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English team notes found in Ireland hotel

A FRESH controversy has hit the English rugby team after it emerged that sensitive tactical briefing notes were discovered at the Ireland team hotel in Wellington.

The London Times newspaper revealed that details of on-field moves and training drills had been compromised and ended up at the Intercontinental Hotel, 300 miles away from the England base.

After Ireland's shock win over the Wallabies, it appeared as though the Six Nations rivals might meet in the semi-finals, but both sides were beaten last weekend.

It is not known how the material made its way to Wellington, but the incident is likely to place more pressure on England's under-fire manager Martin Johnson.



Les Bleus pick unchanged side

France coach Marc Lievremont has named an unchanged team for Saturday's semi-final against Wales.

After stumbling through their pool with two defeats, and amidst talk of a player revolt, France finally hit their stride last week to beat England 19-12.

Francois Trinh-Duc came off the bench to guide Les Bleus to victory with a drop goal and some smart tactical kicking but he remains among the replacements, with Morgan Parra starting again at fly-half.

France: M Medard; V Clerc, A Rougerie, M Mermoz, A Palisson; M Parra, D Yachvili; J Poux, W Servat, N Mas, P Pape, L Nallet, T Dusautoir (capt), J Bonnaire, I Harinordoquy.

Replacements: D Szarzewski, F Barcella, J Pierre, L Picamoles, F Trinh-Duc, D Marty, C Heymans.



All Blacks are wary of Cooper

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith is taking little notice of Australia fly-half Quade Cooper's erratic performance during the Wallabies' World Cup quarter-final win against South Africa in Wellington.

"I can only talk about experiences that we've had with them, and he (Cooper) has played pretty well against us," Smith said. "He is mercurial, he is dangerous. If he has a real good day then you are in trouble."