Sport Rugby

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Compiled by Ruaidhri O'Connor

Gatland bemused by 'spirit of the rules'

Wales coach Warren Gatland found himself in hot water after bringing four players from outside his World Cup squad into training at London Irish's base in Sunbury this week.

Although he didn't break any rules, he was found by World Rugby to have broken "the spirit of the rules" and was warned over his future conduct.

"I am sure you have all read the participation handbook which is about 400 pages long," the bemused Kiwi said yesterday. "We haven't broken any rules. Apparently, we have broken the spirit of the rules. What that means I don't know.

"We brought some players in for training for a little bit of defence, so I don't know what we've done wrong. Apparently, it's breaching the spirit.

"But what does that mean? Either you've got rules or you haven't got rules. What's the spirit of the rules?"

Saint-Andre's half-time team talk falls on deaf ears

The wonders of modern television meant the world was watching as beleaguered France coach Philippe Saint-Andre (above) laid down the law to his underperforming team at half-time on Wednesday, but were they listening?

Fulgence Ouedraogo and Morgan Parra are certainly feigning interest in what Saint-Andre had to say, but there were plenty with their eyes on the floor, like Siofiane Guitoune and Noa Nakaitaci.

Wesley Fofana played with the tape on his hands nonchalantly, while the subs behind the coach were only delighted to be out of the firing line.

Samoa packing heat for 'massive warfare'

Samoa are the next team looking for a Springbok scalp and the Islanders are expecting the two-time world champions to be smarting slightly after losing to Japan.

"We're expecting massive warfare," said coach Stephen Betham. "We can't come to a war with our hands and a pocket knife, we've got to bring all we've got and face up.

"We've always expected South Africa to be our toughest opponent and that hasn't changed one bit. We expect them to be even harder now."

Quote of the day

"Who's that?"

- Sam Burgess endears himself to opposite number Scott Williams by failing to recognise him at yesterday's press conference

Number of the day

26 - Japan captain Michael Leitch is leading by example and tops the World Cup tackle count with 26 in two games

Compiled by Ruaidhri O'Connor

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport