De Villiers rolls back on departure
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has retracted the resignation he appeared to make after the Springboks' 11-9 defeat by Australia in the World Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
The Springbok management and senior players flew into Johannesburg yesterday to an enthusiastic welcome from several thousand people, most of whom blamed referee Bryce Lawrence's leniency at the breakdown for the loss in a match the defending world champions dominated.
Asked whether he had notified the SARU of the decision he had made to resign, De Villiers backtracked. "No, I never resigned, I was just saying it was the end of the road. It's logical, I have a four-year contract and I've known all along that this day would come. I will live and die by that contract, which ends in December," De Villiers said.
However, the Boks have definitely lost a couple of their biggest names, with captain and hooker John Smit and lock Victor Matfield announcing their international retirements.
Injured Muliaina draws curtain on Kiwis career
Mils Muliaina fought back tears as he announced the end of his All Black career after a shoulder injury cut short his World Cup.
The 31-year-old fractured his shoulder in the quarter-final win over Argentina and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament.
"From today onwards, I will be a former All Black," Muliaina said. "I really wanted to have a finish in a couple of weeks' time, but it's not to be. This is rugby. Last night I was on top of the world but it's like a roller coaster."
Out-half Colin Slade was also ruled out of the remainder of the competition, so Hosea Gear and Stephen Donald have been called up as replacements.
Rolland gets the
nod for Wales clash
Ireland's Alain Rolland will referee the opening World Cup semi-final between Wales and France in Auckland on Saturday.
Rolland, who controlled the World Cup final when South Africa beat England in 2007, will have England's Wayne Barnes and South African Jonathan Kaplan as his assistants.
The second semi-final on Sunday between New Zealand and Australia will be controlled by South African Craig Joubert, assisted by Welshman Nigel Owens and France's Romain Poite. Appointments for the final and third-place play-off game will be announced next Monday.
Munster prop Botha
cited in Ospreys game
MUNSTER prop BJ Botha has been cited for striking an opponent with the head during the reigning champions' Pro12 match against Ospreys last Saturday.
Ospreys openside flanker Justin Tipuric was also cited for a dangerous tackle. Both players are awaiting a confirmation of a date for their hearings.