then Napier Boys’ and, finally, Tauranga Boys’ College, where he also worked as assistant principal. By 2000, he was assistant coach to a New Zealand Schools side that included Joe Rokocoko and, when an invitation then came from Vern Cotter to become his assistant at Bay of Plenty, Schmidt decided to go coaching full-time. And one of the great, modern rugby minds now had a professional canvas.

the number of draws there have been at the World Cup

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number of World Cups Paul O’Connell will have appeared at


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the most drop goals in a single World Cup game came in South Africa’s win over England in 1999

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Ireland’s head coach Joe Schmidt with his players in the dressing-room and on the pitch (above) ahead of the team’s World Cup warm-up game against England at Twickenham

OE SCHMIDT, IT’S FAIR TO SAY, never really wanted to be centre-stage, never actively sought the intrusion of klieg lights into his life. After Bay of Plenty, he took another assistant’s job with Auckland Blues before moving to France, where he was re-united with Cotter at Clermont Auvergne. The rest reads like a magic carpet ride, albeit that is not exactly what he seems to have intended. “I was pretty comfortable and enjoyed keeping a low profile,” he said of his time at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin. “I wasn’t looking to become a head coach.” It was actually whilst trying to talk Isa Nacewa into moving to Montferrand that the idea of taking over from Michael Cheika at

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Leinster was first mooted. Schmidt and Leinster would become an exhilarating marriage, delivering the Heineken Cup in each of his first two seasons and the Amlin Challenge Cup in his third. To follow that with successive Six Nations titles (a first for this country since ’49) in his first two seasons with Ireland has led to speculation that Schmidt might be approached to lead the next Lions tour to his home country in 2017. To do that would require the IRFU agreeing to an early-release clause or, better still, getting Schmidt to sign a contract extenstion beyond 2017 with a sabattical. Neither would be a surprise. Get Ireland to the semi-finals or beyond of this World Cup and Schmidt’s status here will be that of a secular saint.

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the number of times Ireland have been knocked out in the quarter-finals

His wisdom is such high currency now, a multiple of teams from other sports seek the benefit of Schmidt’s wisdom. Last year, the then Dublin hurling manager — Anthony Daly — was granted an early morning meeting with him at Lansdowne Road. In his autobiography, ‘Dalo’, Daly recalls Schmidt noting that he had listed ten key points in his folder for a recent National League game against Tipperary. “’Did your manager, Ger Loughnane, use notes like that?’” he asked. “No,” I said. “And I wouldn’t have that on him. I wouldn’t be able to make points off my head like Ger.” “’Did he make ten points?’” “I don’t really know, I can’t remember.”

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“I doubt he did.” said Schmidt. “’Maybe he did over the course of a week, but I’m sure it was two or three clear messages.’” “He went down through my clipchart. ‘This is super stuff, but when did you deliver this?’ “In the hotel, before we left for Thurles.” “’Right, mate. Two-hour bus journey to Thurles? Warm-up another half an hour? So you’re talking about three and a half hours before the game? Would you remember it?’ “Probably not.” The sense of a hungry student devouring every syllable of a professor’s wisdom is palpable in Daly’s recall of the meeting. Yet, this was the Clare man’s sixth season as Dublin senior manager, a time-span in which he had led them to historic National League and Leinster title victories. He was no breathless innocent in the business of elite team-management, yet Schmidt seemed to read innocence at every level. He told Daly bluntly that his voracious note-taking was motivated, essentially, by “you covering your arse”. And he talked of how his way was to delegate jobs in an Irish dressing-room. When Daly mentioned the balancing act he found himself having to do with certain players prone to indiscipline, Schmidt re-iterated the importance of having a “smart-edge” even when playing with abandon. “You can still have that edge, but you have to be smart,” he told Daly. “The guys who aren’t, I call them the outlaws.” This summer, Schmidt agreed to a similar meeting with Waterford hurling manager, Derek McGrath. In such circumstances, he is open and innately helpful. And people instinctively like him because, for all the accumulation of silverware, there is still an essential humility in how he chooses to communicate. Within minutes of Ireland dramatically securing this year’s Six Nations title, Schmidt sat on the dais in a marquee next to Murrayfield Stadium, declaring himself “on dad duty”. His 11-year-old boy, Luke, suffers from epilepsy as a result of an operation on a cancerous tumour some years back and, away from rugby, Schmidt is committed to improving his son’s quality of life. He and Kellie have travelled extensively with Luke, to meet specialists who might help refine his treatment. In February, he fronted Epilepsy Ireland’s Seizure Aware TV ad and he has spoken widely on the need for people to understand the condition and know how best to respond to a seizure. Recently made a Citizen of Ireland, he says he sees similarities between the people here and New Zealanders that he did not encoun-

the record number of World Cup tries scored by an individual player, held by New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu

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the number of games at the World Cup

ter in Montferrand, describing French people as “a bit more closed and formal”. Yet he admits, too, to a restlessness in his work and a general paranoia about how it is interpreted. He can be devastatingly critical if he feels the need and startled onlookers during an open training session at Newforge outside Belfast in his first year as Irish coach by barking a reminder to Dave Kearney that “We don’t watch, we work here!” And his response to Matt O’Connor’s ill-advised lament about Leinster being denied some marquee names for a Pro 12 game in Wales last December because of restrictions placed upon him by the IRFU’s player-management system would prove utterly ruthless. Schmidt and IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, called a press conference at which O’Connor’s complaints were systematically (and statistically) torn apart. That intensity allied to his attention to detail gives Schmidt a presence and authority in the Irish camp today that, according to O’Connell, puts him “at a different level”. Yet, that endless pursuit of improvement can sometimes feel a tyrranny too. As Schmidt himself puts it: “I don’t think anyone ever gives me comfort. I’m paranoid; I often deal in worst-case scenarios.”

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ITH THE ALMOST INTEMPERATE EXPECTATION now following Ireland into this World Cup tournament, every press-conference has the feel of a prize-fighter’s workout. This is Irish rugby’s Magic Mountain. The draw seems kind, the final Group game against France on October 11 looks a likely shoot-out for the golden ticket of a quarter-final that does not involve giant, square-shouldered men in black. Already, Schmidt has tried dampening down the madness, describing Ireland’s opening game against Canada as, potentially, an “incredible banana-skin”. Yet, it’s probably fair to say that nobody is listening. The days of uncomplicated hope do not exist for Ireland now. Joe Schmidt hasn’t just changed the record books, he has changed the way rugby people here now see themselves. The media would probably prefer more lyricism, more openness, the players themselves might welcome a little more fun, but Schmidt’s way simply defies intelligent challenge. “At times, it’s almost like he’s a voice in my head,” is how Jonathan Sexton synopsises the influence of the Irish coach today. “When I’m analysing my own game and I spot myself doing something wrong, I can hear him pointing it out to me.” That’s Joe Schmidt’s gift to the game here. He makes things work.

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the number of points top scorer Ralph Keys scored at the 1991 World Cup


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MAGNIFICENT SEVEN As the World Cup approaches, Duncan Bech assesses who is the ‘king’ of each facet of the game

McCaw is peerless at the breakdown

Julian Savea has 30 tries in 35 caps

Sexton’s kicking remains unrivalled

Matfield is a lineout specialist

The sport’s most-capped player remains a breakdown master, equally adept at poaching opposition ball or simply slowing it down to blunt their attacks. Critics point to his bending of the laws of the game and the New Zealander is undoubtedly a crafty operator.

Spearheading Ireland’s World Cup assault will be Sexton, the most accomplished kicker in international rugby, who could end the tournament as the sport’s finest fly-half. Boasts an all-round game but it is his kicking out of hand and from the tee that sets him apart.

LINE-OUT KING VICTOR MATFIELD

TRY-SCORING KING JULIAN SAVEA

It is startling that at 38 years old Matfield continues to produce at the highest level of the game, but then his true expertise was always mastery of the line-out. South Africa have benefited from his set-piece expertise for 14 years.

BIG HIT KING SAM BURGESS

Sam Burgess revels in the big hits

KICKING KING JONATHAN SEXTON

BREAKDOWN KING RICHIE McCAW

Burgess is only one cap into his international union career yet he has already earned a reputation as a defender best avoided following bone-jarring tackles on Dimitri Szarzewski and Alexandre Dumoulin in England’s victory over France at Twickenham last month.

Ayerza is key to the Puma scrum

SCRUM DESTROYER KING MARCOS AYERZA

Loosehead props have seen their ability to disrupt opposition scrums increase after law changes and there is none better than feared set-piece destroyer Ayerza at causing havoc. A one-man wrecking ball, the Argentina front-rower is the best there is.

One of many players to be dubbed the ‘new Jonah Lomu’, there remains no deadlier a finisher than the New Zealand wing, who has amassed 30 tries in 35 caps including an impressive eight in five games against England.

LINE-BREAK KING WESLEY FOFANA

Stiff opposition supplied by Ma’a Nonu and Michael Hooper, but Fofana’s artful footwork sees him crowned line-break king. A graceful runner who steps and glides into space, the only concern is over France’s ability to draw the best from him.

Fofana boasts dazzling footwork


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IT’S TIME FOR IRELAND TO PUT HISTORY OF FAILURES BEHIND THEM AND DELIVER France game the key for Joe Schmidt’s side as they look to go further than ever before in England, writes Ruaidhri O’Connor

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F IT is a familiar feeling, it’s because it comes at four-year intervals. That sense of hope laced with dread – the Irish rugby fans’ cocktail of choice come World Cup time. It is a brew based on experience. No nation has under-performed as consistently on the big stage as ours. At each tournament, there has been at least one moment of sickening disappointment, with 1991 the sole moment when the team could be hailed for dying with their boots on and even then they threw away a golden opportunity. In the early days, it was symptomatic of a dark time in the game in this country, but the revival of the 2000s has rarely been matched when the big guns get together for a shoot-out. The challenge involved in compiling a list of great Irish World Cup moments exposes the lack of heritage Ireland have in this tournament, yet there is real substance to the hope this time around. Joe Schmidt’s team come into the tournament having won the Six Nations twice in a row. In the New Zealander, they have perhaps the shrewdest coach at the table; in Paul O’Connell they have a captain to rival any of the legends brought forth from the southern hemisphere. They will operate in the familiar surrounds of Cardiff and London, backed by a large travelling fanbase despite the extortionate ticket prices. The climate will suit them

and, even if the closeness to home lends a certain added pressure, the proximity to family should negate the negative of being away for a long stretch. Most importantly, perhaps, the draw has been kind. If Ireland pop their head out of Pool D and have a look at what’s going on in Pool A where England, Wales, Australia and Fiji will do battle over the course of the coming month, they’ll quickly bow down below the parapet. It all builds towards France on Sunday, October 11. That clash with Les Bleus, who have not beaten Ireland in their last four attempts, will define the Six Nations champions’ tournament. Win, and they likely avoid New Zealand in the last eight. Lose, and the route to the final includes likely clashes with the All Blacks and then the Springboks. While Ireland’s record against Philippe Saint-Andre’s side is strong, there is a sense that the finalists of four years ago are bringing it together at the right time having been together for the summer. The word from Marcoussis is that they are bigger, leaner and stronger than ever and, while the guile in their game might be sadly absent, the way they steamrolled England during the closing stages of their first game in Twickenham and then repeated the trick in Paris does not bode well. Yet, their narrow win over Scotland in their final warm-up game

brought back the heated criticism of Saint-Andre’s regime as it enters its final months. In their last four games, Ireland have drawn with France twice and beaten them in one-score games in the last two meetings. Since reaching the 2011 final, Saint-Andre’s side have managed three fourth-placed Six Nations finishes and were last in 2013. Yet, the French tend to time their peaks for the World Cup. Their Six Nations performances are routinely undermined by their club game and the cohesion so sorely lacking should be in place after so long in camp. Ireland have never beaten France at the World Cup and, so often, it has been the men in blue who have sent Irish sides packing. There is little new in Saint-Andre’s locker, with Freddy Michalak likely to be leading the backline in his latest incarnation but, for all the scorn laid on the eccentric Toulon half-back, he saw off Ireland at the 2003 and 2007 tournaments. Why all the focus on France? Well, there should be precious little else to trouble Schmidt’s side in Pool D. The presence of a small handful of 2007 veterans should guard against complacency when facing Canada and Romania, while Italy are a fading force capable of strong 60-minute performances but lacking the depth to follow through. Ireland’s schedule gives them a chance to build towards the

