World Cup Briefing: Injured Hook aims to recover in time

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The Independent Online

Wales appear on course to select from strength for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against Ireland. And that could give coach Warren Gatland exactly what he wants – some tough decisions – before naming his team on Thursday.

Full-back James Hook (shoulder), wing Shane Williams (thigh strain) and flanker Dan Lydiate (ankle) all missed Wales' last two Pool D games against Namibia and Fiji but they should be back in training tomorrow.

Hook (above) damaged the joint of his right shoulder just before half-time against Samoa. "It flared up a bit and has taken a bit of time to get back to normal," he said. "The quarter-final is a target for me. I am hoping I will be fit for it."

Lydiate, who is also looking to play, added: "We have been under the radar at this World Cup... It has been a tough group, but it is just one-off games now."

Robinson backed to make it work

Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson has given his full support to Scotland head coach Andy Robinson following the team's World Cup exit. England's 16-12 win over Robinson's men in Auckland and Argentina's 25-7 defeat of Georgia confirmed Scotland's third place in Pool B.

Robinson earlier this year signed a contract extension until after the 2015 World Cup and Dodson said yesterday: "We're frustrated and disappointed with the result against England... Andy knows full well what went wrong over here... We're going to build a winning culture within Scottish rugby. Andy Robinson's going to be a continuing part of that."




Ireland v Wales, 6am, Wellington

England v France, 8.30am, Auckland


South Africa v Australia, 6am, Wellington

New Zealand v Argentina, 8.30am, Auckland


15 Oct Winner Q1 v winner Q2 9am, Auckland

16 Oct Winner Q3 v winner Q4 9am, Auckland

Third place play-off

21 Oct 8.30am, Auckland


23 Oct 9am, Auckland

(all times BST; matches on ITV1)

Top point scorers

53 Morne Steyn (South Africa)

45 Kurt Morath (Tonga)

39 Ronan O'Gara (Ireland)