These daily files will give you the latest reports surrounding the World Cup as well as betting lines, what to watch for information and best reads. Check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring you the latest from France.
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The Lead: Jones Skelton, Tupau injured
The Wallabies continue to play in Saint-Etienne, training and hoping that Portugal can finish the pool stage of Rugby World Cup 2023 by knocking them out of the pool. A disaster in the history of the tournament.
Not only do Os Lobos need to win to save the Wallabies’ bacon, but they must score more than seven points and prevent the Fijians from scoring four in the process. It’s a tall order indeed, but you only have to think back to the last World Cup when Fiji were stunned by Uruguay to know it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
But Australia have been unable to control their own destiny since their 40-6 loss to Wales and it seems that, after days off, Wallabies coach Eddie Jones is finally getting back to where it all went wrong.
Fans back in Australia and those who made the trip to France — or those coming next week who thought they’d see the men in gold play at least one match — will likely have some suggestions. But for the Wallabies coach, managing the training session after Australia’s win over Georgia was all he wanted to do, as first Tanila Tupau and then Will Skelton took to the space for three days.
“The biggest loss we had in this tournament was losing Tanila and Will in one session and I take the blame for that,” Jones told reporters at the team’s camp outside St Etienne on Friday.
“Just don’t get it, Sessions. You never know with an injury, you never really do. But could we have done it a little differently? I keep thinking about it.”
“To reduce the risk of injury, just an order of training and the way you train. I hold my hand.”
Although Tupau and Skelton were not injured in the same session as Jones, the fact that they both suffered soft tissue injuries after facing Georgia in 35°C temperatures suggests the big men should have handled the week better.
The 35-15 win over Georgia followed a tough preparation for the Wallabies, which took them to Darwin in the final days of the bye, where the temperature and humidity also put the players to the test.
As luck would have it, both Skelton and Tupau will be fit to play should Portugal give Australia the ultimate advantage. But the forwards have a lot to think about in their 2023 World Cup campaign with one match, one win – and otherwise against Fiji and Wales.
Still, Skelton interrupted and defended his coach, repeating earlier comments that he and the medical staff had racked their brains, trying to figure out why his calf was pinging.
“You can see anything, if I get half an hour more sleep, if I drink a liter more water. I think for those things, I’m in control,” he said.
“Incidents happen and that’s rugby, injuries happen during the week and games. I (maybe) got injured at the weekend against Fiji. It’s unfortunate and I think we have to move on.”
around the cup
France pipped Italy to the top of Group A
Hosts France confidently advanced to the World Cup quarter-finals as Pool A winners with an emphatic 60-7 bonus-point victory over war-torn Italy in a festive atmosphere at the OL Stadium on Friday.
In the second minute winger Damian Penaud tried to calm any nerves in the absence of injured captain Antoine Dupont and added his second before half-time to become France’s second highest try-scorer above Vincent Clarke.
Fullback Thomas Ramos kicked 15 points with tries, Yoram Mofana grabbed a brace and Louis Biel-Bierre, Mathieu Jalibert and Pito Mouvaca also crossed as France picked up their biggest win in 48 meetings with their neighbours.
Same same, but different tee for Sopoaga
Samoa flyhalf Lima Sopoaga has not regained the kicking tee she lost in Bordeaux last month but will face England on Saturday with some confidence after being sent a “lookalike” used tee by the England coach.
Sopoaga has owned the original tee since he was 14 but left it on the pitch in the chaos after the win over Chile and, despite appeals on social media, it has not been returned.
“I was sent a similar one from a kicking coach in England, named Alex Davies,” Sopoaga said on Thursday.
“He sent me an old one so it’s the same feel. I taped it and pretended it was the same one so hopefully I’m not screwing them up over the weekend. If I am, I’m going to blame the equipment.”
The 32-year-old former All Black said the original TT traveled the world with him and was “an extension of me”.
“The first thing I pack is before I pack my boots. I’d rather forget my boots than my kicking tee,” Sopoaga said.
All Black again faced prop problems
New Zealand had little trouble scoring against Uruguay in Lyon on Thursday night, with fullback Damian McKenzie starring in a 76-0 win.
The win did little to change their pool fortunes, although the All Blacks faced the reality they would finish second in Pool A and face either Ireland, South Africa or Scotland in the quarter-finals.