Millennium Stadium finale and they should be in good fettle come the second weekend in October. Watching closely will be the All Blacks who must reach a pitch for their opening weekend meeting with Argentina before negotiating Namibia, Georgia and Tonga to top Pool C. Although they are undoubtedly the strongest team in the tournament with the deepest squad to boot, they have always been at their most vulnerable at the quarter-final stage and the prospect of a lasteight meeting with France in Cardiff would evoke nightmares of 2007. Even if Ireland lose to the French, all should not be lost. They have never beaten the world champions, but under Schmidt the men in green have displayed the smarts to take on anyone and

memories of that fateful November afternoon in 2013 should drive them on. Key to Ireland’s efforts is fitness. Schmidt has used 62 players over the course of 22 matches in charge, but there is a group of individuals whose importance to the cause is paramount. Chief among them are half-backs Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, while the loss of inside centre Robbie Henshaw would also be hard to take. Rob Kearney’s calm assurance at full-back would be a major miss, while up front Mike Ross, Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip look nigh on irreplaceable if Ireland are to fulfil their potential. This has been described by a number of contenders as the most open World Cup in history with as many as six potential winners,


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Joe Schmidt knows keeping his star men, Jonathan Sexton, Jack McGrath and Rory Best (pictured), fit will be instrumental in his team fulfilling their potential

but few have as shallow a squad as Ireland do. Wales have already been hit with an injury hammer blow that will sorely test their resources and it was a reminder to Ireland that, in losing only the luckless Tommy O’Donnell during their four warm-ups, they had got off lightly.

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eeping the front-liners fit is one thing, picking on form is another and Schmidt must live up to his ruthless reputation if his side are to deliver on their potential this month. This is all new to the clever Kiwi and he must adapt to his surrounds. Ireland’s team bases are off the beaten track, taking in Cardiff, Burtonon-Trent, Guildford in Surrey and Newport in Wales and keeping the players happy during an intensive

Ireland have never been better set. Well-coached, disciplined and completely in tune with each other...’

regime will be another important element. If they are to achieve their goal and make it to the last four, then they will be in England and Wales for the duration and will be on tour for more than seven weeks given there’s a third/fourth place play-off if they come off second best in the semi-final. However, few would bet against Schmidt if he manages to negotiate his side that far. Sure, injuries could take their toll and the need to perform for five successive weeks would be tough on the Ireland squad, but the coach has an incredible record in knockout rugby and has a history of delivering when it matters most. The ideal route includes beating France and beating the Pumas in the quarter-final, setting up a semi-final

at Twickenham against England, Australia or Wales. On the other side of the draw, the southern hemisphere big two are scheduled to meet in the final four, although the Springboks will face a tough task against the second-placed side in Pool A assuming they come out on top of their shallow group unscathed. A look at the bookies’ odds suggests a familiar world order, with the All Blacks outright favourites, hosts England just behind and the Boks and Australia next in line. Ireland are just ahead of the dark horses France, with Wales out to 25/1 after losing Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb. Having lost just four games since their narrow victory at Eden Park four years ago, the men in black are undoubtedly the class act in the

field, but they have never won a World Cup outside of New Zealand despite being the undisputed favourites at every competition. It is theirs to lose, but they’ve managed to mess up in different ways before. If they do, then the question is who will be ready to seize that opportunity. Ireland have never been better set. Well-coached, disciplined and completely in tune with each other, they have the team to compete with anyone when they bring their best game to the table. Until they deliver on their potential and reach the last four at least, there will always be a lingering doubt going in to World Cups. However, the question is: if not now, when? There’s never been a better time for Ireland to make history.


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(Left to right) Iain Henderson, Louis Picamoles, George North, Aaron Smith (top) and Israel Folau can makes waves in England this autumn

SIX APPEAL

World Cup history is laced with memories of wonderful individual performances, whether through unforgettable tries, match-winning heroics or inspired leadership – and this year’s tournament promises more of the same. Andrew Baldock picks six players who could make the world sit up and take notice AARON SMITH

New Zealand The All Black squad is packed full of world champion experience, but it is the scrumhalf who has come on to the scene since their 2011 success that so often makes them tick. Highlander Smith is the undisputed world No 1 in his position with a fast, precise pass and a break that will keep the best defences guessing. It helps that he almost always has good ball as a result of Richie McCaw and Co’s efforts, but the 26-year-old makes the most of his talents and will be a real threat this month.

ISRAEL FOLAU

Australia Australia possess arguably the most lethal back division in world rugby, and Folau is the fearsome strike weapon at its heart. The 26-year-old played rugby league for Australia and Melbourne Storm as a teenager before embarking on a stint in Aussie Rules with Great Western Sydney Giants. Now, 33 appearances into his rugby

union Test career, the Wallabies full-back is set to grace the sport’s biggest stage, and it looks highly likely to be a box-office appearance.

GEORGE FORD

England Twelve years after the most famous England fly-half of all time dropkicked his country to World Cup glory, Ford now finds himself with the keys to No 10 that were once held by Jonny Wilkinson. At 22, there is enormous responsibility on his shoulders to not only guide England through the toughest ever World Cup pool – Australia and Wales are among their opponents – but he must also attempt it on home soil. He has coped impressively with every challenge in his career so far, but this is another level completely.

GEORGE NORTH

Wales Juggernaut wing North has all the attributes to be a headline act of the World Cup. A powerful try-scoring machine — his current Wales tally of 22 touchdowns

is bettered only by Shane Williams, Gareth Thomas and Ieuan Evans – he is now fully fit and firing again following a testing time last season when he suffered three concussions and was out of competitive action for five months. North (23) will be critical to Wales’ World Cup hopes, but the bigger the occasion, the more he thrives.

LOUIS PICAMOLES

France France have been occasionally brilliant but often dire during the reign of coach Philippe Saint-Andre, which comes to an end after the World Cup. The age-old question of which French team will turn up – good, bad or ugly – is once again relevant, but in barnstorming No 8 Picamoles they possess a player of considerable stature who can influence a game through his physical prowess and prodigious ball-carrying ability. Likely to be exceptional, whatever the circumstances.

IAIN HENDERSON

Ireland The Ulster tyro is at his first World Cup and is primed to make a big impact on a global stage. Still just 23, Henderson’s power and footwork makes him a rare threat with ball in hand. His ability to cover second-row and blindside flanker means his caps have largely come off the bench so far, but Joe Schmidt must be sorely tempted to put him in from the start in Ireland’s biggest games.


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Stephen Ferris became a global star following his performance in the 2011 Rugby World Cup

END OF THE WORLD

In his searingly honest book, Stephen Ferris tells how his RWC dreams were crushed. By Jonathan Bradley

A

S SOON as defeat to Wales signalled the end of Ireland’s 2011 World Cup, Stephen Ferris was already plotting another assault on the Webb

Ellis trophy. Despite the quarter-final loss to Warren Gatland’s men four years ago, Ferris had returned from New Zealand a star and the experience was one he could not wait to replicate at this month’s tournament. Images of his tackle on Will Genia in the victory over Australia adorned newspapers across the globe while his name trended worldwide on social media and he recounts all the emotions of the tournament in his autobiography to be released later this month. From the high of beating a southern hemisphere giant to the low of yet another quarter-final defeat, as well as the nights out in between, the now-re-

tired Ferris tells all in the book recalling: “Even before I board a flight for home, I am targeting the 2015 World Cup. 2015 cannot come fast enough. “The squad will be brilliant. “Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray as half-backs, Rory Best will make another one, and you can never put it past Paulie. Seanie O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Tommy Bowe. “To go on another World Cup, experience the same craic that we had, the same friendships that we made and to try and win it. “September 2015 — mark it on the calendar.” While proving prophetic when it comes to the enduring ability of Ireland’s now-captain Paul O’Connell, Ferris, who turned 30 only last month, was forced to retire after the 2013/2014 campaign due to an ankle injury and would never again make it to a World Cup, his last Test appear-

ance coming exactly six months after that famous win over the Wallabies. Expecting the build-up to Ireland’s tournament opener against Canada on Saturday to find the man David Humphreys called the “most complete rugby player for Ulster in the professional era” wondering what might have been, he tells the Belfast Telegraph that he is instead excited for what the future holds. “Of course you miss playing rugby but do you miss waking up on a Saturday morning feeling like you’ve been in a car crash? “Hobbling down the stairs, being in pieces for a couple of days and having to pick yourself up? “No, you don’t. “I do miss the craic, I miss the buzz, but I’m just going to enjoy the World Cup like everyone else is going to enjoy it and hopefully Ireland can do us proud and get to a semi-final where they’ve never been before.

“It’s good to keep yourself involved off the pitch because I can’t play anymore. To be honest, I’m really enjoying it.” Ulster fans were always likely to be keen for an account of Ferris’s career, but the 2009 British and Irish Lion was determined to produce an open and honest retelling. “It was an experience that I don’t think I’ll ever do again, not because I didn’t enjoy it but because it took so much hard work,” he said. “I thought I would just be sitting chatting to a guy but it’s so much hard work. “Fingers crossed, it goes well. I’m really excited about it but also a little bit nervous. “There’s a lot of things

people don’t know about me from my childhood growing up. Everybody goes through tough times, my family did as well. “It’s the full picture. People want to know how much Stevie Ferris earned when he was 21 years of age, I tell them. That’s how it is, I’m honest. “You read Brian O’Driscoll’s, Ronan O’Gara’s, they’re really good reads, they go into really good detail about all the matches, mine’s a little bit different.” Stephen Ferris will be in conversation with Stephen Watson at the Europa Hotel on Tuesday September 22. Tickets cost £30 and include an autographed copy of the book. He will also hold a signing event in Eason Lisburn at 12pm on October 10.


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RUGBY WORLD CUP YOUR RWC TV GUIDE

POOL A

AUSTRALIA, ENGLAND, WALES, FIJI, URUGUAY Fri 18 Sept Sun 20 Sept Wed 23 Sept Sat 26 Sept Sun 27 Sept Thur 1 Oct Sat 3 Oct Tues 6 Oct Sat 10 Oct Sat 10 Oct

ENGLAND v FIJI (Twickenham, 8.0) WALES v URUGUAY (Millennium Stadium, 2.30) AUSTRALIA v FIJI (Millennium Stadium, 4.45) ENGLAND v WALES (Twickenham, 8.0) AUSTRALIA v URUGUAY (Villa Park, 12.0) WALES v FIJI (Millennium Stadium, 4.45) ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA (Twickenham, 8.0) FIJI v URUGUAY (Stadium MK, 8.0) AUSTRALIA v WALES (Twickenham, 4.45) ENGLAND v URUGUAY (Manchester City Stadium, 8.0)

LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3

POOL B

SOUTH AFRICA, SAMOA, JAPAN, SCOTLAND, USA

Sat 19 Sept Sun 20 Sept Wed 23 Sept Sat 26 Sept Sun 27 Sept Sat 3 Oc Sat 3 Oct Wed 7 Oct Sat 10 Oct Sun 11 Oct

SOUTH AFRICA v JAPAN (Brighton Comm. Stadium, 4.45)LIVETV3 SAMOA v USA (Brighton Community Stadium, 12.0) LIVE TV3 SCOTLAND v JAPAN (Kingsholm, 2.30) LIVE TV3 SOUTH AFRICA v SAMOA (Villa Park, 4.45) LIVE TV3 SCOTLAND v USA (Elland Road, 2.30) LIVE TV3 SAMOA v JAPAN (Stadium MK, 2.30) LIVE TV3 SOUTH AFRICA v SCOTLAND (St James Park, 4.45)LIVE TV3 SOUTH AFRICA v USA (Olympic Stadium, 4.45) LIVE TV3 SAMOA v SCOTLAND (St James Park, 2.30) LIVE TV3 USA v JAPAN (Kingsholm, 8.0) LIVE TV3

POOL C

NEW ZEALAND, ARGENTINA, TONGA, GEORGIA, NAMIBIA

Sat 19 Sept Sun 20 Sept Thur 24 Sept Fri 25 Sept Tues 29 Sept Fri 2 Oct Sun 4 Oct Wed 7 Oct Fri 9 Oct Sun 11 Oct

TONGA v GEORGIA (Kingsholm, 12.0) LIVE TV3 NEW ZEALAND v ARGENTINA (Wembley Stadium, 4.45)LIVETV3 NEW ZEALAND v NAMIBIA (Olympic Stadium, 8.0) LIVE TV3 ARGENTINA v GEORGIA (Kingsholm, 4.45) LIVE TV3 TONGA v NAMIBIA (Sandy Park, 4.45) LIVE TV3 NEW ZEALAND v GEORGIA (Millennium Stadium, 8.0) LIVE TV3 ARGENTINA v TONGA (Leicester City, 2.30) LIVE TV3 NAMIBIA v GEORGIA (Sandy Park, 8.0) LIVE TV3 NEW ZEALAND v TONGA (St James Park, 8.0) LIVE TV3 ARGENTINA v NAMIBIA (Leicester Cit, 12.0) LIVE TV3

POOL D

FRANCE, IRELAND, ITALY, CANADA, ROMANIA Sat 19 Sept Sat 19 Sept Wed 23 Sept Sat 26 Sept Sun 27 Sept Thur 1 Oct Sun 4 Oct Tues 6 Oct Sun 11 Oct Sun 11 Oct

IRELAND v CANADA (Millennium Stadium, 2.30) FRANCE v ITALY (Twickenham, 8.0) FRANCE v ROMANIA (Olympic Stadium, 8.0) ITALY v CANADA (Elland Road, 2.30) IRELAND v ROMANIA (Wembley, 4.45) FRANCE v CANADA (Stadium MK, 8.0) IRELAND v ITALY (Olympic Stadium, 4.45) CANADA v ROMANIA (Leicester City, 4.45) ITALY v ROMANIA (Sandy Park, 2.30) FRANCE v IRELAND (Millennium Stadium, 4.45)

KNOCKOUT STAGES

Sat 17 Oct QUARTER FINAL 1 TBC (Twickenham, 4.0) Winner Pool B v Runner Up Pool A

LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3

LIVE TV3

Sat 17 Oct QUARTER FINAL 2 TBC (Millennium Stadium, 8.0) LIVE TV3 Winner Pool C v Runner Up Pool D Sun 18 Oct QUARTER FINAL 3 TBC (Millennium Stadium, 1.0) LIVE TV3 Winner Pool D v Runner Up Pool C Sun 18 Oct QUARTER FINAL 4 TBC (Twickenham, 4.0) Winner Pool A v Runner Up Pool B

LIVE TV3

Sat 24 Oct SEMI FINAL 1 TBC (Twickenham, 4.0) Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2

LIVE TV3

Sun 25 Oct SEMI FINAL 2 TBC (Twickenham, 4.0) Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4

LIVE TV3

Fri 30 Oct BRONZE FINAL TBC (Olympic Stadium, 8.0) Loser SF 1 v Loser SF 2 Sat 31 Oct FINAL TBC (Twickenham, 4.0) Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

LIVE TV3 LIVE TV3


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WORLD CUP 2015

P 2015 WALLCHART POOL A

England

S.Africa

20 Sept, 2.30pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Wales

Samoa

23 Sept, 4.45pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Australia

n Fiji

Scotland

n Wales

S.Africa Scotland

1 Oct, 4.45pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Wales

n Fiji

Samoa S.Africa

6 Oct, 8pm, Stadiummk, Milton Keynes

Fiji

n Uruguay

S.Africa

n Wales

Samoa USA

POOL A TABLE A

TF TA BP

Argentina

n USA

Tonga

n Japan

New Zealand Argentina Namibia

France

New Zealand

n Georgia

Italy

Argentina

TF TA BP

n Namibia

Ireland

n Georgia

France Ireland

n Georgia

Canada

n Tonga

Italy

TF TA BP

France

W D L F

D1

A2

B2

C2

D2

A3

B3

C3

D3

A4

B4

C4

D4

A5

B5

C5

D5

Win ............................................................................................................... 4 points Draw........................................................................................................... 2 points Loss ............................................................................................................. 0 points 4 or more tries.......................................................................... 1 point Loss by 7 points or fewer ...................................... 1 point If two teams finish level, the higher-ranked team will be decided by, in order: n Winner of match between the two teams. n Points difference in all pool matches. n Tries difference in all pool matches. n Most points scored. n Most tries scored. n Higher place in world rugby rankings on 12 October, 2015.

B1

n

SEMI-FINALS A2

QF2: 17 Oct, 8pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

C1

n

Winner QF1

Winner SF1

n

Winner QF2

Winner QF3

n

Winner QF4

n

C2

QF4: 18 Oct, 4pm, Twickenham, London

A1

n

BRONZE FINAL 30 Oct, 8pm, Olympic Stadium, London

B2

Loser SF1

n

Loser SF2

RUGBY WORLD CUP ROLL OF HONOUR: THE WINNERS n 1987 New Zealand n 1991 Australia n 1995 South Africa n 1999 Australia n 2003 England n 2007 South Africa n 2011 New Zealand

TF TA BP

Pts

WORLD CUP FINAL 31 Oct, 4pm, Twickenham, London

QF3: 18 Oct, 1pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

D1

A

SF1: 24 Oct, 4pm, Twickenham, London

SF2: 25 Oct, 4pm, Twickenham, London

D2

n Ireland

POOL D TABLE Pts

C1

QF1: 17 Oct, 4pm, Twickenham, London

n Romania

11 Oct, 4.45pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

n Namibia A

n Romania

11 Oct, 2.30pm, Sandy Park, Exeter

B1

QUARTER-FINALS

n Italy

6 Oct, 4.45pm, Leicester City Stadium

A1

FINAL TABLES

n Canada

4 Oct, 4.45pm, Olympic Stadium, London

n Tonga

W D L F

n Romania

1 Oct, 8pm, Stadiummk, Milton Keynes

POOL C TABLE Pts

n Canada

27 Sept, 4.45pm, Wembley Stadium, London

11 Oct, 12 noon, Leicester City Stadium

n Japan

n Romania

26 Sept, 2.30pm, Elland Road, Leeds

9 Oct, 8pm, St James’ Park, Newcastle

n Scotland

A

n Namibia

7 Oct, 8pm, Sandy Park, Exeter

n USA

n Italy

23 Sept, 8pm, Olympic Stadium, London

4 Oct, 2.30pm, Leicester City Stadium

n Scotland

W D L F

France

2 Oct, 8pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

POOL B TABLE Pts

n Argentina

29 Sept, 4.45pm, Sandy Park, Exeter

11 Oct, 8pm, Kingsholm, Gloucester

n Uruguay

W D L F

n Samoa

n Canada

19 Sept, 8pm, Twickenham, London

25 Sept, 4.45pm, Kingsholm, Gloucester

10 Oct, 2.30pm, St James’ Park, Newcastle

10 Oct, 8pm, Manchester City Stadium

England

New Zealand

7 Oct, 4.45pm, Olympic Stadium, London

10 Oct, 4.45pm, Twickenham, London

Australia

n Japan

3 Oct, 4.45pm, St James’ Park, Newcastle

n Australia

Ireland

24 Sept, 8pm, Olympic Stadium, London

3 Oct, 2.30pm, Stadiummk, Milton Keynes

3 Oct, 8pm, Twickenham, London

England

New Zealand

27 Sept, 2.30pm, Elland Road, Leeds

n Uruguay

n Georgia

20 Sept, 4.45pm, Wembley Stadium, London

n USA

26 Sept, 4,45pm, Villa Park, Birmingham

27 Sept, 12 noon, Villa Park, Birmingham

Australia

Tonga

23 Sept, 2.30pm, Kingsholm, Gloucester

26 Sept, 8pm, Twickenham, London

England

n Japan

20 Sept, 12 noon, Brighton Community Stadium

n Uruguay

19 Sept, 2.30pm, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

19 Sept, 12 noon, Kingsholm, Gloucester

19 Sept, 4.45pm, Brighton Community Stadium

n Fiji

POOL D

POOL C

POOL B

18 Sept, 8pm, Twickenham, London

n

Winner SF2


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‘Cheika gives players the freedom to show what they can do’ Cian Tracey finds Rocky Elsom full of praise for how his former Leinster boss has rejuvenated Australia

