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Page last updated at 06:29 GMT, Saturday, 15 October 2011 07:29 UK

Rugby World Cup 2011: Wales v France as it happened

World Cup latest scores


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By James Standley

1150: It is a match they'll tell their grandchildren about, but for anyone of a Welsh persuasion it will always be the bitterest of bittersweet memories. You can read the report from our man on the ground Tom Fordyce here, and he'll be blogging later as well. Looking forward to Sunday, I'll be back with live text coverage of New Zealand's mouthwatering clash with Australia. That one's bound to pass off without incident.

1143: Wales captain Sam Warburton: "I'm obviously gutted with the red card but there was no malicious intent. I felt like as soon as I hit him his bodyweight took control of what happened. I thought it was a normal tackle, next thing I was walking off into the stands. The courage and bravery the lads showed was second to none."

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Nick, via text on 81111: "It's no surprise that Ed Morrison wishes to protect one of his own, but if he is correct in supporting Alain Rolland's decision then the rules of rugby need to be changed."

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anon, via text on 81111: "here we go! Sour grapes and looking for excuses. Lost because they couldn't score more than the opposition. Warbuton gave the referee a decision to make and he made it.cry me a river."

Wales coach Warren Gatland on ITV1: "We just feel like the destiny of the result was taken out of our hands with the red card. He's lifted him, that's a yellow card, but he's not driven him into the ground. Does that mean every time there's a tackle where you lift someone off the ground it's a red card?

"Why spoil the semi-final with a red card? He's not a dirty player. I'm just gutted. We were down to 14 but we showed great character and I'm proud of our efforts. But we can't go to just one tournament and do well, we've got to kick on from here.

"I feel let down, I thought this team were good enough to go on and take the final but it was not to be. We just feel that ultimately the result wasn't in our control."

1120: Wales centre Jamie Roberts on ITV: "To play like we did with 14 men for 70 minutes, we can take a lot of pride in that performance, we hope everyone back home is proud of us, but it is heartbreaking."

"Obviously with 14 men you have to close the game up a bit - the stint with me in the scrum was quite interesting. we went to a kick chase game which paid dividends, we clawed our way back territorially and had a couple of opportunities to win the game.

"It's fine lines at this level but hopefully we've done everyone proud. We'll train hard this week, we won't throw it all away now, and try to win next week."

England full-back ben_foden on Twitter: "Hard luck to the welsh boys, dug deep and hung in there. Have to feel for them, short changed by a massive game changing decision #takeabow."

Scotland scrum-half rorylawson9 on Twitter: "Wales have been awfully good in this tournament. It had to take a decision of that nature to halt them. Final will be inferior as a result."

ThatsImran on Twitter: "I am not Welsh. But they make their country proud today."

ICambridge1 on Twitter: "The whole of NZ must be on tenterhooks for tomorrow but must know the prize awaits if they can get past Oz - French are so poor!"

1102: Ed Morrison, head of elite referee development at the Rugby Football Union, confirmed on Radio 5 live that referee Alain Rolland was "100% right" to send off Warburton, adding that dropping a player from shoulder level is automatic red card.

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JonTattz, Harborne, via text on 81111: "Whatever the result, they will make a film of this in 50 years time. 'Dragons of Fire'. Heroic."

1057:Matt Dawson on BBC Radio 5 live: "That last play underneath the posts - you need clarity of decision. I can only try and describe the amount of pressure and noise that goes on. It's very difficult to make snap decisions. Yes, we're all watching saying go for a drop-goal but there is so much going on and I think he'll be more disappointed with the missed conversion. That was a gilt-edged chance.

"Very disappointed for Wales. They threw everything they could at the French. It wasn't pretty but the French impressed me - they kicked the corners, played the wet conditions and the slippery ball and said, 'go on, score from 80 yards with 14 men, I bet you can't'. For a team with no connection with their coach they were magnificent and fully deserve to be in the final.

"It's about winning on the day. It doesn't matter if it's ugly or pretty or big scores, low scores and that's why I think the French were magnificent."

1052: Have you ever seen a game quite like it? Stripped of their captain for more than three-quarters of the match by a decision that has sparked fierce debate, Wales could still have pulled off one of the most heroic victories in rugby history after a performance that came from the depths of their souls. Even down to 14 men they were the better team for most of the game, and had any one of three penalties, one conversion or two drop-goals found their way between the sticks, they would have reached their first ever World Cup final. Instead it is France who go through to face the winners of Sunday's game between New Zealand and Australia.

FULL TIME: Wales 8-9 France

80+1 mins: Wales 8-9 France It goes to 26 phases, but in the end the ball is spilled, France regather, and Yachvili hoofs it into touch.

