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Priestland, Charteris will be fit to play

WALES are hopeful out-half Rhys Priestland and lock Luke Charteris will be fit for Saturday’s World Cup semi-final against France.

Both players suffered shoulder knocks during the quarter-final win over Ireland in Wellington two days ago.

“It is pretty sore, but it should be good to go,” Charteris said.

Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins added: “Hopefully Rhys will be fine.”

Wales are bidding to reach a first final, but Jenkins is aware of the dangers posed by the French. “We are under no illusions of what is ahead of us. This is the biggest game I have been involved in,” he said.

Jenkins also backed Wales’ exciting young generation of players: “The way they (the young players) are playing they do not have a lot of fear at this moment in time.”

Lievremont hails Wales

France coach Marc Lievremont began planning to topple Wales in the World Cup semi-finals by praising their performances so far.

Wales’ World Cup has featured a defeat by South Africa before wins over Samoa, Namibia, Fiji and Ireland.

“They play a great style of rugby,” he said. “They’re playing the same rugby of three years ago when they |won the Grand Slam.

“This consistency is encouraging for them. Warren Gatland has managed to freshen up his squad with some very talented players.”

Rolland will ref first semi

Ireland’s Alain Rolland and South Africa’s Craig Joubert have been appointed to referee the semi-finals of |the Rugby World Cup.

Rolland will control Saturday’s first game between Wales and France and Joubert will referee Sunday’s clash between |New Zealand and Australia.