A

FTER a difficult period under Ewen McKenzie, there is a renewed sense of belief in Australia that the Wallabies are back

to their best. It’s the kind of confidence that arrives when a no-nonsense coach like Michael Cheika takes over and Leinster supporters can certainly vouch for that. On the back of leading the Waratahs to the 2014 Super Rugby title, Cheika replaced McKenzie last October and has since guided Australia to the Rugby Championship. Having worked under Cheika at Leinster, Rocky Elsom wasn’t surprised by the galvanising effect that he had on what seemed like a fractured Wallabies squad. Elsom’s one season at Leinster (2008-09) was enough to secure his legacy as a local hero and he can already see parallels between what Cheika did during his time in Ireland and how he is preparing Australia for the World Cup. A hugely impressive 27-19 victory over the All Blacks during this summer’s Rugby Championship sent a timely reminder to England and Wales that Pool A is going to be one of the most difficult in the competition’s history. “He’s an excellent motivator. I think he’s pretty genuine,” Elsom says of Cheika’s coaching style. “He’s not right 100pc of the time but you know he’s coming from a place where he thinks he’s right. “I think he likes to rely on his players. He gives them the freedom

to go and do what they have shown to be able to do. That’s what you want out of an elite level coach. “You definitely saw that in the style at Leinster. They had some excellent players in that team and he gave them that freedom. Other players weren’t given it. “You get the same thing in Australia. Some guys can do what they like and then other guys are given more specifics. “That two-tiered approach is essentially what you need and whether or not he’s good at it, just depends on the results.” Results to date have been impressive and Australia will certainly arrive in the northern hemisphere full of confidence. Since leaving these shores, Elsom has always kept one eye on Ireland’s results, which is hardly surprising given that he admits that Leinster still feels like his team. The majority of the Irish internationals he played with have now departed the scene but Elsom has seen enough of the younger blood to suggest that teams will fear them come the knockout stages of the World Cup. “Ireland are certainly not favourites for the World Cup but I think the team would definitely be feeling that they have as good a chance as anybody, given how they perform well under pressure,” Elsom adds. “That’s what it comes down to. You look at France. They lost two games in the World Cup before the final. It just comes down to playing well in those big matches. “If I was Irish, I would be reason-

ably confident in the team’s ability to be able pull that out at the right time. The bigger nations wouldn’t want to come up against them in the quarter-finals. “The difference between them getting through and not is having that ability to pull out a big performance on that day. “Last time it was against Wales and it wasn’t that they played poorly but it feels like they’re much more capable of doing that now. They look like a team that is more comfortable in themselves in really big matches. “It’s been a long time but I still feel like Leinster is my team. Ireland is never my team but it’s good to see them doing well.” For the past two seasons, Elsom has been playing in France with Pro D2 side Narbonne – a club with whom he is also a major shareholder. Given his insatiable desire for the game, Elsom (32) still feels as if he could do a job for his country and had Australia changed their eligibility rules prior to this year, perhaps he would have added to his 75 caps – the last of which he won in 2011. Toulon duo Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell have both benefited from the relaxing of the ARU’s rules and Elsom is in full agreement with them. “The fact is that when the benefits outweigh the negatives of selecting guys from overseas, then Australia needs to do it,” he stresses. “I thought that happened two years ago. The benefits outweighed the negatives. Now that they’ve done it, I think it’s a positive thing.

Rocky Elsom feels Ireland have the mental strength to challenge for glory “From a player’s salary point of view, it’s important because it means that a French club in particular or a UK club, doesn’t have the player all year around. “Australia and New Zealand players come at a premium and from a loading and retention point of view, it’s important for Australia because it lets us recycle players rather than burn out the small number that we have. “I don’t think there’s a valid argument against it. I think the reason

why it’s a couple of years late is the contracts. “When you’re negotiating with a player in Australia, some of the guys have taken contracts and that’s the problem.” Now that the ship has been steadied, the feeling in Australia is that this could well be their year. Former Australia flanker Rocky Elsom is a brand ambassador with Heineken, proud sponsor of the Rugby World Cup for 20 years


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‘WE’VE BEEN TO TIGHT PLACES AND COME OUT THE RIGHT SIDE. THAT WILL STAND TO US’ Conor Murray tells Ruaidhri O’Connor why he believes Ireland can draw on their Six Nations success as they take on the world

C

ONOR MURRAY orders a coffee, relaxed as you please. He has been roused from his downtime, chilling out and listening to Drake in his room at Carton House, receiving a late summons to come and have a chat with the Irish Independent in the lobby after our original subject came down with an injury. Four years ago he might have fretted over such an impromptu, unscheduled interview, but the Patrickswell native is a natural at this stage. In the time since he was propelled from relative obscurity to starting Ireland’s World Cup games, the 26-year-old has grown on and off the pitch. His career will always be measured by World Cups after he bolted from the blue to star in New Zealand in 2011. The story of his role in that tournament has been told often enough, but he knows that the experience he gained in those first months of his Ireland career will stand to him in the coming weeks. Now, he is one of the first names on Joe Schmidt’s team-sheet, a Test Lion and one of the world’s leading scrum-halves.

His relationship with Johnny Sexton, a source of concern in his early days, has developed into one of the finest partnerships in the game. Together, the duo have won two Six Nations and come out of some tight spots. Big things are expected in England and Wales and Murray believes that the experience of the last two seasons under Joe Schmidt will stand to Ireland when the going gets tough. “The last World Cup, I was new to the squad. This time around, especially the last two years, we’ve had success and it’s something we don’t just forget about. We have to draw on it,” he says. “We’ve had big wins in November and in the recent Six Nations – when it comes down to it we have won those games. “We’re aware that some of the games that we’ve won, like France in the 2014 Six Nations, that was won on very fine margins. “As a whole, it looks like a great day but when you break down that game there were a few small moments that swung that game in our favour. Whether it was keeping them out or scoring our own tries, it was all little things that went in our favour because we were good enough

to make them go in our favour. “You need a tiny bit of luck as well, but we can draw on that. We’ve been to those tight scenarios and we’ve come through them. So, if we hopefully find ourselves in a big moment at the World Cup, we’ll know we’re able to come through it.” Murray lives for the big games and you can be certain that the October 11 clash with France at the Millennium Stadium will be marked out on his calendar. He thrives when the stakes get higher, relishing the opportunity to prove himself by dominating the world’s best. “I probably come across a bit laidback, but I do put a bit of pressure on myself to perform in big games and the smaller games that you might play for your club are probably more of a challenge,” he explains. “Smaller crowds, smaller buzz; it’s not as hyped up as an international or a big European game. It’s not that I struggle with them but you have to get yourself in the mind-frame during the week to be ready to play well. “I’ve kind of learned that over the last four years. With big games, an awful lot of it looks after itself. “The pressure’s there, but with that just comes excitement. I put

pressure on myself, I get nervous, I get that; but I just enjoy it too. “Take England at home in the last Six Nations: that was one of the big games when I felt a bit more nervous than I usually would because it was England and it was a huge game for us as a squad. But the whole country was behind us because of that, a lot of that looked after itself and that buzz excites me as much as it scares me as well.” It helps that he’s been through the World Cup process before and came

out the better of the experience. “The last time was an adventure. It was new experience after new experience; it was amazing being down in the southern hemisphere and a long way from home, I think we gelled really well as a squad,” he recalls. “I took every experience in my stride and really just enjoyed it. The fact that I worked my way into the team as well is, looking back, kind of huge for me right now. I have experience of a World Cup, the atmos-


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Conor Murray’s competitive streak means he likes to keep tabs on how rival scrum-halves are getting on in the Rugby Championship

phere, the pressure, the excitement. “I know there’s pressure, but I’m more excited about it. It’s going to be an incredible competition; since the squad was named, you feel extra lucky that you’re involved. You’re honoured. “You hear people say that an awful lot, it’s probably repetitive, but they are. You see how hard fellas have worked over the course of four years and in particular the last eight weeks only to miss out for whatever reason; you count yourself lucky –

I put pressure on myself, I get nervous, I get that; but I enjoy it too...

well, lucky and there’s the fact that you made a goal and you worked really hard for it, so there’s a side that deserves it as well. “There’s a side of me that has a sense of what it’s going to be like. I’m in the squad since then for four years since the last World Cup, I’m a lot more comfortable in the squad, I might understand the game of rugby a bit better. . . everything is just four years further on and progressed than what it was. “I’d like to think I’m a better

player than I was back then and I’m definitely more experienced, I’ve more caps and I feel good about where we were.” There is no doubt that the experience of New Zealand, a Lions tour in which he went from third-choice scrum-half to closing out the final Test and successive Six Nations successes have brought him on, while he is now a recognised leader at Munster. This month, Murray has a chance to show what he can do in front of a

global audience against the best No 9s in the game and he is relishing the prospect. “100pc, I wouldn’t be afraid to say that,” he says. “I’m quite competitive and to make the Irish squad, there’s been four of us in camp all summer and we’re all trying to get an edge on each other. “But you’d be silly to say that’s all you think about, because you don’t. When I played against Wales I knew I was up against Rhys Webb, and that was a weird game, our first hit-out of the season, but any time you’re up against these lads you do want to pit yourself against them and want to play well against them. “That’s part of the excitement of the big games. If you’re playing against a good team, they’ll more than likely have a good No9, you want to play well against him. “Definitely, you keep an eye on the Rugby Championship, all the other European nations and an eye on other players as well. Every player does that. “To get into the squad, you have to be competitive and that doesn’t stop once you get into the Irish squad, it continues as well. “(New Zealand’s) Aaron Smith is a very good player, the times we’ve played against him I’ve put extra pressure on myself to play a little bit better and, when we played New Zealand a couple of years ago, it was one of my better games for Ireland. “It’s the same for any player. When Paul (O’Connell) is up against Alun-Wyn Jones or Brodie Retallick, he knows he’s up against a good player. It’s just the natural way I am.”


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Ulster

Huge work rate, very strong scrummager, he’s an integral part of this squad. Brilliant at breakdown, physically and mentally tough and has matured into a leader in this group. Only worries are that darts can be off and he is not the quickest, but hookers are not there for their pace.

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THE INSIDE TRACK ON IRELAND’S WORLDCUP SQUAD Alan Quinlan assesses how the key figures in Joe Schmidt’s drive for glory are shaping up and reveals why Dave Kearney’s swashbuckling late charge for inclusion has been inspiring

SEAN CRONIN Leinster

Incredible power and ability to break gain-line. Brilliant ball-carrier, very hard to stop and always big impact, especially off the bench. Could play him in the back-row, he’s that quick. He is not as strong a scrummager as Best, darts can go astray sometimes but could have big World Cup. He’s the No 2 hooker in the competition.

