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Wednesday 22 March 2023

# RWC2011

All time
# Whistle Happy
Craig Joubert to ref World Cup final - but under-fire Rolland lands role too
Irishman will be reserve referee this weekend after Saturday’s tough day at the office.
# Early Doors
The Morning Score: Monday
Sam Warburton, Jason McGuinness and Andy Murray all feature in our daily bite-sized edition bringing you all the sports news that’s hitting the headlines.
# Regret
Tuilagi feared his Mum's reaction after ferry jump
Manu Tuilagi says he is ‘disappointed’ with himself after hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons during the Rugby World Cup.
# Outburst
Lièvremont labels players 'spoilt brats' after night out
The French coach launched an astonishing tirade at his own players – a week before they face New Zealand in the RWC final.
# One step away
Heart and soul see New Zealand through
Graham Henry pays tribute to his side’s “huge ticker, huge character and guts” after they booked their place in next Sunday’s World Cup final.
# Ban
Tackle sees Warburton suspended for three weeks
The Welsh back row admitted to a dangerous tackle on Vincent Clerc and will now miss his country’s game against Australia.
New Zealand v Australia
There was no love lost as New Zealand met Australia for a place in the World Cup final. Here’s the minute-by-minute report.
# Rivalry
Key considerations: Australia v New Zealand
There’s little to choose between the teams as New Zealand and Australia prepare for their semi-final showdown in Auckland.
# Tackle-gate
Spotlight on Rolland after he shows red to Warburton
Irishman Alain Rolland is the focus of all the talk following Wales’ one-point exit from the Rugby World Cup.
# Hot Water
Six-month suspended ban for tweeting Samoan
Eliota Fuimaono Sapolu faces a significant playing ban unless he apologies for a tweet he wrote about Welsh referee Nigel Owens.
# Injury KO
Beale ruled out, Ashley-Cooper to start at 15
The Australian full-back has a hamstring strain and won’t be available to face the All Blacks on Sunday.
# Seeing Red
Gatland: "I feel personally let down"
Wales manager ‘gutted’ after controversial red card gives the French the upper hand in semi-final.
# Regrets
Shane Jennings’ World Cup diary: the final chapter
“There wasn’t much to say in the dressing room and in the team room afterwards. Deccie didn’t even say that much. What could you say?” Jenno checks in with the final installment of his World Cup diary.
Wales v France
Ireland’s victors took on the mercurial Gauls in the first of the weekend’s semi-final clashes. We went minute-by-minute.
# End of Story
Fergus McFadden's World Cup diary: Time to say goodbye
“These lads are model professionals who’ve helped to build a great rugby legacy in this country and this was their last chance. There’s just nothing you can say.”
# Defence
'I am not a cheat,' insists Pocock
The flanker was criticised by John Smit for his performance in last Saturday’s game, as Australia edged out South Africa to reach the World Cup semi-finals.
# Chat
Semi-final countdown: the view from Wales
With the Welsh squad less than 48 hours away from the biggest game of their rugby lives, we turned to our man in the valleys for some pre-match guidance.
# RWC2011
WATCH: Rugby legends preview the World Cup semis
Carling, Brooke, Henderson and Quinnell look forward to this weekend’s action in Eden Park.
# Fitness Race
Deans waits as clock ticks on Beale's fitness
Kurtley Beale looks set to start for Australia after Robbie Deans provisionally named the full-back in his starting XV to face New Zealand.
# Viewing pleasure
Sofa supporter: the sport on TV this weekend
The Premier League continues, the Rugby World Cup approaches its climax and the Korean Grand Prix gets underway all in the next few days.
# decisions
McCaw and Dagg among starters to face Australia
All Blacks coach Graham Henry has made a number of changes from the side that beat Argentina in last weekend’s quarter-final.
# Man in the Middle
Ref report card: Alain Rolland's Rugby World Cup (so far)
Yo, stats nerds. Come join us as we crunch the numbers on the Dubliner’s refereeing performances and look at what to expect from him in Saturday’s semi-final.
# future plans
Quittin' time? Martin Johnson has seven days to decide on England future
The England boss has been given the opportunity to walk before an independent review panel decides his fate.
# Soundbite
You said what? 9 gems from the mouth of Marc Lièvremont
We’re hoping for a couple more of these pearlers in the run-up to Saturday’s semi-final.
# Game time
Priestland blow forces change on Gatland
Wales have made just one change to their starting XV ahead of Saturday’s World Cup semi against France.
# Knowledge
A Bluffer's Guide to... the Haka
It’s the enduring trademark of Southern Hemisphere rugby, but New Zealand’s pre-game war dance is about more than intimidation on a massive scale.
# Stay or Go?
‘We’ll see what happens’: ROG keeps retirement cards close to his chest
Nobody has any idea if Ronan O’Gara is retiring from international rugby or not. Not even the man himself.
# check in
The Happy Camper: it's time to go home, Tosh
Cian the van is parked up for the last time and the lads file onto the flight home with plenty of other Irish. It’s been a wild ride.
# Homecoming
In pictures: Ireland's World Cup squad return home
Declan Kidney’s men were met by a crowd of fans as they disembarked at Dublin Airport.
# Big Mo'
Bayonne offer half-price tickets for fans with Lièvremont 'taches
Because there ain’t no party like a moustache party. Apparently.
# Fitness Battle
Touch and go: Priestland a doubt for semi-final
All Blacks legend Colin Meads has praised Priestland and the Welsh side, tipping them to reach the final.
# Green army
The Happy Camper: home thoughts from abroad
As they point it towards the airport, our man in the van recalls the many Irish friends they’ve made along the road.
# Confusion
Turns out De Villiers didn’t resign after all
The South Africa coach claims the speech he delivered following the Springboks’ quarter-final loss to Australia definitely wasn’t about his resignation. Whatever gave you that idea?
# Dilemma
Quade Cooper to start at full-back against the All Blacks?
Robbie Deans has hinted the mercurial utility back could be deployed as a replacement for the injured Kurtley Beale, while Berrick Barnes looks a possible starter at fly-half.
# Game on
France name unchanged line-up as Lievremont sticks to winning formula
In addition, Wales coach Shaun Edwards has rejected the suggestion that France lack consistency at the best of times.
# Stupidity
Making a splash: Tuilagi fined £3,000 after jumping off ferry
The Samoan-born centre was reportedly encouraged by his England teammates to make the dive following their World Cup exit.
# De-brief
Ireland's Rugby World Cup adventure: the post-mortem
They topped the group for the first time, beat a Tri-Nations side in the southern hemisphere and made a lot of friends. But was it a success?
# Ch-Ch-Changes
Generation Next: Ireland's rugby retirements
With a handful of Ireland’s Golden Generation having now slipped the wrong side of 30, how many have the appetite for another year of competitive international rugby?
# Have your say
Poll: who will you supporting in the Rugby World Cup now that Ireland are out?
Following Saturday’s demoralising defeat, who will you be cheering from here on in?
# garbage time
The Happy Camper: 'it feels like a one horse town when the horse is out to lunch'
It’s back behind the wheel for the lads after the weekend’s heartbreak before the flight home this week.