Wales are holding a press conference this morning after it was confirmed that Wales star Josh Navidi is out of the Rugby World Cup and is being replaced by winger Owen Lane.
Defense coach Shaun Edwards praised wing Owen Lane, who is coming in as a replacement for injured Josh Navidi, saying he had “huge potential”.
Edwards said: “We were very impressed with him in the summer. He’s got some great banter as well and sometimes you need that.”
South Africa, England and New Zealand are also holding press events ahead of the semi finals this weekend.
World Rugby has also revealedwho will referee the semi finalswith Wales’ game to be overseen by referee Jerome Garces and Nigel Owens being given charge of England’s game against the All Blacks on Saturday.
South African refereeJaco Pyper was not considered for the semi finalsafter heavy criticism in France of his photo with Welsh fans after the quarter final in Oita.
Wales have decided to replace a forward with a back with some doubt still hanging over the fitness of center Jonathan Davies and Hallam Amos also carrying a knock. Lane can play wing or center.
- Matt Dawsonwrites off Wales’ chancesin the World Cup
You can follow all the reaction and live updates below
Steve Hansen slams Six Nations for lack of England games
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has hit out at the Six Nations for lack of fixtures with England.
The All Blacks boss says the Six Nations’ failure to back World Rugby’s plans for a Nations Championship.
It was rejected by the Six Nations committee who said they were against the idea of promotion and relegration and preferred to do their own advertising deals.
Hansen said: ““ We’ve played England once in the last six seasons so it’s hard to build a rivalry when you don’t play each other.
“If we could get the Six Nations to come on board for a global season, we’d be able to do that. Once they do that, then they’re starting to think about the game rather than just themselves. ”
Condolences paid to Robin McBryde following death of mother
Condolences have been paid to Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde and his family after the death of his mother.
He said: “I have received great support from the team and management out here and with the support from my family ba ck home it allows me to remain in Japan.
“My mother was my biggest fan and as with any parent, she would want the best for me, so I know I am where she would want me to be.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Ward Cybi, Ysbyty Gwynedd, for the fantastic care and attention my mother received.”
Warren Gatland said: “The Wales squad, management and the whole of the Welsh Rugby Union would like to extend our heart-felt condolences to Robin and his family following the recent passing of his mother Diana.
“Robin is a proud family man and we as a squad are here to support him and his family in any way possible during this time.”
Guile Guirado makes impassioned speech to French teammates
French captain Guilhem Guirado made an impassioned speech to his teammates following their defeat to Wales.
The hooker is calling time on his international career following the end of Les Bleus’ World Cup campaign and wanted to pass on the torch to the next generation.
Speaking to his teammates in the dressing room, Guirado said: ““ For a long time we have lost because of the same errors, but for the young guys who are carrying on, what I can promise you is that what we do, you can watch all the games you want, there is no team who can do that, not even the All Blacks. Look me in the eyes, not even the All Blacks.
“There are little things that seem inconsequential, but at international level you pay dearly. It’s being a meter too tight, a ball you try to turn over, a scrum with seven men when you need to be eight.
“All you young guys, look at me. We’ve gone through hard times, but now it’s over. I will be your number one supporter. You have to correct those little errors. You know how to play rugby, you have the talent. ”
Dan Biggar’s wife booked flights for semi final at half time
Dan Biggar said his wife was so confident Wales would get to the semi-finals she booked flights at half time.
The Ospreys fly half said: “I’m massively looking forward to it. It’s cost me a few quid, flying the wife and little one over now, that’s the only downside of it! It’ll be great to have them out here, the little boy and my wife.
“Ultimately that’s the most important thing, that’s why a lot of us are doing this, the sacrifices they are making. A few quid down the drain, but that’s ok.
“I think she actually booked them at half-time with a cancellation policy, and it wasn’t looking great at half-time! It could have been even worse. ”
Cheika says next Wallbies coach should “definitely” be Australian
Former Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika said he believes the next coach “definitely” should be Australian.