CIAN HEALY

IAIN HENDERSON

JACK McGRATH

SEAN O’BRIEN

World class. Scrummaging improved in recent years; you often got the feeling he was making such an impression around the field that the scrum was secondary. Biggest concern is the neck injury. Tough, abrasive guy. We need him on the park for France.

Improving in leaps and bounds, a modern-day beast. Reminds me a lot of Stephen Ferris, can get through defenders. Exciting thing is he has a little bit more to go. You would like to see him get more aggressive – physically he is great asset for the squad and his flexibility is also a huge plus.

Not as good a ball-carrier as Cian Healy but that’s not a real criticism, he just has such a hard act to follow. But he is improving all the time, has learnt from the master ahead of him in Leinster. A very good scrummager. Huge work ethic, gets around the park.

Has had so many difficulties with injury. Hard to defend against, he’s so quick off the mark. He is so strong over the ball. Good for two or three turnovers in every game. Not an outand-out seven, sometimes gets caught between being the ball-carrier and tracking the ball. But a world-class player whether it is at 6, 7 or 8.

Leinster

Ulster

Leinster

Leinster

TADHG FURLONG Leinster

The bolter in the squad. His size is his biggest advantage – we haven’t produced that many big tightheads in recent years. His inexperience is his weakness, and it is a big ask to get him to cover loosehead. Has a big future ahead of him and his career will be hugely boosted by inclusion in the World Cup squad.

JAMIE HEASLIP

CHRIS HENRY

JORDI MURPHY

PAUL O’CONNELL

Incredibly resilient. Sometimes his performances have been questioned. You don’t see a huge impact and then you look back on videos and the amount of work he does is incredible. Doesn’t look like he is setting the world on fire at times, but he is getting things done. Nothing fazes him, but sometimes we need to see him more angry.

A guy who has got the most out of himself in the last few years; overcame his illness issues to be a World Cup player. Very good ball-carrier, good at breakdown. Lacks a bit of pace but can play across the back-row and you can rely on him.

Great awareness for a gap, but that opening is not always there at international level. Will have learned a lot from his battle with Justin Tipuric in the clash with Wales at the Aviva a few weeks ago. Tough days like that can be the making of a player. Runs a great line, he is young and will keep improving.

Mental toughness and leadership are his biggest assets; a priceless figure. His presence on field and in dressing-room is key. Not the best ball-carrier but always makes the hard carries. He sets the tone for everything Joe Schmidt wants done.

Leinster

Ulster

Leinster

Toulon


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PETER O’MAHONY

DEVIN TONER

KEITH EARLS

DAVE KEARNEY

JARED PAYNE

Younger version of O’Connell, his leadership qualities are obvious. Good at breakdown, covers a lot of ground, a man for the hard yards. Distribution an area he would look for improvement in but he is not afraid to truck the ball up and recycle. Tough operator.

Height and lineout ability are obvious strengths but has developed his game in recent years – has a great ability to wrap guys up in the tackle around the fringes. A lot more physical, he can be a real nuisance, he’s hard to take down. Has become more of a weapon, has done a fantastic job for Ireland.

Has had to overcome so many injuries to get here. Explosive and powerful, can get caught out by the bigger players but showed against Wales how he can defend. Has that natural talent to step and steer past defenders. Has the X-factor.

Integral part of 2014 Six Nations title. Is quick but doesn’t have searing pace. Great ability to get through tight situations, very physical and runs hard. Great recovery from injury, left Schmidt with no choice but to include him. Inspiring to see players taking ownership of a situation like that.

Was left with the impossible task of filling Brian O’Driscoll’s boots. A converted full-back, he is a different player to Drico, but he has delivered in a different way. Tough on ball, runs good lines. We want to see more line-breaks and needs to be a bit more slick in passing.

Munster

Leinster

Munster

Leinster

Ulster

MIKE ROSS

NATHAN WHITE

LUKE FITZGERALD

ROB KEARNEY

EOIN REDDAN

Cornerstone of the pack in the Schmidt era, started that with Leinster and brought it to the Irish team. He is vital to this team. Can get worn out – he’s probably a 55-60 minute man at this stage. But he has done remarkably well for a guy who wasn’t wanted in Munster. He never gave up.

He’s a leader, former captain with Waikato, benefited from his move to Connacht, where he had game-time to impress Schmidt. Question mark about age and Test-level ability but Schmidt has always been an admirer.

Another one who burst on the scene as a youngster. Very physical, sometimes over-zealous. Like Earls, we haven’t seen the best of him due to injuries. An advantage in having a left-footed kicker on the field. Can always find the gap but we need to see him making the outside breaks.

I’d like to see him hit the line more, the channel outside the 13 in addition to counter-attacking and scoring more. The talent is there. Good kicking game, so dependable under high ball and awareness across the field. A world-class full-back.

Mr Dependable, can pick up the pace of the game really well. Very vocal, very good positioning, doesn’t snipe like Murray but has huge experience and zips the ball away. Just buzzes around the place, really important if we need to chase a game. Vital member of his squad.

Leinster

Connacht

Leinster

Leinster

Leinster

DONNACHA RYAN

TOMMY BOWE

ROBBIE HENSHAW

IAN MADIGAN

JONATHAN SEXTON

He’s your typical old-school rugby player. You can kick him all over the place and he will just get back up. Covers a huge amount of ground around the field. Has a real eye for running on to passes and makes hard carries. Worked so hard to come back from injury.

Needs to rediscover the form which made him one of the world’s best finishers but I have full faith in him to deliver when it matters most. Huge experience with the Lions as well. Mentally very tough. He’s in my team for the French match.

Seems like he has been around for years, doesn’t it? Strong and athletic, loves a physical game. Offloading needs improving. Exciting talent, you’d love to see him take more ownership of the ball. Needs to use his feet more and get some offloads.

Has all the skills. Incredibly confident player whose versatility makes him such a key member of this squad. Not the biggest but throws himself into the tackle. No issue coming off the bench and playing 12. He has the skill-set to cover the scrum-half position but you would hope it doesn’t come to that.

If he is on song, Ireland are on song. Needs to get quality ball. Mentally very strong, a real winner – world-class. Has missed a few kicks before but deals with them better than before. Loves to attack and ideal man to deliver Schmidt’s plan.

Munster

Ulster

RICHARDT STRAUSS

DARREN CAVE

Has hit the heights with Leinster, brilliant at the breakdown. Lineouts are good; he had one or two timing issues in warm-up games but that will come right with more time with the squad having been out for such long periods. Dependable, always sniffing a break.

Very skilful player, he’s earned the right to be there. Runs brilliant lines and is a natural centre. Lacking a yard of pace but compensates with good footwork and will get you over the gain-line.

Leinster

Ulster

Connacht

Leinster

Leinster

PADDY JACKSON

CONOR MURRAY

SIMON ZEBO

Has improved and looks more composed than when he first came on the scene. Experience and maturity is what he needs. He had a very good season with Ulster and looks more confident. Needs to back himself a bit more.

Aaron Smith is probably the best nine in the world, Murray is the biggest challenger. Big defender. His distribution is top-notch and kicking is out of the top drawer. Key figure in our World Cup bid.

The X-factor is there, although there has been criticism for blasé approach. Has become better defensively, needs to pop up more with ball in hand. Deserves his place. Good kicking game and can cover full-back. Need to see more energy from him.

Ulster

Munster

Munster


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1 – Kicking kings Ireland outgun Australia 15-6 (2011) Four defeats in Ireland’s four warmup games followed by a stuttering win over USA in the first pool game had justifiably left a rather flat feeling going into the game against Australia. The Wallabies came into the tournament as Tri-Nations champions and had been tipped for the title but they left Eden Park without a losing bonus point as Stephen Ferris inspired Ireland to a famous victory. Not many had given Ireland a prayer but as the rain teemed down, the Irish forward pack began to rise. Johnny Sexton kicked two penalties and a drop goal while Ronan O’Gara, who replaced the injured Gordon D’Arcy, also kicked a pair of penalties. As precious as the victory was, it will perhaps be best remembered for Ferris’ tackle on Will Genia in which he picked up the scrum-half and drove him back into his own 22 and so the ‘choke tackle’ was born.

Keith Wood on his way to four tries against USA back in 1999

2 – Wood’s trying spree against USA (1999) Few would argue that Keith Wood is Ireland’s greatest ever hooker and against the USA in 1999, he joined an elite group of players who have scored four tries or more in a World Cup game. The likes of Jonah Lomu, Chris Latham and Chester Williams have all managed to do so but, as a forward, Wood’s feat still stands out. He still holds the try-scoring Test record for a hooker (15) and four of them came that evening at Lansdowne Road. In typical Wood fashion, he showed great awareness to score from close range for the first three of his tries but the fourth perhaps typified what made him better than the rest. Eric Elwood spotted the lightning-quick hooker out on the far touchline before playing a perfectly weighted dink over the American defence. Wood found himself up against his opposite number but his blistering pace saw him cross for try number four.

3 – Lynagh breaks Irish hearts (1991) So near and yet so far. Gordon Hamilton’s try with five minutes remaining had put Ireland into the lead against the Wallabies and on the cusp of a place in the semi-final but Michael Lynagh would have the final say. Australia had led 15-12 before Hamilton looked to have snatched victory at a joyous Lansdowne Road but it was short-lived. Ralph Keyes slotted the touchline conversion but Ireland were soon stunned. Australia won a scrum and rather than line up a drop-goal attempt that would have sent the match to extra-time, they moved the ball wide. Lynagh, who was vice-captain, called the move and Jason Little and David Campese combined brilliantly to send Lynagh over for a try that silenced a Lansdowne Road that just seconds earlier had been deafening.

4 – Quinlan goes through the pain barrier against Argentina (2003) Ireland knew that realistically they needed a win over the Pumas to

10 MEMORABLE IRISH WORLD CUP MOMENTS

Cian Tracey looks back on some stand-out occasions from Stephen Ferris picking up Will Genia like a ragdoll, to Keith Wood’s heroics and the Lens nightmare of ’99 an off-the-ball scrap with Australia number eight Toutai Kefu. The pair had to be separated after punches were exchanged and although the referee didn’t take any action against either player, both were cited afterwards. Brennan was forced to be substituted due to the cut on his head that he was left with, which would turn out to be his final involvement at the tournament. The Dubliner has always maintained that he had his arms held back as Kefu landed multiple punches. Brennan missed the following defeat to Argentina due to suspension which ended his World Cup. Kefu would return from his ban in time to lift the Webb Ellis trophy to rub salt into the wounds.

advance to the quarter-finals and when Alan Quinlan scored a try midway through the first half, they took hold of the momentum. Keith Wood showed a brilliant turn of foot to run through the middle of the Argentina defence before finding the onrushing Quinlan who had a cut a perfect line off the hooker’s left shoulder to sprint over the line. Quinlan, however, was left crumpled in a heap after dotting the ball down and would have hardly have appreciated Marcus Horan’s (who didn’t know that he had been injured in the process) attempts to haul him off the ground in celebration. The Munster back-row dislocated his shoulder and with that went his tournament. It was a real bittersweet moment for him as it would turn out to be the final time that he played for Ireland at a World Cup.