Barring an explosion from Andy Farrell’s side in Paris on Saturday night, the All Blacks could face Ireland in one of the biggest quarter-finals in the tournament’s history.
But All Blacks coach Ian Foster has some problems to deal with beforehand, not least a medial ligament injury to help Tyrell Lomax, who has just returned from a nasty cut to his thigh against South Africa in London in August.
“Fletcher [Newell] His knee was basically precautionary, but Tyrell is a little more serious,” Foster said. “We don’t know how bad it is. It looks like a medium, but not too bad to look at. He has a bucket of ice on his knee at the moment and we will see in the next 48 hours.
“The medial ligaments could be a small strain or a big strain. We won’t know for another 24 hours, but after that he was doing fine. We’ll see him over the weekend, but luckily we’ve got something extra. Day [until the quarterfinal] That might make sense for us.”
Although tighthead Lomax’s injury is far from ideal, also suffered by Newell, the All Blacks will have loosehead Ethan de Groot back from suspension for their quarter-final clash.
Wales v Georgia
Wales have completed the hard yards and are on course for a second straight sweep of their pool matches at the World Cup, but a final and potentially tricky clash against Georgia looms. Mind you it was just 11 months ago that the Georgians went to Cardiff and then coach Wayne Pivac’s side sank, a result of one of the main reasons Warren Gatland returned to the role a few weeks later. Wales were a different team under Gatland, regaining the hard edge that characterized his tenure, although the 40-6 thrashing of Australia was also a sign of their improvement in his second arrival. There is no Dan Biggar for this game, but after coming off the bench in that win over Australia, Gareth Anscombe is a proven deputy. The Georgians have struggled to find the tryline this campaign, often being their own worst enemies as the final pass goes to ground – or controversially ruled out as was the case last week – but they will need to create every opportunity if they’re to be any chance of an upset. . The team is riding a wave of momentum ahead of the quarter-finals against Japan or Argentina.
tab(tab.com.au): Wales $1.05, -16.5 $1.85, Georgia $10, +16.5 $1.95
England vs Samoa
Whatever happens against Samoa, England could be forgiven for keeping one eye on the quarter-finals as they hold top spot in Pool D. But the clash with the Pacific Islands is also a crucial hit-out after they beat Chile last week after the break and the week before. All eyes will be on the reformed partnership of George Ford and Wayne Farrell, who will be making their 41st start together. 10 and 12 respectively. With Fiji their potential quarter-final opponents, England will also be looking to improve their set-piece and kicking games, knowing they will be able to press Simon Raiwalui’s side in both areas next week. However, Samoa showed they can’t roll over easily, and staged a memorable comeback against Japan from around 14 men. Coach Seleila Mapusua has called in some fresh legs for this game, especially Lima Sopoaga. 10 jersey, with another former All Black Steven Luatua returning to the no. 8. An upset is not out of the question for Samoa here, but they will need some luck and play to their absolute potential to get it. But you think England will have too much class, and pile on the scoreboard pressure before pulling away to a comfortable win.
tab(tab.com.au): England $1.07, -20.5 $1.85; Samoa $8.50, +20.5 $1.95
Ireland v Scotland
What a game to end the final day of pool action at Rugby World Cup 2023 Irish and Scottish jerseys started to fill Paris on Friday afternoon, so you can only imagine what the atmosphere was going to be like at kick-off. Saturday night at the Stade de France. Ireland were favourites, and deservedly so, as Andy Farrell’s side rode a 16-Test winning streak, grabbing big scalps in South Africa. [twice]France and New Zealand [twice] Along the way. They are a group playing in perfect harmony with each other, each player fully understanding his role and how it fits around conductor Johnny Sexton. Opposite Sexton is one of the game’s greatest mavericks, Finn Russell, a player with more guts and natural ability than any other man on the planet. But he needs time and space to be at his best and Ireland will starve him for that, led by the man coming off his 100th Test cap, Peter O’Mahony. Scotland’s set-pieces are also likely to come under pressure, so the faster they play, both in general play and in lineouts and scrums, the better. They have plenty of power to trouble themselves and put Ireland under some pressure, but too much faith, precision and talent in this Irish squad stands in their way.
tab(tab.com.au): Ireland $1.16, -10.5 $1.90; Scotland $5.20, +10.5 $1.90