Wallabies

Lote Tuqiri highlights what he reckons is the key to beating England

The winger, who scored the opening try of the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, has also predicted on Twitter that the Wallabies will win by six points.

This is a bold prediction from Tuqiri seeing as the Wallabies have lost all six matches against Eddie Jones’ England, and last beat them at the 2015 RWC.

Then again, the two-time world champions showed that they have a world class performance in them against the All Blacks earlier this year, with their record 47-26 win against them in Perth.

Christian Lealiifano not certain he can manage three games in a row

Cancer survivor Lealiifano said it’s “hard to say” if he is ready for that sort of load after having been carefully managed through the pool phase of the tournament.

Coach Michael Cheika this week indicated the 32-year-old had the inside running to take the problematic playmaking role in Saturday’s quarter-final against England in Oita.

Cheika indicated Lealiifano hadn’t played there more because of the need to cater for his wellbeing.

Lealiifano looking likely to be the Wallabies' No.10 against England

Cheika has been criticised for failing to select the same player in the No.10 in successive matches since Lealiifano started both Bledisloe Cup Tests in August.

The position has taken on an experimental feel in Japan, with Bernard Foley handed a start against Wales and Matt To'omua against Georgia.

Lealiifano started the first and third games, against Fiji and Uruguay, and while not entirely convincing, he appears set to run the show against England on Saturday.

Wallabies welcome 10 new faces into side for first-ever clash against Georgia

There are five faces that remain from the 45-10 defeat of Uruguay, with Jack Dempsey, Nic White, Matt To’omua, Kurtley Beale all retained, while exciting rookie Jordan Petaia swaps to the right wing.

David Pocock will captain the new-look side in Michael Hooper’s absence as his workload is eased ahead of a probable World Cup quarter-final in Oita next weekend.

Remarkably, it’s just the seventh time Hooper will start off the bench in what’s set to be his 99th test appearance, and only the second time he’s done so with Michael Cheika as coach.

Former All Blacks claim Michael Cheika is creating 'unhealthy, negative environment'

Richard Kahui and Andy Ellis, both members of New Zealand’s 2011 World Cup winning squad, believe Michael Cheika has created a negative vibe in their camp which will permeate down to the players.

“I see Cheik and I feel for him because he’s obviously a man under pressure. It’s not just this World Cup, it’s been building the last 2-3 years,” Kahui told The Breakdown television show.

“(But) the way that he’s going about talking about referees and things, I just wonder how much that influences the players.

'The way rugby is going, I might as well join the NRL next'

French referee Romain Poite and the television match official punished Kerevi after a first-half collision with Wales replacement Rhys Patchell, who appeared to catch Kerevi high.

A lengthy television match official review followed and it was decided that Kerevi had made contact with Patchell’s throat with his elbow, although it seemed unintentional.

Cheika could not mask his frustration at events after a game that was stopped several times to check the legality of tackles.

Target on Wallabies halves as Wales prepare for World Cup scrap

Though both have been out of favour at the selection table at times this year but they are set to play pivotal roles in Australia’s most important pool match.

Wales flyhalf Dan Biggar said his side was certainly wary of Foley, who has found some of his best games in Cardiff over his career, and the impact of Genia as his halves partner.

“His record speaks for itself. He is an excellent player. He has success against us in the past, he has always seemed to have played well in Cardiff in particular,” he said.

Hodge banned for three weeks, Samoan duo cited

The no-arms tackle caught the Fijian flanker in the head in the 26th minute of the Pool D opener in Sapporo on Saturday but the Wallabies utility back was cleared of an offence by the matchday officials, despite the protestations of the Fijian players.

Yato was unable to return to the field after failing a head injury assessment and was also forced to miss Fiji's shock defeat by Uruguay in Kamaishi last night, in line with concussion protocols.

Michael Cheika faces overwhelming criticism after Fiji comments

Hodge felt the brunt of the Fijian runners on a number of occasions and was regularly rag-dolled by the athletic Fijians throughout the Pool D match.

The Wallabies winger managed to unintentionally get one of his own back late in the first half, concussing Yato with a tackle that many have deemed dangerous and worthy of a red card. Fiji subsequently referred the tackle to World Rugby, and Hodge faces a hearing on Wednesday which could potentially end his Rugby World Cup.

Michael Cheika lashes out at Fiji for referring Reece Hodge over dangerous tackle

Cheika hit out at his Fiji counterparts and claimed they were insincere in referring Hodge’s tackle after Saturday’s game in Sapporo which has resulted in a citing and a judicial hearing in Tokyo on a day still to be determined.

The first-half tackle prevented a possible try for Fiji and left flanker Peceli Yato concussed.

Fiji players immediately asked for the television match official to review the tackle. The TMO concurred with the referee and his assistant that the tackle did not even warrant a penalty.