Michael Lynagh broke Irish hearts

5 – Brennan takes it to the Wallabies (1999) Never one to back down, Trevor Brennan came off second best in

Brennan was banned in 1999

6 – Ireland come up short against Australia again (2003) On the back of a one-point victory over Argentina (16-15), Ireland found themselves on the wrong side


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Stephen Ferris tackles Will Genia in 2011, (from top) Quinlan and then O’Driscoll score in 2003, O’Driscoll in 1999, the Lens woe and singing the anthem in 1995

of another close result. Australia as well as Ireland were guaranteed their place in the last eight but finishing top of the pool would be crucial. George Smith’s first-half try had helped the Wallabies into a 14-6 lead before Brian O’Driscoll pulled Ireland back into the contest with clinically-taken try in the corner. John Kelly fed the flame-haired O’Driscoll who somehow managed to get the ball down, despite two last-ditch tackles. Ireland began to believe that a shock was on the cards but Elton Flatley kicked his side back into the lead. O’Driscoll would respond with a drop goal but Ireland came up short and went on to face France in the quarter-finals.

7 – Leamy saves Ireland’s blushes against Georgia (2007)

Denis Leamy came to the rescue against Georgia

Denis Leamy enjoyed a successful rugby career but his contribution on a dark night in Bordeaux will never be forgotten by Irish supporters. Ireland led 14-10 against what was aweakened Georgia side and, as the clock ticked towards red, Georgia thought they had got over for what would have been a match-winning try. Referee Wayne Barnes went to the TMO and after watching several replays, he spotted that Leamy had managed to get his hand under the ball and stop the try. It was very near to being the biggest disaster in the history

of Irish rugby but it only served as a taster for what was to come as Ireland failed to get out of their pool.

8 – O’Driscoll announces himself on the world stage (1999) It was the game that will largely be remembered for Keith Wood’s four tries but a 21-year old Brian O’Driscoll marked his arrival at the World Cup by scoring his first of many Ireland tries. USA boldly attempted to run the ball out of their own 22 but Ireland managed to turn it over and O’Driscoll scampered his way over the whitewash. The moment almost got the better of him as he nearly ran the ball over the dead ball area but the sight of him scoring would become a familiar one for Irish fans. O’Driscoll would go on to score another 46 international tries.

9 – The Pumas tame Ireland (1999) The Stade Felix Bollaert in the French city of Lens will forever give

Irish supporters nightmares. Ireland needed to win the play-off with Argentina to qualify for the quarter-finals but what transpired remains a watershed moment in Irish rugby history. Ireland had played all three pool games in the comforting surrounds of Lansdowne Road but when they faced the fiery Pumas in Lens, they got taught a valuable lesson. Warren Gatland’s men had led 21-9 but somehow managed to let Argentina back into the game through winger Diego Albanese’s try. Argentina were reduced to 14 players for the closing stages at which point, in their utter desperation, Ireland resorted to a 13-man lineout but it proved futile as another World Cup campaign petered out.

10 – Gary Halpin ‘salutes’ the All Blacks (1995) Scoring a try for your country at a World Cup is a special feeling for any player but scoring against the All Blacks must be on another level. So when Gary Halpin barged his way over the whitewash in Ireland’s opening game of the 1995 World Cup, one can only assume that the moment got the better of him. The tighthead prop celebrated by flashing both of his middle fingers at the New Zealand players as he was dragged back to the halfway line by his team-mates. The All Blacks didn’t take too kindly to Halpin’s taunting however and went on to comfortably beat them 43-19 but his celebration will live long in the memory.


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SATURDAY MONDAY SATURDAY SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 11 12 14 2014 2015

LONDON

TWICKENHAM – The home of English rugby will host three group games, two quarter-finals, both semis and the October 31 final, when it will join Eden Park in Auckland as the only venues to have hosted two World Cup finals. Capacity: 82,000

WEMBLEY STADIUM – The venue for New Zealand versus Argentina and Ireland against Romania in the pool stages. The stadium already boasts the world-record attendance for a club rugby match after 84,068 saw Saracens beat Harlequins earlier this year. Capacity: 90,000

OLYMPIC STADIUM – The London 2012 track will stage four group games, including Ireland’s meeting with Italy as well as the third-place play-off. The World Cup will be one of the final events staged at the stadium before it is handed over to West Ham. Capacity: 54,000

STADIUM WATCH YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE RUGBY WORLD CUP VENUES LEEDS

GLOUCESTER

ELLAND ROAD – Scotland versus the United States and Italy’s clash with Canada will both take place at the home of Leeds United. Was one of eight grounds used at Euro 96. Capacity: 37,900

LEICESTER

CARDIFF

MILLENNIUM STADIUM – Ireland’s second home; the men in green have two pool games and, all going well, a quarter-final in the Welsh capital. Wales will play two of their Pool A fixtures at home, but not against Australia after the Wallabies complained to the tournament organisers. Capacity: 74,500

KINGSHOLM – Scotland will kick off their tournament at ‘Castle Grim’ when they play Japan, while it will stage three other early-round clashes. Fans will also be able to pop along to the nearby Gloucester Cathedral, where scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot. Capacity: 16,500 LEICESTER CITY STADIUM – The closest tournament venue to the game’s birthplace in Rugby, Warwickshire, will stage three group fixtures. Capacity: 32,250

NEWCASTLE

SANDY PARK – Three games are scheduled for Exeter Chiefs’ home patch during the pool stage – nearby to where the last woman to be executed for witchcraft died in 1682. Capacity: 12,300

BIRMINGHAM

CITY OF MANCHESTER STADIUM – The 2002 Commonwealth Games stadium will stage England versus Uruguay in the hosts’ final group game. Capacity: 55,000

STADIUM MK – Another ground hosting three games in the pool stage. The £68m stadium has already staged a Heineken Cup quarter and semi-final. Capacity: 30,500

EXETER

ST JAMES’ PARK - Travelling fans can expect the usual warm Geordie welcome when the city plays host to three pool games – including Scotland’s clashes with South Africa and Samoa. Capacity: 52,400

MANCHESTER

MILTON KEYNES

VILLA PARK – England’s second city will see two pool matches, Australia versus Uruguay and the Springboks’ clash with Samoa. The original stadium designs were drawn up by the famous architect Archibald Leith, whose credits also include Ibrox, Goodison and the old Highbury. Capacity: 42,700

BRIGHTON

BRIGHTON COMMUNITY STADIUM – The Pool B matches involving South Africa against Japan and Samoa versus the United States are both scheduled for the south coast. Supporters will be able to lap up the World Cup atmosphere at a fan-zone based on Brighton beach. Capacity: 30,750


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WORLD CUP 2015 Sam Warburton and Chris Robshaw are both in bullish mood

POOL OF DEATH TO BREATHE LIFE INTO THE TOURNAMENT Ruaidhri O’Connor says Group A dogfight will be welcome relief from tournament’s traditional mismatches as hosts seek to avoid pitfalls

T

HE Rugby World Cup can be something of a slog of a tournament, seven weeks long and with a real imbalance aditional between the traditional nations and those catching up. Unlike the football equivalent, the matches must be spread out to afford players recovery time, meaning the pool stages last four weeks; and mibia when you have the likes of Namibia and New Zealand going head to table. head, it can get a little predictable. ve There is usually one pool to save the viewer from boredom, but this year the organisers have surpassed themselves in pitting hosts England with Wales, Australia and Fiji along with poor old Uruguay in Pool A. November 2012 seems a long time ago, but results that month had a cataclysmic effect on all of the teams involved, with Wales dropping to pot C and ending up in a hellish pool as a result. It means at least one of the top five teams in the world rankings going out of the tournament in the ence pool stages, while Fiji’s resurgence over the summer is another spanner

England coach Stuart Lancaster

in the works as they come into the opening night against England ranked ninth in the world and are bound to do some damage. La Stuart Lancaster’s hosts are under tremendous pressure ahead of their home World Cup. A visit to Twickenham for Ireland’s final warm-up game gave a wha the 2003 champions sense of what are going through, with an expectant media turning their attention from football to the oval ball for the duration of the tournament. Lancaster is a canny operator, but the strain has begun to tell, with an unauthorised biography making uncomfor life uncomfortable on top of the increased focus. Whether the man who took over from Martin Johnson after a disas disastrous 2011 campaign is as good a coach as he is a PR man remains to be seen. Hi focus on discipline is His unders understandable given the antics that marred that last outing but it has cost him two of outing, ef his most effective players in Dylan Hartley and Manu Tuilagi. doesn help that his boss, Rob It doesn’t

Andrew, has predicted great things for English rugby in 2019, suggesting that the home World Cup has come too soon for the current crop. The hosts have won two recent U-20 World Cups and are beginning to see the fruits of those successes. They have a powerful pack and a back three to excite, but their halfbacks look shy on experience. The idea of England failing to make it beyond the pool stages is an alarming one for the organisers, but Wales and Australia both have what it takes to upset the apple cart. In Michael Cheika, the Wallabies have one of the shrewdest operators in the game and he will hope to carry the confidence earned by beating New Zealand last month into the tournament. Wales, meanwhile, have arguably the most experienced coach at this World Cup in Warren Gatland and a squad of players packed with World Cup and Lions experience who will fear nothing. When he named his squad, the New Zealander hailed his side’s settled combinations while questioning whether England “100pc know

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Australian skipper Stephen Moore and (right) coaches Michael Cheika and Warren Gatland

Rob Kearney: Question 3.

RWC QUIZ

where they are going”. However, the ruinous Italy game robbed him of key men Rhys Webb and Leigh Halfpenny, who join Jonathan Davies on the injury list, and those casualties will hurt them badly. When the draw was made, Fiji were expected to make up the numbers but, while the Islanders may be light on front-row artillery, they have some of the best operators in the club game in a side packed with firepower and pace that beat Samoa to the Pacific Nations Cup this summer. It all makes for dangerous territory for England, who are being watched by a wider audience than normal and of whom great things are expected. They’re certainly talking a big game. “I believe this is a squad that can win the World Cup. There are enough guys who have played in big games in various competitions who have dealt with pressure,” their captain Chris Robshaw said. “There is also a lot of youth in there, which brings excitement. The balance is very good. I look around and I’m confident in the players we have. “I’m very pleased looking at that squad with the guys you’re going to go into battle with over for what will hopefully be a long period of time.”

G

ATLAND has been happy to pile pressure on his neighbours throughout the warm-up series, while Australia have been keeping relatively quiet. “We don’t want to really say too much,” their skipper Stephen Moore said. “We just want to play as well as we can right from the start. Every time you talk about the World Cup you’re asked about the pool of death. That’s just another thing you have to manage. “We’re paying Fiji the utmost respect. They’re going to be a very tough opponent for us. You’re only playing one team at a time. That’s the way to approach it. We know all of our games are going to be tough and that’s how we are going to go into the tournament.” Between the two British teams, there has been a PR race to demonstrate who is the most prepared, with England jetting off to Colorado and Wales visiting Doha and Switzerland to bulk up for the tournament.