The Australians’ World Cup campaign came to an end on Saturday aftrer losing – 16 to England in Oita.
Following the game, Cheika announced he was stepping down from his role as head coach.
On arriving back in Sydney, Cheika said: “We came second last time, right, and I figure (after) four years you’ve got to come first next time.
“The way I see it, if you want to improve, you’ve got to call it and you’ve got to stay with your call. You can’t call it and then change your mind afterwards because that’s genuinely what we wanted to do, was to go there and win. ”
Speaking about the next head coach, he said: ““ I think definitely we should be pushing for an Australian coach. It’s not up to me but I think we should be backing and supporting Australian coaches wherever possible. ”
Dan Biggar: “We know we got lucky”
Dan Biggar has admitted Wales “got lucky” against France but says the team have got something you “can ‘ t coach ”.
The Wales fly-half opens up as his attention turns towards next weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-final inthis interviewwith our rugby audience editor Matthew Southcombe out in Japan.
Full transcript of Eddie Jones press conference
Here’s thefull transcriptof Eddie Jones’ press conference.
The Australian was in a feisty mood, claiming someone had tried to film England s training session from an apartment block and described New Zealand journalists as “fans with keyboards”.
South Africa praise Wales pack
South Africa has praised Wales’ formidable pack.
Matthew Proudfoot, South Africa’s assistant coach, told their press conference this morning that Wales were a “fantastic defensive outfit”.
“We handle every pack with the utmost respect. They are ranked third in the world, and Six Nations champions. They’re a fantastic defensive outfit, so they are a very formidable pack, ”he said.
“ They have one of the most experienced test captains around – he’s been there a long time. That pack has been the heartbeat of the British and Irish Lions pack that’s been to New Zealand.
“So, to go there and win a test match, you’ve got to be a formidable side. We look at what the opposition has and we work from there.
“We had a good session this morning with the pack of forwards and are looking forward to the challenge.”
Eddie Jones claims spy filmed England training session
England coach Eddie Jones claims one of his team’s security staff spotted someone filming their training session on a long lens from a nearby apartment.
In his press conference this morning, the Australian-born coach said the training had been taking place at Arcs Urayasu Park in Tokyo.
He also took a shot at the Kiwi journalists, calling them “ fans with keyboards ”and said it was left to him to ask the tough questions.
“ There was definitely someone in the apartment block filming. It might have been a Japanese fan.
“You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube. There’s absolutely no value in that anymore. ”
Asked why he didn’t send security over there, Jones said:“ Don’t care, mate. Don’t *** ”
“ We knew from the start that they were filming and it doesn’t change anything we do.
“We have two security guards – Prince Harry’s… and the ex-Prime Minister’s. Only those two. Lovely blokes. ”
Jones said he hadn’t spied on anyone’s training for nearly twenty years.
“ We used to do it. I haven’t done it since 2001. There’s no need, ”he said.
End of press conference
Shaun Edwars has finished answering questions and the press conference is over.
Here’s a recap of the major talking points :
- Call up of Owen Lane
- Squad gutted for Josh Navidi
- Wales will have to “muscle up” for South Africa
- Edwards praises Springboks full-back Kolbe
- More praise for Alun Wyn Jones
- “No bigger game” than World Cup final
- Wales will “find out Sunday ”if they’re better than 2001 team
“We’ll find out Sunday” whether Wales are better team than 2011
Edwards is asked if the current team are better than the side that lost to France in the 2011 World Cup semi finals.
He said: “I’ve never really thought about that. I’d have to think over that.
“We’re on a more successful run than we were in 2011. It’s a year and a half since we lost a competitive game.
“We’ve probably got a little bit more conifdence and belief in our game plan.
“Are we a better team? We’ll find out on Sunday. ”
No bigger game than World Cup final
Edwards added: “We need to get back down to around the 14 points conceded mark, that’s where we were in the Six Nations.
