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Thursday 16 August 2018

World Cup update: McCaw to miss Japan milestone

CAPTAIN Richie McCaw withdrew from the New Zealand team with a calf muscle strain today, a day before he was due to play his 100th test against Japan at the Rugby World Cup.

Also sidelined are both full-backs; Mils Muliaina, who was set for his 99th test, hurt his left hamstring, and Israel Dagg, who wasn't in the match 22, strained an abdominal muscle.

The injuries all occurred during a practice session yesterday, hours after star fly-half Daniel Carter pulled out of the game with a sore back.

"It was a bad day at the office as far as injuries are concerned but the good news is that all the injuries are not serious," All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said.



Scots to prey on Pumas in the hunt for progress

Scotland arrived in Wellington today and immediately turned their attention to Argentina and qualification from World Cup Pool B.

A 15-6 win over Georgia in Invercargill secured a fifth successive win and took Scotland to nine points from two games following last Saturday's 34-24 bonus-point defeat of Romania.

Following two games in five days, Argentina are Scotland's next opposition on September 25.

The Pumas are familiar foes and Scotland are eager to maintain their record of qualifying from the pool phase at every World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: "We know that if we go and win the game we qualify from the group. That's our mentality, to go out there and win the game."



Wales look to pen new chapter against Samoa

Wales will go into Sunday's appointment with Samoa in Hamilton well aware of their dismal World Cup history against the South Sea Islanders.

Samoa claimed victories over Wales during both the 1991 and 1999 tournaments, each time in Cardiff.

And although fly-half Stephen Jones is the sole squad survivor from events 12 years ago, it serves as a reminder of how dangerous a team Samoa can be.

"We haven't got the best of histories against Samoa in the World Cup, which is something we are looking to eradicate," Wales hooker Huw Bennett said.

"It's a massive game for us. They did really well against Australia earlier in the summer, so they are running with some good form."

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