Yet, by facing New Zealand twice, Argentina and South Africa, the Wallabies are probably the best prepared of the trio of big hitters. Their win over the All Blacks may have been followed by defeat a week later, but the Rugby Championship was already secured. Cheika may well redeploy his twin-fetcher strategy when he comes up against England, who look big in the pack, but lack specialist opensides. The worry for Lancaster is that Gatland will follow suit. The run of fixtures will also have an influence, with England’s order pitting them against Fiji, Wales and Australia at Twickenham before they meet Uruguay in Manchester. Wales get the South Americans out of the way first before their meeting with England. They take on Fiji five days later before finishing against Australia in London. The Wallabies get the lower-ranked teams out of the way first and should be well warmed up for England, before finishing off against Wales. It could all come down to that meeting in south-west London, with Australia’s recent history against Wales set to stand to them. rburton is Welsh captain Sam Warburton already starting the mind-games. llennium Sta“Apart from the Millennium dium, Twickenham is probably my favourite rugby ground in the world to play in. I love playing there, so I am looking forward to it,” said the flanker. “From Australia’s point of view, llennium they have come to the Millennium Stadium a lot and they seem to thrive there. “They wouldn’t have such good memories of Twickenham as England have beaten them quite regularly over the last decade e of or so, so maybe that change scenery might be a good thing.” Where this all leaves the two teams to emerge from Pool A will be fascinating too. Will they be battle-hardened after a succession of wintigued at-all-cost games, or fatigued by the time they meet their less battered rivals in the knockout stages? The participants can’t worry about that now. Their mission is simply to escape the clutches of the pool stages and keep themselves alive in October. titive pool It is the most competitive in World Cup history and it should make the next four weeks very interesting indeed.

1 – Which country has recorded the biggest winning margin in a World Cup match? 2 – Who has scored the most World Cup points for Ireland? 3 – Rob and Dave Kearney are set to become the fourth set of brothers to play for Ireland at a World Cup. Name the other three. 4 – Which three countries have two World Cup wins apiece? 5 – How many players have been sent off in the seven World Cups? 6 – What current Ireland player is the only surviving member from the 2003 World Cup squad? 7 – How many tries did Keith Earls score at the 2011 World Cup? 8 – Which player has made the most World Cup appearances for Ireland? 9 – What is the only venue to have staged two World Cup finals? 10 – How many times have Ireland failed to reach the knockout stages?

ANSWERS 1 – Australia (142-0 v Namibia, ’03) 2 – Ronan O’Gara (93) 3 – Richard & Paul Wallace (1995 RWC), Simon & Guy Easterby (2003 RWC), Simon & Rory Best (2007 RWC) 4 – New Zealand (1987, 2011), Australia (1991, 1999), South Africa (1995, 2007) 5 – 16 6 – Paul O’Connell 7–5 8 – Brian O’Driscoll (17) 9 – Eden Park, Auckland 10 – Once (2007)

SATURDAY MONDAY SEPTEMBER OCTOBER SEPTEMBER 11 14 2014 12 2015 2015

Keith Earls: Question 7.


BELFAST TELEGRAPH BELFAST TELEGRAPH I THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

30 30I RUGBY

WORLD CUP 2015

SATURDAY MONDAY SATURDAY SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 11 12 14 2014 2015

GROUP A AUSTRALIA

ENGLAND

WALES

FIJI

URUGUAY

FORM: Won a truncated Rugby Championship after toppling South Africa and New Zealand at home, but then slipped to a heavy defeat in Auckland to ensure the Bledisloe Cup eludes them once more. Shaping up well under new coach Michael Cheika, they have arguably the most gifted backline in the tournament. CAPTAIN: STEPHEN MOORE Took over the job from Michael Hooper for the Rugby Championship and earned plaudits for his leadership. A fearless, ball-carrying hooker who idolised Keith Wood as a youngster. STAR PLAYER: MICHAEL HOOPER Possibly the best openside in the world, although Richie McCaw might have a word to say about that. Not the biggest flanker, but explosive as a carrier and great over the ball. WORLD CUP HISTORY: As winners in 1991 and 1999 and runners-up in 2003, Australia boast a proud World Cup record. Have a habit of finding a way around their weaknesses and are always a force when challenging for the Webb Ellis Cup.

FORM: Four successive runners-up finishes in the RBS 6 Nations paint an accurate picture of a team that has made a habit of falling just short, often by the narrowest of margins. Mixed fortunes in the two warm-up games against France have added uncertainty, although the management would justifiably advise against reading too much into the games. CAPTAIN: CHRIS ROBSHAW A brave openside who leads by example week after week. His appetite for work is dizzying and he repeatedly tops the tackle and carry charts. Foraging on the ground remains a weakness, however. STAR PLAYER: JONATHAN JOSEPH Watching Joseph switch on the afterburners to glide through outside channels evokes memories of Jeremy Guscott in his pomp. Add in his dazzling footwork and England possess an outside centre of rare quality. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Winners in 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson kicked an extra-time drop goal with seconds to spare and beaten finalists in 1991 and 2007. Finished fourth in 1995, but bombed in 2011.

FORM: Wales won the 2012 and 2013 Six Nations, but then saw Ireland steal their crown for the next two years. Put themselves in with a chance of winning on the final day of this year’s Championship, only to miss out on points difference. Still struggle to defeat the biggest southern hemisphere teams, falling just short time and again. CAPTAIN: SAM WARBURTON Still only 26 years old, Warburton is one of the most established captains in international rugby. Made his debut in 2010 and was appointed skipper the year after. Two years later he led the British and Irish Lions to Australia. STAR PLAYER: GEORGE NORTH The giant wing was sidelined for the end of last season and much of the summer due to concussion. Powerful and direct, North could be a star of England 2015. WORLD CUP HISTORY: It has been lean pickings for Wales, who struggled in the tournament until 2011 when they were edged by France in a nailbiting semi-final that saw Warburton dismissed for a spear tackle.

FORM: Very good, defeating Tonga, Samoa and Japan to set up a 2015 Pacific Nations Cup final against Samoa, who they toppled with a convincing 39-29 victory. Only weeks earlier Samoa had given New Zealand a second-half scare in Napier before going down 25-16, a result that speaks volumes for Fiji’s achievement. CAPTAIN: AKAPUSI QERA The Montpellier openside will be appearing at a third World Cup and his second as Fiji’s captain. A well-travelled openside who played for Gloucester for seven years, he is a key link in Fiji’s attacking game. STAR PLAYER: NIKI GONEVA Made his name for Leicester in the 2013-14 campaign as strong try-scoring centre who can make a break and while he failed to scale those heights last season, the squad’s vice-captain is one of Fiji’s dangermen. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Fiji have precious few wins against tier-one nations, but their 38-34 victory over Wales in 2007 was one of them. It remains their World Cup highlight, although their battling 37-20 loss to South Africa in the ensuing quarter-final was admirable.

FORM: Thrashed by Japan in the build-up to the World Cup, it could be argued that just by qualifying for the global showpiece Uruguay have succeeded. Toppling Russia over two legs has earned their place at the tournament, but a long four weeks await in the toughest pool in history. CAPTAIN: SANTIAGO VILASECA Uruguay were dealt a blow when experienced back-row Rodrigo Capo Ortega, who also played in the 2003 World Cup, unexpectedly announced his international retirement. Hard-working flanker Vilaseca has stepped into the breach. STAR PLAYER: FELIPE BERCHESI The fly-half is a reliable kicker out of hand and from the tee and is the pivot for Uruguay’s attack. A strong game-manager and will need to be when he faces Australia, England, Wales and Fiji. WORLD CUP HISTORY: England 2015 will be Uruguay’s third World Cup and the South Americans will be hoping to improve on a record of two wins from seven matches. In 2003, England scored 111 points against them.

Your team-by-team GROUP B SOUTHAFRICA

SAMOA

JAPAN

SCOTLAND

UNITEDSTATES

FORM: South Africa suffered four successive defeats, including a 37-25 home loss to Argentina before responding with a win in Buenos Aires. There is still a reliance on established stars like Fourie de Preez, Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield and Duane Vermeulen. The two-time winners’ tournament could unravel if their leading lights do not find form quickly. CAPTAIN: JEAN DE VILLIERS The Springbok skipper returned from an horrific knee injury only to break his jaw on his first start back, against Argentina. He will likely miss the first two Pool games, but is a key figure for his side. STAR PLAYER: DUANE VERMEULEN The number eight is a barnstorming presence. He will move from the Stormers to Toulon after the tournament, where he will hope to make his presence felt after a recent neck injury. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Who could forget South Africa’s win in the 1995 tournament, when Nelson Mandela wore the Springbok jersey, uniting a nation? South Africa won again 12 years later in France and can be considered among the favourites.

FORM: The Pacific island side pushed New Zealand close in Apia in July and had mixed results in clashes with the United States, Canada and Fiji, beating the North American sides and drawing one and losing another to their fellow islanders. They have beaten Scotland in recent years and will fancy their chances of advancing. CAPTAIN: OFISA TREVIRANUS The London Irish back-row has made a huge impact with his destructive defence and strong ball-carrying after he was spotted during the 2011 tournament. STAR PLAYER: KAHN FOTUALI’I The physical and nimble scrum-half has demonstrated his supreme talent with Ospreys and Northampton in recent years and can be the catalyst to get a potent Samoa back division moving. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Samoa reached the quarter-finals in their first participation in 1991 and four years later. The last three tournaments have seen them unable to exit the pool. That will be the target in 2015 and it is a realistic one.

FORM: The perennial Asian champions, the Brave Blossoms often win the continental championship but find other opposition challenging. Consecutive losses to the United States, Fiji and Tonga were followed by a win over Uruguay. Eddie Jones’ side will be targeting a second World Cup win when they face the USA. CAPTAIN: MICHAEL LEITCH The New Zealand-born back row is of Fijian descent and moved to Japan to study. He liked it so much he stayed and is now captain. He is returning to Super Rugby with the Chiefs in 2016. STAR PLAYER: MALE SA’U Another New Zealand-born player, the centre or fly-half plays his club rugby for Melbourne Rebels. He starred in Japan’s win over Wales in 2013. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Japan have qualified for every World Cup since 1987, but have never progressed past the Pool stages. The defeat of Zimbabwe in 1991 remains their only victory, but their draw in 2007 against Canada was arguably a more unexpected and impressive result.