80 mins: Wales 8-9 France Over a dozen phases now, ball's loose but Faletau regathers...

79 mins: Wales 8-9 France
Can they get in drop-goal range? The 22s in sight now, seconds left.

78 mins: Wales 8-9 France
And still they come, red shirt after red shirt piling into the heart of the France defence. They're up to the French 10m line now.

75 mins: Wales 8-9 France
Utter agony for Wales. They miss a fourth kick at goal, but no blame can be attached to Halfpenny, as his attempt flies straight as an arrow but falls a couple of feet short.

MISSED PENALTY Wales 8-9 France

74 mins: Wales 8-9 France
Wales win a penalty just a yard inside the France half. Mas is penalised, and it is a controversial decision - was Charteris holding on, or was the France prop off-side? You may not care.

72 mins: Wales 8-9 France
I've run out of superlatives to describe the bravery of this Welsh team. Once again Roberts and Faletau set up a position inside the France 22, but although Wales' heroism is not in doubt, their decision making just may be. It looks like a chance for a drop-goal, but Jones elects to take them on with ball in hand instead and knocks on.

69 mins: Wales 8-9 France
The Welsh storm may have blown itself out. They are enjoying plenty of possession but are struggling to make much headway. Having said that, Jones pins them deep in their own 22 and the French will have to win their own line out.

66 mins: Wales 8-9 France
Wales may only have 14 men on the pitch but France must feel as though they are facing the hordes of the Red Army. Every time France clear their lines another of Wales' brilliant youngsters smashes his way back into French territory, with North threatening this time. Once again though France secure possession and force Wales back into their own half.

61 mins: Wales 8-9 France
This is absolutely heroic from Wales. Faletau and Roberts make big carries - how often have we said that this tournament? - and Jones attempts a drop-goal. It misses by miles but Wales are well on top.

58 mins: Wales 8-9 France
The roof has come off at Eden Park. Wales launch an attack into the France 22 and scrum-half Mike Phillips picks the ball up at the base of a ruck, dummies and hands off Pascal Pape before striding over for a brilliant solo try. Stephen Jones hits the post with the conversion but make no mistake, Wales are right back in this.


TRY Wales 8-9 France

56 mins: Wales 3-9 France
Mermoz dabs a kick through and into touch just outside the Wales 22. The Welsh win their throw and clear but when Medard bangs a kick high Wales fail to gather initially, before Stephen Jones eventually clears. It's not pretty but France won't care, they'll leave the aesthetics for another day.

54 mins: Wales 3-9 France
Wales edge into the France half but with a man extra the French defence is getting on top, and Szarzewski and Dusautoir combine to hammer back Wales hooker Bennett in the tackle.

51 mins: Wales 3-9 France
It was coming. France launch a rumbling maul off a line-out and Wales are forced to take it down. Parra has been flawless from the kicking tee and he slides the ball between the sticks to give France some daylight.

PENALTY Wales 3-9 France

49 mins: Wales 3-6 France
Make no mistake, Wales are putting their bodies on the line and producing a performance of immense bravery, but France are building a head of steam and it is starting to look ominous for the Welsh in Auckland.

46 mins: Wales 3-6 France
Wales make a big change, with the veteran Stephen Jones coming on for Hook at fly-half. France ring the changes in the front row with Barcella on for Poux and Szarzewski on for Servat. Parra cuts the Wales defence to ribbons and sweeps a long pass to Clerc, but the scrambling defence cuts him down and Faletau turns over possession.

44 mins: Wales 3-6 France
France are pushing Wales back but when Parra sends up another high kick, Halfpenny claims a secure catch and then makes yards with defenders hanging off him as his back row comes in to help.

42mins: Wales 3-6 France
France, with Harinordoquy to the fore, hammer away and set up the platform for Parra to attempt a drop-goal, but the ball drifts to the left of the posts.

41mins: Wales 3-6 France
Can 14-man Wales overturn their half-time deficit and reach a first ever World Cup final? They've got 40 minutes to do it, as Parra restarts the game and France launch an immediate attack on the edge of the Welsh 22.

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Anonymous, via text on 81111: "Trying not to cry. Harsh decision for Sam and Wales. Now's the time we really have to believe. Eng, Scot and Ire, please lend us your support in the name of justice."

misterhutt on Twitter: "To all of you complaining: what's the point in having rules if they are not enforced? How'd u feel if Warburton was the victim here?"

