RTE and Rugby.ie both run the same piece about Geordan Murphy in the run-up to tonight’s match against Italy. It focuses on the broken leg Murphy sustained in the warm-up match against Scotland in 2003. I remember watching that match in the Beggar’s Bush, just before going into the Ireland-Russia soccer match in Lansdowne Road. It was an awful moment, and I think anyone who had any interest in rugby was desperately sorry for Geordan that day.
More injury worries from the Indo (and elsewhere), with the news that Peter Stringer is a doubt for tonight. If he can’t make it, then Isaac Boss will pull on the green shirt in front of his provincial home crowd.
Meanwhile in Wales, Shane Williams is back in the starting XV to face France on Sunday, having undergone surgery to correct a nerve problem in his arm earlier this summer. (Indo.)
Staying in the Valleys, it appears that there’s a bit of a row breaking out between the WRU and the Welsh regions over compensation to players for playing in the tournament. (BBC) The four regions hold the contracts for the players, and those on international duty will be unavailable to their regional sides for the duration of Wales’s involvement in the World Cup. Makes me glad that most of our players are under contract with the IRFU.
All Blacks’ fans breathe a sigh of relief as lock Ali Williams re-signs with the NZRU till 2009. (TVNZ)
Meanwhile, All Black captain Ritchie McCaw is of the opinion that this current New Zealand squad will be defined by the upcoming World Cup (Planet Rugby). Christ, if New Zealand don’t win it this time, the country will descend into anarchy, I reckon.