World Cup diary: Wales told to keep up with Joneses

You really have to admire the cheek of the Welsh Assembly's First Minister, Rhodri Morgan. Mr Morgan is one of the few Welshmen to see his country beat New Zealand, having been at Cardiff Arms Park as a boy in 1953, the last time they did it. He does not expect a repeat on Sunday, but he did advise the coach, Steve Hansen, to name at least the five Jones boys that he did against Italy last week. "They didn't know which Jones the ball was going to be passed to,'' he said.

Edge out Argentina? That's enough to leapfrog Australia

Australia might have thought that they had given the world 142 perfectly satisfactory reasons for their eminence in rugby union. But the International Rugby Board was singularly unimpressed by their record flogging of Namibia last Saturday. Indeed, it believed the Wallabies' stock had actually diminished. When it issued the revised world rankings yesterday, Australia had fallen a place into fourth as Ireland had leapfrogged them after stuffing Argentina by a point. The Ireland coach, Eddie O'Sullivan, was bemused and amused in equal measure when told of his side's rise up the rankings yesterday. "When did this change again? I can't take this pressure," he said. "This is musical chairs. At 12 o'clock last night, Australia were better than us. At 12 o'clock today, we're better than Australia. I rest my case."

Namibian's hopes of facing élite in two sports rest with ... Romania

Rudi Van Vuuren can be forgiven if he sits on the bench in Tasmania tomorrow hoping that one of his colleagues gets injured as they take on Romania. Time is running out for the outside-half to make history by becoming the first player to appear in a rugby World Cup and a cricket World Cup. "I just want to run on the field. That's all I want to do now," Van Vuuren said. "I can't compare it [cricket and rugby World Cups] because I haven't been playing. There is nothing in life so rewarding as to walk on to the field and know you are playing against the best in the world." Or against Romania.

Aussies irked by modest Woodward

For some reason, the Australians think that this England team are arrogant. Perhaps it's because of Clive Woodward's latest burst of modesty in The Wisden Cricketer magazine. "I could easily replicate in cricket what I've done in rugby ... or football or any sport,'' he said. Even Welsh rugby?

This diary today launches a campaign for the Samoa coach to be named in the New Year's Honours List.

John Boe OBE has a nice ring to it.

Comments