Half-time: Wales 3-6 France
Well, how much drama can you take? It was bad enough for Wales when world class prop Adam Jones went off injured so early in the game, but to have captain Warburton red carded was an absolute disaster. Was it the right call? Here's what the IRB says: "Law 10 Foul Play: (j) Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play. Sanction: Penalty kick." There was a clarification in 2009. "The IRFU has requested a ruling with regard Law 10-Foul Play. Current Law prohibits the tackling of a player who is in the air, either in the line out or in open play. The Law is designed to protect players, and to prevent them landing on the ground, on their heads or upper body.

It appears a serious anomaly, therefore, that a player(s) can deliberately lift an opponent off his feet and then may drop (or 'spear') the opponent so that he lands head down or on his upper body.

1. 10 4(e) Foul Play -Dangerous tackling. Does the action of deliberately lifting an opponent off his feet in a tackle so that he may then be dropped (or 'speared') so that he lands on his head or upper body constitute tackling 'dangerously' as defined in this Law.

2. Law 10 -Foul Play. Does the action described in 1 by definition contrary to the letter and spirit of the laws and constitutes, per se, an act of foul play should it occur in general play; e.g. a player, on the fringes of ruck or maul, so lifted.

Ruling of the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

1. The act of lifting an opponent off his feet in a tackle AND dropping or 'spearing' that player so that his head and/or upper body comes into contact with the ground first, is a dangerous tackle.

2. The dangerous play described in 1. above is considered dangerous play no matter where it occurs in the game."

39 mins: Wales 3-6 France
Sorry about that tweak in 34 mins, please referesh for the correct scoreline. Wales number eight Faletau makes good ground off a scrum but when Wales line up Hook for the drop-goal he is under pressure and the attempt falls short.

36 mins: Wales 3-6 France
Faletau does amazingly well to pick up from the base of a retreating scrum. Hook hangs the ball high and France knock on. Wales have an attacking scrum on the 22, but can they hold firm?

34 mins: Wales 3-6 France
Parra knocks over the penalty and France lead for the first time.

PENALTY Wales 3-6 France

33 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Wales blind-side Lydiate penalised at a ruck, Parra has a simple chance to give France the lead.

31 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Hook can edge Wales back in front but he once again misses to his right. Wales come hammering back as Roberts once again smashes his way through the French defence, but when Wales chip ahead, Clerc scampers back to touch down ahead of the on-rushing Williams.

TheDangle on Twitter: "Shocking refereeing decision. That was an impressive tackle, no malice involved"

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Anonymous, via text on 81111: " Sorry but Austin Healey is completely wrong, if in the process of tackling a player you pick him, you HAVE to bring him back down to the ground safely, you can't just drop him, regardless of whether or not you 'drive him into the turf' or not, bit of a harsh decision but refs have a zero tolerance now against that! "

31 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Hook can edge Wales back in front but he once again misses to his right. Wales come hammering back as Roberts once again smashes his way through the French defence, but when Wales chip ahead, Clerc scampers back to touch down ahead of the on-rushing Williams.

MISSED PENALTY Wales 3-3 France

29 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Wales are refusing to buckle and earn a penalty. Hook lines it up.

27 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Wales under big pressure in the scrum. Roberts has moved from the centres to the back row to replace the dismissed Warbuton, but James at tight-head prop is getting taken apart and the Wales scrum is going back at a rate of knots. They manage to scramble the ball away and Hook relieves the pressure.

25 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Yachvili scythes through to take France deep into the Welsh 22. Prop Poux is stopped a couple of yards short as he tries to rumble over, and when France move the ball wide, North hammers Mermoz and forces the knock on.

22 mins: Wales 3-3 France
Still a sense of disbelief that Wales are down to 14 men but they have to get their focus back on the game, because Parra has drilled over a penalty to level the scores. A defiant chant of "Wales, Wales" rings round the stadium.

PENALTY Wales 3-3 France

19 mins: Wales 3-0 France
It is a hugely controversial decision from referee Alain Rolland. Warburton picks Clerc up and takes him over the horizontal, and he fails to return him safely to the ground. But he does not drive him into the turf and it looked like a yellow card to me. Austin Healy on Twitter calls it a "most ridiculous decision".

18 mins: Wales 3-0 France
Disaster for Wales. Captain Warburton is red carded for a dump tackle on France winger Clerc.

SDJDavies42 on Twitter: "Watching Wales vs France at work on Aviano Air Force Base, Italy. Getting the Americans behind Wales. Never been so nervous!"

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MC, via text on 81111: "Spent ages looking for live stream via PC in Chongqing, China. Resigned myself to following on BBC website and found it's live on TV in hotel room!"

16 mins: Wales 3-0 France
Another threatening Wales attack as Roberts scissors with Shane Williams and powers towards the French 22, but the move breaks down when he fires a pass inside and it bounces off fellow centre Davies' forehead.

