Contepomi may be forced out of Scotland showdown

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The Independent Online

The Argentina goalkicker Felipe Contepomi has gone down with flu, four days before his side's World Cup quarter-final against Scotland in Paris.

The Leinster back was unable to train yesterday after being struck by the virus, but Argentina are hopeful he will be fit for Sunday's game at the Stade de France. The 30-year-old fly-half, who has been playing at centre in the World Cup, has scored 53 points so far this tournament.

New Zealand will appeal against a two-week ban on Sione Lauaki which will keep the reserve No 8 out of the World Cup quarter- and semi-finals. Lauaki was banned on Monday for a dangerous tackle in the final pool game against Romania last Saturday.

Lauaki could not be considered for selection in the 22 for Saturday's quarter-final against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff but if the appeal is successful he will be available for the semi-final and finals in Paris.

Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett was named as Italy coach yesterday following their World Cup exit and Pierre Berbizier's departure.

"The president of the Italian Rugby Federation Giancarlo Dondi announces that an agreement has been reached with Nick Mallett to become national coach from November 1," a statement said. Italy were eliminated from the World Cup after losing 18-16 to Scotland in their decisive Pool C game on Saturday.

Berbizier announced in April that he would be leaving his post after this World Cup.

Mallett, 50, was born in England but moved to then-Rhodesia and South Africa as a child. He led the Springboks to a record run of 17 consecutive Test wins from 1997-98 before resigning in 2000. He is currently director of rugby at Western Province.

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