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Saturday 18 August 2018

Pocock gives Wallabies injury worry after missing training

AUSSIE flanker David Pocock gave Australia a scare by missing training today on the eve of what could be a tournament-defining World Cup match against Ireland at Eden Park.

The highly rated 23-year-old, the only specialist openside in the Australia squad, experienced some tightness in his back and missed the morning training session as a precaution, team officials said.

"He was just a little bit tight so we didn't want to push him," captain James Horwill said. "I imagine he'll be okay, that's the belief that I've got."

Pocock would be a big loss to the Australians for a match where Ireland's mobile back row and experienced backline present a threat to Australia's hopes of dictating their own passage through the draw.

Rory Best insists Ireland will embrace the support of New Zealand when they face Australia at Eden Park tomorrow.

Hordes of Irish fans are expected to attend the pivotal clash in Pool C, which sees Declan Kidney's side meet the World Cup's second favourites.

But Kiwis are also throwing their weight behind the green cause in the hope their fierce rivals will be humbled.

"Throughout our stay in New Zealand, we've had a lot of support," Best said. "For this game it's not just from the Irish, for whatever reason the New Zealanders will be supporting us as well. It's great."

lWales coach Warren Gatland has named an unchanged team for Sunday's World Cup clash with Samoa in Hamilton.

Gatland has predictably retained the side that pushed world champions South Africa to the brink of defeat in Wellington last weekend.

Wales: J Hook; G North, J Davies, J Roberts, S Williams; R Priestland, M Phillips; P James, H Bennett, A Jones, L Charteris, A-W Jones, D Lydiate, S Warburton (capt), T Faletau.

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