Today’s “Well he would, wouldn’t he?” slot goes to former All Black captain and hooker Sean Fitzpatrick, who surprisingly predicts that New Zealand will win the World Cup. [/sarcasm] This gets coverage in several outlets today, mostly in the British broadsheets’ sites.
In the Guardian, he says that New Zealand will “bash” their rivals into submission. The Telegraph has him choking on the notion that the All Blacks will choke, while in the Times, he contends that Ireland will fail to qualify from Group D.
Speaking of Group D, Mick Cleary in the Telegraph analyses it, and although he concludes that France and Ireland will probably emerge from what is by far the toughest group, it would be foolish to write off Argentina just yet.
The Indo has a piece about Paul O’Connell vowing to lead by example, but whoever wrote the article appear to be a bit confused:
O’Connell, of course, led out Ireland on that remarkable electric Croke Park debut earlier this year when Ireland hosed England with a torrent of physical abuse and artistic brush strokes.
No, he didn’t! He captained Ireland against France, because O’Driscoll had picked up an injury in the Welsh match. BOD was back to full fitness for the England match and resumed the captaincy.
The Indo also reports on the final training session at St Gerard’s in Bray. The good news is that Shane Horgan and David Wallace are both well on their way to full fitness in time for the start of the tournament. IrishRugby.ie reports that the squad are currently enjoying their last break before going into camp for the tournament itself.
Across the wather, Welsh out-half Stephen Jones has vowed to be fit in time for the big event. (Indo, again)