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Rugby World Cup

Fiji Upbeat Ahead of World Cup

Fiji’s general manager is felling good ahead of the Rugby World Cup and is looking to cause an upset

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(Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

Fiji’s general manager Geoff Webster feels as though his nation are in the best shape they ever have been heading into a Rugby World Cup.

The Fijians are in a pool with Australia, Wales, Georgia and Uruguay, in what is a tough pool, but Webster is hopeful that they can reach the quarter-finals this year.

“We get a puncher’s chance in World Cups, because we’re together for 12 weeks before the tournament, as opposed to five days before the first November international. We certainly go into this World Cup as the best prepared Flying Fijian team ever. We put a lot of resourcing behind it and we’ve got a very strong coaching staff and a world class S&C group. The challenge for us is whether our 12 weeks of preparation, and the improvement in cohesion we can build over that time, is enough to bridge the gap to where teams like the Wallabies and Wales start,” he said.

If the Fijians do make it out of their pool it will be only the third time that they have done so with the previous two coming in 1987 and 2007.

Webster believes that the team who lost two of their six warm-up games have become stronger since they reduced their squad.

“Since the coaches cut the squad down [from 42 to 31] the team has been training in a much more focused, tactical way. We will have had a three-week gap by the time we play the Wallabies and whilst there are some negatives to that, the positives are that you shouldn’t get as many injuries and you don’t get any suspensions. Because you’re not in a test week, having to do units and get your game plan in, a team can do much more quality work in key areas, without the rush or having to work against the clock. Once players know that they’re on the plane, there’s a noticeable lift in focus, too,” he added.

The short turnarounds that the Fijians face between matches could make their task even tougher, but once again when discussing it Webster refused to give up his belief and is motivated to show what the Fijians can do.

“What did Mike Tyson say? Everyone’s got a plan until you get punched in the face, so we’ll see where we are when the bell rings. We’ve got to answer the count when the punches start getting thrown,” he continued.

Fiji open up their World Cup campaign on Saturday September 21st against the Wallabies where we will hopefully get an indication of just how good the Fijians will be this time around, with the neutrals hoping this could be their year.

Rugby World Cup

Another Injury Setback for Ireland

Ireland look set to be without another key player for their opening Rugby World Cup game against Scotland on Sunday

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(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ireland full-back Rob Kearney is the latest star that appears likely to miss the side’s opening Rugby World Cup game against Scotland on Sunday.

The Leinster man is reported to be suffering from a calf problem that he picked up during training earlier today and now is a major doubt for not only the team’s Scottish clash but also their game against Japan six days later. 

If Kearney is to miss the game it would seem likely that head coach Joe Schmidt would pick either one of Andrew Conway or Jordan Larmour in the 15 jersey, but it is far from ideal. 

Kearney’s injury follows the news that centre Robbie Henshaw is unlikely to feature during the game with Scots as he tries to overcome a hamstring injury, with Will Addison apparently on standby back in Ireland. 

However, unlike Kearney’s injury Ireland are well covered in the midfield with Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki and Chris Farrell all fighting to make it into the starting XV. 

Elsewhere, Joey Carbery is training once more following the ankle injury he picked up against Italy in their opening warm-up game.

However, wing Keith Earls is still not training fully in what is another worry for the Irish as the injuries continue to pile up. 

Ireland open up their World Cup campaign against Scotland on Sunday, before games against hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa as they look to progress from pool A, but they will be hoping some of their key men will be back in action for those clashes. 

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Rugby World Cup

Irish Star Set to Miss RWC Opener

Ireland look set to be without one of their key men when they play Scotland on Sunday, but there is more positive news elsewhere in the squad

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw appears set to miss the team’s Rugby World Cup opening game against Scotland on Sunday with a hamstring injury.

The Irish camp are not giving up hope on Henshaw recovering, but they have finally admitted that he is “unlikely to feature” against the Scots. Ireland’s scrum coach Greg Feek confirmed the news to the media. 

“Robbie’s looking very, very unlikely for this weekend obviously. But we’ve just got back from training and still sorting things out, but I think it’s reasonably positive in terms of what we saw,” he said. 

However, despite seeming very unlikely to play this weekend Feek is confident that Henshaw will return to action soon. 

“Some of these guys, day by day, week by week, they can improve dramatically as opposed to the average human. So we’ll just take it like that at the moment. It’s looking positive, so from here on in we’ll just see how it goes in the next few days and then maybe reassess in the not too distant future. He’s a good man, great to have around, his work ethic is incredible and you know he’s doing the work. To be at this stage now there’s probably a sense of relief,” he added. 

The IRFU have confirmed that Henshaw will remain in Japan with the 31-man squad, despite reports claiming that Will Addison is set to be called up by head coach Joe Schmidt, but they have decided not to release the full details of Henshaw’s injury yet which is a worrying sign. 

In more positive news for Irish fans Feek also confirmed that fly-half Joey Carbery has been training fully as he continues to recover from an injury he picked up against Italy in a World Cup warm-up game. 

“Joey was running around today and trained, he looked pretty good. So we’re just all really happy for him more than anything,” he finished. 

Ireland will hope that Henshaw will recover in time to face Japan in their second game of the pool stages, however, all focus will be on kicking their campaign off with a perfect start against the Scots on Sunday. 

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Rugby World Cup

These are class. All the Irish Rugby Gifs

Expect to see these a lot over the next few weeks.

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Image from Giphy

Everyone loves the Rugby World Cup. Everyone loves Gifs.

So the Irish Media Team have combined the two to give us these masterpieces.

Check out all the Irish Rugby Gifs (so far) for the Rugby World Cup!

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Can we give a round of applause for the Irish Rugby Media Team

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