“If we can get back down to there, that will help us.
“It’s seize the moment time. These moments don’t come around often.
“You want to be in big games and there is no bigger than the World Cup final.”
Most phsyical test of World Cup
Edwards is asked if South Africa will be most physical test of the World Cup.
He said: “I hope it is.
“ You’re playing agaisnt a team like the Springboks who have huge forwards.
“It’s gonig to be a battle royale on that advanta ge line.
“The biggest thing is did you give up the gainline or did you not give up the gainline.”
Alun Wyn Jones “incredible competitor”
Edwards is asked about captain Alun Wyn Jones.
He said: “Alun Wyn is an incredible competitor.
“ He’s 6ft 6 , he’s fast, he’s unbelievably competitive.
“He’s a very brave person, he sets the examp le for everybody.
“He’s one of hte best players I’ve ever coached.
“ He totalyl buys into what I want him to do defensivly.
“He competes hard for the ball. He’s aggressive in his tackle technique. I’ve got total buy in from him.
“When he’s not there, you realize how good he is.
“ I’m hoping he’ll lead his team to victory. It doesn’t get much bigger than this. ”
“We want our best players fit “
The selection of centers has been brought up.
Edwards said: “We want our best players fit.
“ Vakatawa was a thorn in our side last week.
“You want your more experienced players in big games.
“Especially Jonathan Davies because he missed the last World Cup.”
Small guys can still play the game
Edwards is asked if small guys can still play the game.
He said: “I think that’s definitely the case .
“Look at the England backline, some of them are not massive but they’re very skilful, same with New Zealand.
“ It’s a game with all shapes and sizes. ”
Edwards on Cheslin Kolbe
When asked about the South African team, Edwards singled out one individual for praise.
He said: “If you want to watch a game of rugby, go and watch Cheslin Kolbe.
“We’ll have to keep an eye on him.
“ He’s one of the most dynamic players I’ve ever seen. ”
Wales have shown “determination”
Edwards said Wales showed determination in their last three performances.
He added: “For those last three games we played, we targeted that as a block of games .
“We said we had to win all three. We would have been disappointed if we hadn’t.
“We’ve managed to do that, not all smoothly, but that’s character building.
“If you’re not excited by this, you’re in the wrong game.”
Japan “exciting” place to tour
Edwards said the semi finals was where Wales wanted to be.
He said: “All the press are asking us questions because it s such a huge game.
“It’s intense because it’s in Japan as well. It’s been an exciting place to tour.
“Let’s hope we put our best foot forward.”
Wales will have to “muscle up” for South Africa
When asked about the South Africa game, Edwards said: “We’ll have to muscle up.
“ They ‘
“Out wide they’ve got incredible speed.
“ They’ve got two pretty canny half backs. I’m a huge fan of both those players. ”
Edwards “wasn’t happy” with way Wales conceded points
When asked about his reaction to the France game, Edwards said: “I was pleased with the fact that we conceded 19 points but I wasn’t happy with the way we conceded them.
“We scored 14 points from our defense.
“At the moment, it was quite similar to the Australia game in that regard. ”
Everyon e is “gutted” for Navidi
Edwards is asked about Josh Navidi.
He said: ““ He’s been one of our go to players over the last two years.
“Everyone is gutted for Josh.
“He’s one of our best defensive players and someone has to step up.”
Shaun Edwards faces media at Wales press conference
A Wales press conference is underway and defense coach Shaun Edwards is the one fielding the questions today.
Firs thing he’s asked about is call up of Owen Lane.
He said: “He’s a great character, a very good player with huge potential.
“ We were very impressed with him in the summer.
“He’s got some great bant er as well and sometimes you need that. ”
WRU confirm Owen Lane call up
The WRU have confirmed that Cardiff Blues winger Owen Lane has been called up to the Wales squad.
Here’s the storywe brought to you last night.
