Published: Fri, September 20, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Olympic rugby players competing at World Cup

Olympic rugby players competing at World Cup

Fiji coach John McKee has said the World Cup will be treated to plenty of the flair associated with the island nation's rugby but this time it will be allied with a firm focus on the basics of the game.

The opening game of a World Cup is a special occasion for any player and for England's Billy Vunipola there is more than one reason.

"We'll pick a team that we think is ready and prepared with some elements maybe particularly for Fiji but really I think looking at the whole flow of what we've had so far and which players will be 100 per cent ready for the game on Saturday".

Cheika appeared to be referring to the extra burdens carried by his side as a result of the Folau furore when he said: "We do our absolute best and wherever the cards fall, I'll be absolutely proud of my team".

Jones has referred to 21-year-old Curry and 23-year-old Underhill as his "kamikaze kids", their selection reminiscent of the David Pocock/Michael Hooper back-row combination which served Australia so well at the last World Cup.

They also defeated the Maori All Blacks for the first time in 62 years as part of a drawn two-match series.

If that wasn't enough Paddy Power, who have recently taken a very favourable no wagering approach to new-customer bonuses, are also throwing in £1,000 spending money and a free £1,000 bet on the Rugby World Cup Final, the question is however, will Ireland be there? If we play another style of back row we're probably more of a threat on ball carrying or something like that.

Australia captain Hooper relishing Pocock back-row partnership

"They are a side that if they get a bit of momentum can be very unsafe, and we will need to be on our best on Sunday".

There's 18 Olympians across nine teams, including Nakarawa, Viliame Mata, Josua Tuisova and Semi Kunatani from the Fiji squad which won the rugby sevens title when the condensed version of the sport made its Olympic debut at Rio de Janeiro in 2016. They could come up against Australia, Wales, England or France, all teams capable of making the final and potentially winning the tournament themselves.

"They are going to want to play quite an up-tempo game".

"There are some good relationships in this squad, and we've worked hard on making sure we're a tight-knit group, not just on the pitch but off it, and hopefully that stands us in good stead".

While the team won't be formally named until Thursday, it us understood both will start against Fiji, with Hooper at openside flanker and Pocock at blindside.

"The team's going to be selected based on some performances like what we have used building in to the tournament", Cheika said.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis confirmed in mosquitoes in York County
Cass and Van Buren counties also had a fatal case each, and non-fatal human cases popped up in Barry and Berrien counties. About a third of patients die and numerous survivors have mild to severe brain damage, according to health experts.


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