FORM: A first win of 2015 came in the World Cup warm-up contest with Italy in Turin after another Six Nations whitewash. Victories in November 2014 over Argentina and Tonga had provided some confidence but there is still plenty of room for improvement and coach Vern Cotter is looking to imports to provide it. CAPTAIN: GREIG LAIDLAW Laidlaw has captained Scotland of late, but his own scrum-half position has come under threat from Henry Pyrgos and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne. Laidlaw is a fine goalkicker. STAR PLAYER: STUART HOGG The Glasgow Warriors fullback is versatile, confident under the high ball and a fine and elusive runner from deep. It is down to whether Scotland can use him. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Semi-finalists in 1991 and five-time quarter-finalists, Scotland failed to advance from the pool stages for the first time in New Zealand four years ago. New Zealander Cotter has made improvements, but whether it is enough remains to be seen.

FORM: The US Eagles enter the tournament after two confidence-building wins over neighbours Canada. That followed a victory over pool rivals Japan, a result which was sandwiched by losses to Samoa and Tonga. There are talented individuals in the squad, it is just whether there are enough. CAPTAIN: CHRIS WYLES The impressive wing or full-back is a mainstay for Saracens and will be playing in his third World Cup, after featuring in both the 2007 and 2011 tournaments. STAR PLAYER: SAMU MANOA The number eight is one of the best in European club rugby, so good that Toulon have handed him a four-year contract to prise him from Northampton. WORLD CUP HISTORY: The USA have won three games in 21 attempts in tournament history, the most recent coming in 2011 against Russia. The Eagles also won twice against pool opponents Japan, back in 1987 and 2003 but they are still to advance from the group stages.


SATURDAY MONDAY SEPTEMBER OCTOBER SEPTEMBER 11 14 2014 12 2015 2015

BELFAST TELEGRAPH BELFAST TELEGRAPH I THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

RUGBY 31 I 31

WORLD CUP 2015

GROUP C NEWZEALAND

ARGENTINA

TONGA

GEORGIA

NAMIBIA

FORM: Any doubts emerging from New Zealand’s surprise Rugby Championship defeat to Australia were soon extinguished as the All Blacks exacted revenge with an emphatic victory seven days later. The squad’s ageing stars are showing few signs of decline and Steve Hansen’s side come to England as clear favourites to defend their 2011 crown. CAPTAIN: RICHIE McCAW McCaw is the most capped player in Test history after making his 142nd appearance this summer. The flanker is the totem of the New Zealand side and will be leading them out for his fourth World Cup. STAR PLAYER: JULIAN SAVEA Savea’s 30 tries in 35 international matches is testament to his status as the most lethal finisher in the game. The winger’s strength and pace makes him a frightening prospect for any defence. WORLD CUP HISTORY: New Zealand are bidding to become the first team to win a third World Cup after previous triumphs in 1987 and 2011.

FORM: A superb Rugby Championship win over South Africa — the first in their history over the Springboks — offered a glimpse of what Argentina are capable of when they hit top gear. A try-less defeat against the same opponents seven days later, however, suggests the Pumas still lack the penetration and consistency to challenge. CAPTAIN: AGUSTIN CREEVY Creevy, a tenacious hooker, is also renowned for his handling skills and brings much-needed experience to the Argentina ranks. The 30-year-old played at the 2011 World Cup and has represented Biarritz, Clermont and Worcester at club level. STAR PLAYER: JUAN MARTIN HERNANDEZ Argentina’s strength traditionally lies in the pack but Hernandez’s creativity injects sparkle into the back line. The 33-year-old has 53 Test matches to his name and his reliable boot represents a valuable weapon for point-scoring. WORLD CUP HISTORY: In 2007, they beat Ireland and France, twice, to finish third. Before then, the Pumas had only escaped the Pools once in five attempts. They did so again four years ago, before losing to eventual champions New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

FORM: Victories over Japan, the United States and Canada in the Pacific Nations Cup this summer will have given Tonga confidence ahead of the World Cup but defeats to Fiji, as well as Scotland in November last year, suggest they are still outsiders to reach the knockout stages. CAPTAIN: NILI LATU Latu made his Test debut in 2006 and the back-row forward has since established a reputation as one of the toughest tacklers in the game. Now 33, this will likely be Latu’s last World Cup and he will eager to go out with a bang. STAR PLAYER: FETU’U VAINIKOLO Vainikolo is no newcomer to international rugby, having played in 21 Test matches for Tonga, and he has scored an impressive 16 tries in that time, including one against Japan at the World Cup four years ago. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Tonga have never made it past the Pool stage at a World Cup. A 19-14 win over France in 2011 did show their potential, but an earlier loss to Canada had ended hopes. Tonga have improved in each of their six tournaments but they will likely have to beat Argentina to make the knockouts.

FORM: Wins against Romania, Russia, Spain, Portugal and Germany this year have shown Georgia to be a cut above the emerging European nations but they still have work to do to close the gap on more established sides, as proven by convincing defeats to Tonga and Ireland at the end of last year. CAPTAIN: LEVAN DATUNASHVILI Datunashvili has been a regular fixture in the Georgian side for more than 10 years since making his Test debut in 2004. The veteran lock played in both his country’s two World Cup victories to date and will be eager to build on those successes in Pool C. STAR PLAYER: MAMUKA GORGODZE Georgia boast a number of powerhouse forwards and driving at the back of that scrum is Toulon back-rower Gorgodze. At 6ft 5in and 118kg, ‘Gorgodzilla’ is an intimidating presence for any opponent. WORLD CUP HISTORY: This is the fourth consecutive World Cup for Georgia, an achievement in itself. They have managed two wins, against Namibia in 2007 and Romania in 2011, but the knockout stages remain a remote possibility.

FORM: Namibia are the standout African outfit, aside from the Springboks, as proven by comfortable wins over Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tunisia this year. Victories over Romania and Russia have also offered encouragement, either side of a disappointing defeat against Spain in June. CAPTAIN: JACQUES BURGER Burger will be leading his side out for a third World Cup and it will be a particularly special achievement for the fearless Saracens flanker, who almost had to retire through injury two years ago. STAR PLAYER: TINUS DU PLESSIS Du Plessis has seven World Cup appearances under his belt and the 31-year-old’s experience will be important in containing superior opposition. The back-row forward has scored six tries in 43 appearances. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Namibia are yet to register a single victory in 15 World Cup matches and hold the unfortunate record of the tournament’s greatest defeat, losing 142-0 to Australia in 2003. That margin may be under threat when the competition’s lowest-ranked side meet New Zealand in Match 12.

guide to RWC groups GROUP D IRELAND

FRANCE

ITALY

CANADA

ROMANIA

FORM: Arguably the best of all time. Head coach Joe Schmidt has overseen two successive RBS 6 Nations title charges. Ireland have, however, dropped from second to sixth in the world standings after two warm-up defeats on the bounce. Yet hopes are higher than ever that Ireland can reach a maiden World Cup semi-final. CAPTAIN: PAUL O’CONNELL The talisman lock will bring down his Test career after the World Cup, and swap home province Munster for superstar French Riviera outfit Toulon. All of Ireland demands a fitting swansong. STAR PLAYER: JOHNNY SEXTON Ireland are simply not the same team without the British and Irish Lions fly-half. The tenacious, accurate and exacting playmaker binds Schmidt’s demanding game-plan. WORLD CUP HISTORY: A catalogue of underachievement. The Irish have only failed to reach the last eight in two of the seven tournaments to date. The 19-18 last-eight defeat to Australia in 1991 hit hard, but no doubt the 2210 loss to Wales in 2011 resonates for Ireland’s current Test generation.

FORM: Les Bleus have had an abysmal time under coach Philippe SaintAndre, who will be replaced by Toulouse stalwart Guy Noves after the World Cup. Two successive fourthplaced Six Nations finishes underline France’s travails, with Saint-Andre lambasted for unpatriotic pragmatism. A stirring performance in a 25-20 World Cup warm-up victory over England in Paris did however stir echoes of France’s classic, swashbuckling style. CAPTAIN: THIERRY DUSAUTOIR The gritty flanker takes the armband despite carrying a knee injury into the tournament, such is the depth of his influence. The 33-year-old approaches his third World Cup and, when fit, remains as much a breakdown menace as ever. STAR PLAYER: WESLEY FOFANA As with Jonathan Joseph for England, so Fofana for France is the midfield antidote to a game cluttered with giants. The Clermont centre’s guile and wit offers a vital foil to the juggernaut antics of usual partner Mathieu Bastareaud. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Whatever the approaching shambles, France always pull it together for the World Cup. Three finals, three semi-finals and a quarter-final speak volumes.

FORM: Narrowly avoided the Wooden Spoon in this year’s Six Nations and will view that as a solid overall effort. Still battling for parity with the top European powers, and will in truth be hard pushed to progress from this group. CAPTAIN: SERGIO PARISSE The peerless number eight just keeps on churning out sublime performances, even when surrounded by mediocrity. The Stade Francais star is now 31 but has excelled in the Test arena for more than a decade. STAR PLAYER: SERGIO PARISSE Repetition is discouraged in such bite-size guides, but Parisse is simply so much better than his Azzurri peers there can be no other stand-out choice. The skill-set of a Test centre with the street-smarts of a seasoned back-row. WORLD CUP HISTORY: The Azzurri have never progressed beyond the pool stages in the seven tournaments to date, though have won two games at the last three competitions.

FORM: Canada lost all four matches at the recent Pacific Nations Cup and have not won since a 17-13 win over Namibia in November. Only Uruguay and Namibia are ranked lower than the Canadians among the 20 World Cup competitors. CAPTAIN: TYLER ARDRON The back-rower has been included in Canada’s squad despite carrying a knee injury through the Pacific Nations Cup. The Ospreys loose-forward should recover comfortably in time for group-stage action, however. STAR PLAYER: JAMIE CUDMORE Veteran lock Cudmore is still turning screws for Clermont Auvergne, almost 20 years after a stint in a Canadian youth detention centre courtesy of acting as muscle for a drug dealer. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Just once in World Cup history have Canada escaped the Pool stages. Their reward? A 1991 meeting with New Zealand. The All Blacks eased home 29-13, just as expected. Canada have since failed to live up to their showing in the second World Cup, and may struggle again.

FORM: The world’s 17th-ranked side have never beaten any of their Pool D rivals at a World Cup, and face a tall order to alter that statistic. Romania regained the World Rugby Nations Cup title this year, but know full well the global showpiece battle is an entirely different proposition. CAPTAIN: MIHAI MACOVEI Flanker Macovei plies his trade at French club Colomiers and has eight years’ Test rugby experience under his belt. The 28-year-old will not lack for physicality, but may fall prey to the superior tactical nous of the French and Irish. STAR PLAYER: OVIDIU TONITA Tonita has won World Cup selection for the fifth time running, and is set for action in his fourth consecutive tournament. The 35-year-old former Perpignan and Carcassonne back-rower has joined Aix en Provence this summer, and has been playing in France since 2001. WORLD CUP HISTORY: Seven-straight pool stage eliminations indicate the size of the challenge that faces Romania when it comes to taking on the world’s best.


Rugby World Cup 2015  

from Belfast Telgraph

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