World Cup diary

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The Independent Online

Unfortunate turnover

If the Welsh are having problems rolling over the opposition in Canberra, at least the same cannot be said with the golf buggies.

Playing a round at Royal Canberra last week - one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world and known as "the Australian Augusta" - two of the Welsh players managed to roll their buggy over - on a green.

The damage that the unfortunate incident wreaked upon one of their carpet-like putting surfaces has obviously upset the venerable members, and the poor so-and-so who signed in the Welsh team is thought to be in hot water over whom he considers to be "acceptable" to play the Royal.

The Welsh camp remains tight-lipped. The green, green grass of home has never seemed so enticing.

Queen faxes favourites

Scottish and Welsh fans are often lambasted for not paying the utmost respect to the "national" anthem, "God Save The Queen", before their tussles with England. But maybe that's not too surprising when you discover that the Queen sent a fax to the England squad wishing them luck for the World Cup, but, alas, not to Wales or Scotland - nor, indeed, to New Zealand, Canada or Australia - over whom she also presides. As a monarch who enjoys a flutter, perhaps she couldn't bear to back a bunch of losers.

Union sniffy about glue

There is a storm brewing over the New Zealand centre Clinton Toopi, who has been helping his suspect hands by spraying glue on them.Toopiplays for the Kiwi rugby league team who stunningly defeated the Kangaroos on Saturday, but will the trend catch on in union? Probably not, because, as one Aussie columnist noted yesterday: "Will Clinton ever pass the ball again? Can he?"

Who says Aussies don't like Poms? On the Sydney Morning Herald website over the weekend the newspaper ran a poll asking: "Who would you least like to be trapped in a lift with?" The choices were: Clive Woodward, Hannibal Lecter, the Duke of Edinburgh or Douglas Jardine. So who got the most votes? Let's just say that Woodward would be using the stairs.

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