Jaco Peyper apologises for photograph with Welsh fans
Referee Jaco Peyper has been stood down from the Rugby World Cup semi finals after heavy criticism of a picture showing him posing with Welsh fans.
The photograph, which was shared widely on social media, showed him apparently mimicking the elbow offence that led to him sending off French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina during Wales’ quarter final a gainst France.
World Rugby said that Peyper had apologized and recognised that the photograph, taken in Oita, was inappropriate.Referee Jaco Peyper will not referee one of the Rugby World Cup semi finals after heavy criticism of a picture showing him posing with Welsh fans.
In a brief statement, World Rugby said: “Jaco Peyper stood down by World Rugby for #RWC 2019 semifinals .
“Peyper recognizes that a picture of him with Wales fans, which appeared on social media after the Wales versus France quarter-final, was inappropriate and he has apologized.”
Rugby World Cup semi final referees revealed
World Rugby has released the names of the two referees who have been given the honor of refereeing the semi finals at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Frenchman Jerome Garces will referee Wales against South Africa on Sunday and Welshman Nigel Owens will officiate when New Zealand take on England on Saturday.
World Rugby said that South African referee Jaco Peyper would be stood down from the semi finals amidthe controversy over the photograph of him posing with Welsh fansmimicking the elbow offence that led to him sending off French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina during Wales’ quarter final.
The fallout continues in Australia
Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper has said players are “sick of where it’s at” in rugby union in Australia.
He was speaking as the bad blood between departing coach Michael Cheika and Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle was spilled all over the media Down Under.
Paying tribute to the personal impression Cheika had made on him, Hooper indicated change was needed.
“He wanted to leave something positive and he will, certainly with me , ”Said the flanker.
“ [But] we want Australian rugby to be strong and be great and we haven’t been able to do that unfortunately.
“There is a lot of young, talented guys and very hungry gu ys who want to be part of that change that has to be made and that’s exciting.
“Guys are sick of where it’s at.”
South Africa looking for Welsh pressure points
South African coach Rassie Erasmus thinks that cutting out errors and piling the pressure on Wales is his side’s best route to the final.
Bemoaning missed opportunities in the quarter final against Japan, Erasmus said the springboks could not **** such luxuries against Wales.
“We must find those pressure points – when we get the oppo rtunity, we must utilize them, ”Erasmus said.
“And don’t give some soft moments away: then we have a chance. And be consistent – that’s the biggest work-on for us. ”
Asked if he was worried by South Africa’s recent series of losses to Wales, he said none of these had featured his best side .
“I’ve coached twice against them for the Springboks – one of them was in Washington, when we really played a mixed-bag of a team, because we had to juggle two squads before we played England. The other one was outside the international window, where we couldn’t select our overseas-based players, ”the South Africa coach said.
“ They are definitely a team with a lot of X -factor. Wales took almost a second-string side to Argentina last year and gave them a whitewash there. So they have depth in every single position, and they have good confidence and a great team spirit. ”
Resentment still rumbles in France over ref Jaco Peyper’s photo with Welsh fans
The president of the French rugby federation Bernard Laporte has added his voice to criticism of ref Jaco Peyper.
Laporte said that the ref’s photo, in which he appears to mimic lock Vahaamahina’s sending off offence, was shocking.
“When we wake up and we see that, it’s shocking – indefensible. We have to be careful that it’s a real photo and not a montage. That’s what I’m going to be asking World Rugby. ”
He said that if it was genuine then the referee was mocking not just Vahaamahina but all of France.
“I think it deserves a heavy penalty because a referee must be exemplary outside and in the field.”
Sir Clive Woodward took a different view, calling for critics to “ get off Peyper’s back, it was just a joke ”.
“ The day a referee can not enjoy a beer and a joke with either the players or fans is the day rugby has lost its way , ”He said.
Warren Gatland agrees, likening the controversy to“ making mountains out of molehills ”.
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