Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Rugby World Cup round-up

Pelous happy to swap French polish for points

The World Cup hosts will sacrifice flair in order to win by any means possible in Friday's opening game against Argentina, their veteran lock Fabien Pelous said.

France have lost four of their last five matches against the Pumas and struggled to beat them 27-26 last November in Paris, and Pelous said yesterday: "If we beat them by the same margin this time, that'll suit me. The quality of the game we will play is not what I'm worried about. Only the result counts."

The Argentina coach, Marcelo Loffreda, will not reveal the identity of his fly-half for Friday's game until this morning, meanwhile. He will choose between his brilliant place kicker Federico Todeschini, who is no longer an injury concern after a worrying few days, the tough-tackling Felipe Contepomi or Juan Martin Hernandez, who normally plays at full-back. " We don't know any more than you do and we're just as anxious to know what the team will be," the Pumas and Perpignan lock Rimas Alvarez said yesterday.

Ireland wary of Namibian heat

Malcolm O'Kelly believes Namibia and Georgia will put the heat on Ireland up front over the next two weekends. "The Namibians four years ago in the World Cup, they provided us with an aggressive game, they were certainly up for it and won't leave anything behind this weekend," the Leinster lock, Ireland's most-capped player, with 87, said. "The same with the Georgians. They'll be mad up for it, taking us on up front."

Robinson out of Kiwis' first game

Lock Keith Robinson will miss New Zealand's opening Pool C match against Italy in Marseille on Saturday with a calf injury. Robinson, 30, who has been dogged with injuries throughout his career, pulled out of the Test against France in June after injuring the calf in pre-match training. " There is no way he'll play the Italian game and we're in no hurry to push him out there," the All Blacks coach, Graham Henry, said yesterday.

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