14 mins: Wales 3-0 France
North escapes down the left flank to put Wales deep into France territory. Faletau hammers on and Wales move the ball back to North, but the winger is bundled into touch. Wales definitely on top at the moment.

11 mins: Wales 3-0 France
Hook's foot slips in the greasy surface and his kicks slides to the left of the posts.

MISSED PENALTY Wales 3-0 France

10 mins: Wales 3-0 France
Wales immediately look under pressure at the scrum but the referee penalises France. Hook lines up a very kickable penalty shot as a result.

8 min: Wales 3-0 France
Hook bangs over the penalty from wide on the left, but Wales immediately suffer a massive blow as tight-head Adam Jones limps off, to be replace by Paul James.

PENALTY Wales 3-0 France/b>

6 mins: Hook cross-kicks for winger North. Wales number eight Faletau takes the ball on and France captain Dusautoir is penalised for coming round off-side.

5 mins: France prop Poux knocks on to halt a French attack inside the Wales 22. Hook bangs the clearance deep but France counter through Palisson. After France launch a high kick winger Clerc is penalised for holding on at a ruck.

3mins: France hooker Servat breaks off the back of a maul and makes 30m. Wales managed to halt him but knock on and France get the put-in 10m out.

2 mins: Wales win the line-out and set up a driving maul, but lose control of the ball. At the resulting scrum Wales look to have the nudge on but Jenkins slips and France clear from the penalty.

1 min: Wales 0-0 France
The rain has now stopped in Auckland, but the ball will still be greasy as there is plenty of water on the grass. Hook hangs the ball high and deep and we're under way. Yachvili claims and clears to just outside the France 22.

0900: The names echo down the years. Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennett, Barry John, JPR... The great Welsh sides of the 1970s dominated the European game, winning three Grand Slams with a brand of attacking rugby that sealed their place in history as much as the silverware that came with it. Since those heady days there have been fine Welsh teams but none have quickened the pulse quite as much as the exciting young side that has stormed into the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup. George North, Sam Warburton, Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips. Can you hear that boys? That's history calling...

0857: The anthems - what classics they are - are being belted out, we're minutes from kick-off.

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Anon, via text on 81111: "On the island escape cruise ship in sardinia and the welsh have taken over the terminal building to watch the game! Come on wales "

0852: Wales legend Martyn Williams thinks the conditions will favour Wales, because of their defence. There are monsoon conditions in Auckland, proper sub-tropical rain.

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Repeat correspondent Debbiethewelshgirl (see below), via text on 81111: "Nervous. Very nervous. And now taxi driver lost!"

OptaJim on Twitter: "Toby Faletau is still yet to miss a tackle at this World Cup, he has made 65 tackles so far (the second most of any player). Wall."

0844: +++Breaking weather news from our man on the scene+++ Rain now falling at Eden Park. Who does this favour? Both sides like to play a handling game, but with a slippery ball and a greasy surface, it might be that the side that kicks best is now favourite. My colleague Bryn (he's Welsh you know) thinks the conditions may now favour France, or at least have evened things up...

thefuxor on Twitter: "in Wales, Rugby is like The Force - it surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds us together as a people. #BBCRWC #RWC"

0839: Just over 20 minutes to go now, and it you think you're nervous, just imagine what it's like in the changing rooms at Eden Park. There's 60,000 fans at the game in Auckland, but there's even more at the Millennium Stadium. Anyone planning to go shopping in Cardiff later, best leave it eh.

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Anon, via text on 81111: "am from Valencia (Spain) but support Cymru today!!!"

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Debbiethewelshgirl, via text on 81111: "Taken a 50 minute taxi ride to Side, Turkey, in the hope we can find a bar showing the rugby."

BBC Sport's danroan on Twitter: "Huge sense of goodwill towards Wales here from New Zealanders. They know a NZ v Wales final would be a fitting climax to a great tournament."

0830: Wales have made just the one change from the side which beat Ireland in the last eight, with the gifted James Hook replacing injured tyro Rhys Priestland at fly-half. France field the same starting XV which won Le Crunch against England. That means scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili has shaken off a thigh injury, although Morgan Parra will take over the kicking duties.

0826: Let's have a look at those teams then. Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams; James Hook, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (capt), Toby Faletau.

Replacements: Lloyd Burns, Paul James, Bradley Davies, Ryan Jones, Lloyd Williams, Stephen Jones, Scott Williams.

France: Maxime Medard; Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson; Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili; Jean-Baptiste Poux, William Servat, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Pape, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Julien Bonnaire, Imanol Harinordoquy.

Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Fabien Barcella, Julien Pierre, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Francois Trinh-Duc, Jean-Marc Doussain, Cedric Heymans.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Tony in Borrowash, Derby, via text on 81111: "Sitting with wife and daughter. BRAINS shirts and grand slam 2008 scarves... . Bring it on froglets "

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PM via text on 81111: "Cmon Wales. Massive game, but feel we can win. Getting parity up front is key. Slightly concerned at Hook at 10 as he has not played there for a while. Hope he proves me wrong. Cymru Am Byth."

0820: Jeremy Guscott knew a thing or two about centre play, and he's full of praise for the impact Wales number 12 Jamie Roberts has made in New Zealand. To calm those pre-match nerves, why not read his full take on how Wales v France is going to go?

GreenwoodRugby on Twitter: "I want to be welsh!!"

0813: France may be "afraid", Wales are anything but. "They (the Welsh team) really couldn't care less if France have been in five straight semi-finals or whatever," said defence coach Shaun Edwards. "They are in front of us, so they need sorting out tomorrow."

0808: If form in New Zealand favours Wales, history favours France. They have won eight of the past 10 meetings between the two sides, but France coach Marc Lievremont is insisting that Wales are favourites. "Yes, I am afraid," said Lievremont, who is currently rocking the Riviera playboy look. "Above all I am afraid of the Welsh. Right now we are running on adrenaline. What we need to remember is that we had never beaten England at such a high level. That's something we can take strength from."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
RJ, via text on 81111: "Unbelievably nervous, but so excited. Wales CAN do it, but it's gonna be tough. Nothing unites the whole of Wales like the rugby."

0759: If Welsh progress to the last four has been increasingly impressive, the same cannot be said for France. Defeat by New Zealand was followed by one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament as Tonga battered Les Bleus into submission. Ah, but this is France - famed not just for their flair but also their inconsistency. In disarray on and off the field, the chances of other side would have been dismissed as they headed into a quarter-final with England, but they duly dredged up a performance from somewhere to reach a fifth consecutive semi-final. They always produce one dazzling performance each World Cup, and we haven't seen it so far in New Zealand… Wales beware.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "Strange day in Auckland. Almost everyone wishing it would hurry up and disappear so we can get one with the real business. Tick-tock."

0750: It has been a remarkable tournament for this young Wales side, which features eight players under the age of 23 in the 22-man squad. In the months and years leading up to the World Cup many fans feared they would not even make it out of the group stage. In addition to world champions South Africa, also lying in wait were Fiji, who dumped them out in 2007, and Samoa, their conquerors in both 1991 and 1999. Heroic defeat in the first match awaited against the Boks, but it was a game Wales should have won, and since then the confidence has flowed. Samoa were safely negotiated and Namibia battered before Fiji were blown away. Ireland duly followed in the last eight, and now only France stand between Wales and a first ever World Cup final.

0741: So where are you all watching the game? Whether you're lapping it up in Eden Park, preparing to shout yourself hoarse in the Millennium Stadium, sitting on the sofa with a butty or huddled around a computer in Kathmandu, join in the fun. You can either text on 81111 or Tweet using #bbcrwc.

0735 BST: Welsh legend Neil Jenkins believes it's "maybe the biggest game in Wales' history" and who I am to argue with the russet-haired points machine? What is beyond debate is that it is Wales' biggest World Cup match since the first ever World Cup in 1987, which was the last time they reached the semi-finals. Coincidentally, that tournament featured the same four sides that have reached the last four this time, although back then Wales took on hosts New Zealand at this stage. It was not pretty, as the All Blacks out-gunned the Welsh 49-6 before beating France in the final. Maybe they'll get the change to avenge that defeat in the 2011 final?

0730 BST: Wales v France for a place in the World Cup final. It's probably the biggest game in Welsh rugby history, and if that doesn't get the sporting juices flowing, then I don't know what will. Hold on to you hats lads and lasses, this could get emotional.

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see also
Wales 22-10 Ireland
08 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales are in-form side - Mealamu
14 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
France draft in Doussain on bench
14 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales team are no monks - Gatland
14 Oct 11 |  Welsh
Hook replaces injured Priestland
13 Oct 11 |  Welsh
Meads predicts NZ-Wales Cup final
11 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Edwards fears France Cup threat
11 Oct 11 |  Welsh
Jenkins salutes 'best' Wales team
11 Oct 11 |  Welsh
History beckons Wales - Jenkins
10 Oct 11 |  Welsh
Rugby World Cup 2011 team guide
08 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup fixtures and results
26 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables

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